Oct. 4, 2017
By Megan Golden
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — For the fifth consecutive game, the University of Notre Dame women’s soccer team will face a top-25 opponent as it travels to No. 13 Virginia for its second Atlantic Coast Conference road match on Thursday. The Irish (6-4-2, 2-2) and the Cavaliers (7-3-2, 2-1-1) will meet at 7 p.m. ET at Klockner Stadium.
Notre Dame, which enters play in the No. 13 spot in this week’s RPI, will conclude the first half of its conference slate with another tough ACC opponent. The Cavaliers, similar to the Irish, will be looking to continue their fairly dominant attack while also improving the quality of their shots.
Virginia, which is riding a 7-0 victory over Pittsburgh, has allowed nine goals to its 21 goals scored this season. The Cavaliers lead the conference in shots (202) but are just tied for seventh in goals.
The Irish will rely on their resilient defense to bounce back from a heartbreaking 2-1 loss to Wake Forest on Friday. Notre Dame, which has yet to drop consecutive matches (3-0 following a loss), has the perfect opportunity to do so — against yet another ranked foe.
“It’s a challenge, but we wouldn’t want it any other way,” senior co-captain Monica Flores said about the team’s daunting schedule. “We are geared up and ready to roll against UVA.
“A consistent, gritty, blue-collar, solid performance – the way we know how to play and dominate – for this Thursday, and for the rest of our ACC games, is the goal.”
The Irish own a 1-4 all-time record against the Cavaliers, including a 1-2 mark at Klockner Stadium. The teams last met on Oct. 9, 2016, when Virginia defeated the Irish 1-0. Notre Dame’s last trip to Klockner Stadium ended 2-1 in favor of the Irish on Sept. 24, 2015.
On the Road
Following a dominant 4-2 victory at then-No. 11 Clemson, Notre Dame hits the road for its fifth true road match of the season and its second within ACC play. The Irish own a 3-1 record on the road thus far and are 3-1-1 away from home.
- Notre Dame has gone 2-3 against ranked opponents this season, including going 2-2 against ranked teams in the ACC.
- The Irish are 6-1 in games decided by two-plus goals.
- Notre Dame is one goal shy of equaling its 2016 scoring total (26).
- The Irish have outscored their opponents 18-7 in the second half this season. Notre Dame has entered halftime in a scoreless tie six times and in a 1-1 tie twice in 2017.
- Sophomore Jennifer Westendorf is one goal away from matching her single-season career high (six).
Megan Golden, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since August of 2016. In her role, she coordinates all media efforts for the Notre Dame women’s soccer and cross country/track and field programs. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Golden is a 2014 graduate of Saint Mary’s College and former Irish women’s basketball manager. Prior to arriving at Notre Dame, she worked in public relations with the Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox.