Sept. 19, 2015
CLEMSON, S.C. – The No. 10/3 University of Notre Dame women’s soccer team hits the road Saturday to open Atlantic Coast Conference play in a top-15 matchup with No. 11/13 Clemson at Riggs Field. It will be the first of a grueling stretch of schedule in which the Irish face three straight opponents currently ranked in the NSCAA top 11.
WHAT: Match 9
WHO: No. 10/3 Notre Dame (7-0-1) vs. No. 11/13 Clemson (6-0-1)
WHERE: Riggs Field – Clemson, South Carolina
WHEN: 6:00 p.m. (ET) – September 19, 2015
LIVE STREAM: ESPN3
GAME NOTESHere are the five things you should watch for as the undefeated Irish kick off conference play this evening:
The Tigers are one of five remaining unbeaten teams in the ACC, joining the Irish in that category. Clemson had won six straight matches to open the season, but are coming off a 0-0 (2OT) draw against #RV South Florida, giving them a 6-0-1 record heading into Saturday’s clash with the Irish.
Clemson averages 2.00 goals per game compared to Notre Dame’s 2.62 per contest, and while the Irish have given up less than two shots per game in the nonconference season, the Tigers give up nearly 12. Still, Clemson has allowed just four goals on the season, allowing just 0.57 goals per match.
Junior M/F Catrina Atanda leads the Tigers in the scoring column, with three goals, one assist and seven points to her name. She was named ACC Offensive Player of the Week on September 1 after scoring the gamewinning goal in Clemson’s 2-1 upset over then-No. 8 South Carolina. Freshman F Alana Hockenhull and sophomore F Salma Anastasio have scored two goals apiece, while seven other Tigers have gotten into the scoring mix.
Junior GK Kailen Sheridan has gotten the lion’s share of minutes in goal for Clemson, boasting a 0.59 goals against average and three solo shutouts. Sheridan was named the ACC Defensive Player of the Week on September 9 following a 1-0 win over Georgia in which she recorded 11 saves.
The Last Time They Met
Notre Dame and Clemson last met a season ago as the then-No. 9 Irish grinded out a 1-0 victory over the 20th-ranked Tigers at Alumni Stadium. It was the fourth-straight conference win for the Irish in which Notre Dame held a 12-7 advantage in shots and a 5-3 cushion in shots on goal.
Then-senior forward Lauren Bohaboy provided the margin in the win, burying her sixth goal of the year in the 27th minute to lift the Irish. The goal came off a carom of a deflected shot attempt by defender Sabrina Flores, who drove the ball deep into the Clemson zone to set the Irish up for the score.
Last Time Out: Indiana & Michigan
The Irish ensured themselves an undefeated nonconference record as they closed out the early-season slate with a pair of shutout wins over Indiana and Michigan last weekend at Alumni Stadium. Notre Dame won both games by a score of 2-0, and allowed just three shots each to their Big Ten foes.
Freshman F Natalie Jacobs was outstanding in two games for the Irish, providing the gamewinning goals in each contest. Against the Hoosiers on Friday, Jacobs took a cross from senior F Anna Maria Gilbertson, looped it up to herself and flushed the volley into the back of the net from toward the top of the box. Junior F Kaleigh Olmsted added to the lead in the second half off a pass from Sabrina Flores.
On Sunday against the Wolverines, Jacobs again put the Irish on the board first in the opening half, crashing the net on a header attempt by sophomore M Taylor Klawunder and burying the rebound. Gilbertson followed with her team-leading fifth goal later in the half, a left-footed shot off an Emily Geyer cross threaded between a pair of defenders, for the final result.
A pair of Irish players garnered weekly honors for their play last weekend, as senior D Katie Naughton was named ACC Defensive Player of the Week and freshman F Natalie Jacobs was named national Player of the Week by TopDrawerSoccer.com.
Naughton once again provided a formidable presence on the Irish back line, allowing just six combined shots to Big Ten opponents Indiana and Michigan. The senior played a key role in clearing opponents’ threats out from in front of the net and has been a stalwart on a unit that has allowed an average of just 1.9 shots per game through eight contests.
Jacobs was named Player of the Week after her gamewinning goals against Indiana and Michigan over the weekend, moving her into a tie for the team-high in points with 12.
The Irish sit near the top of nearly every statistical category in the Atlantic Coast Conference after a fast start to the season. Notre Dame is one of five unbeaten ACC squads, along with Virginia Tech, North Carolina, Virginia and Clemson.
Notre Dame tops the league in defensive categories, having only allowed three goals for a 0.38 goals against average. The Irish have also recorded the most shutouts on the season with six. Offensively, they rank third in the conference in shots (171), points (60), goals (21) and corner kicks (57)
Nationally, the Irish rank 12th in total goals (21) and goals against average (0.36) and 8th in shutout percentage (0.75).
Individually, Anna Maria Gilbertson lead the league in shots (46) and shots per game (5.75), while tying for third in goals (5). Natalie Jacobs is tied for third in the league in assists (4) and comes in fourth in shots (33) and third in shots per game (4.12).
Season and single game tickets for Notre Dame women’s soccer are on sale now. Visit UND.com/tickets or call the Murnane Family Ticket Office at 574-631-7356.
For the latest Fighting Irish women’s soccer coverage, be sure log on to UND.com, follow@NDSoccer on Twitter and like Notre Dame Women’s Soccer on Facebook.
— Joanne Norell, Athletics Communications Assistant