Junior Sandra Yu

What To Watch For: Duke

Oct. 24, 2015

By Joanne Norell

DURHAM, N.C. – The No. 15/8 University of Notre Dame women’s soccer team prepares to meet No. 22/21 Duke for the first time in two seasons when the teams square off in the weekend capper on Sunday.

WHAT: Match 17
WHO: No. 15/8 Notre Dame (11-4-1, 4-4-0 ACC) vs. No. 22/21 Duke (9-4-4, 3-2-3 ACC)
WHERE: Koskinen Stadium – Durham, N.C.
WHEN: 1:00 p.m. (ET) – October 25, 2015
STATS: Live Stats

Below are the five things you need to know as the Irish get set to take on the Blue Devils:

Scouting Duke
The Blue Devils have been in and out of the national rankings this season, but came in at No. 22 in the NSCAA Division I Women’s poll after defeating North Carolina 1-0 last Friday. They have won three of their last four, including a 3-1 victory over Pittsburgh on Thursday.

Kayla McCoy (6G) and Ashton Miller (4G, 4A) lead Duke with 12 points each, while Taylor Racioppi has amassed 11 points (4G, 3A). The Blue Devils outshoot opponents 20-10 and average 1.71 goals per game. EJ Proctor has spent the majority of minutes in goal for Duke, having allowed 12 goals against 57 saves and with a 0.72 GAA. She has also recorded seven solo shutouts and played a part in 10 total.

Irish In The Series
Notre Dame is 8-5-1 against Duke in the all-time series, with the Blue Devils claiming the last two decisions against the Irish, including a double overtime 2-1 win over Notre Dame in 2013. The Irish won six straight meetings against the Blue Devils from 1996 and 2008 (teams did not meet from 2000-2006).

The Last Time They Met
It’s been two seasons since the Irish and Blue Devils have met, when Duke defeated Notre Dame 2-1 in double-overtime. The Irish led in total shots (20-14), shots on goal (9-7) and corner kicks (12-1), but Duke prevailed in the 109th minute when Laura Weinberg intercepted Irish keeper Kaela Little’s clearance attempt and poked in the winning goal. The goal erased Notre Dame’s comeback attempt, as current junior Rilka Noel tied things up at the close of the first half after Duke took a 1-0 lead in the 20th minute.

Last Time Out: North Carolina
The Irish dropped a heartbreaker in their last contest, surrendering a pair of unanswered goals to No. 9/9 North Carolina on Thursday in a 2-1 loss at Fetzer Field. Notre Dame took the lead shortly after halftime as junior Sandra Yu fed a pass across the goal area to the right side for sophomore Sabrina Flores, who punched it into the left corner from the six.

The Tar Heels continued to pressure, however, and finally broke through in the 71st minute when Alexa Newfield earned a penalty kick after getting tackled in the penalty box. Less than four minutes later, Joanna Boyles headed in the game winner off a set piece from Newfield, halting UNC’s three-game losing streak.

Next Up: Senior Day
Notre Dame will return to campus next week for the final regular season game of the year when the Irish welcome Virginia Tech to Alumni Stadium. The Irish and Hokies are tied 2-2 in the all-time series, with Notre Dame taking the 2-0 victory in the teams’ last meeting in Blacksburg, Virginia. The Irish controlled the second half of last year’s contest to upset the then-No. 2-ranked Hokies on the road. Anna Maria Gilbertson and Kaleigh Olmsted lifted the Irish that day, scoring in the 62nd and 70th minutes, respectively to give the Irish the win.

Additionally, the Irish will be honoring their six seniors in what will be their final regular-season game at Alumni Stadium. Gilbertson, Katie Naughton, Cari Roccaro, Mary Schwappach, Brittany Von Rueden and Glory Williams will be recognized for their contributions to the Fighting Irish program over the last four years.

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 at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2014 and coordinates communications efforts for the Notre Dame women’s soccer, men’s tennis, women’s tennis and fencing programs. Norell is a 2011 graduate of Purdue University and earned her master’s degree from Georgetown University in 2013.