Sept. 9, 2016
By Joanne Norell
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The University of Notre Dame women’s soccer team will look to push its current winning streak to four as the No. 20 Irish meet Santa Clara in the opening match of their swing through the West Coast this weekend.
WHAT: Match 7
WHO: No. 20 Notre Dame (5-1-0) vs. Santa Clara (2-2-2)
WHERE: Stevens Stadium – Buck Shaw Field | Notre Dame, Ind.
WHEN: 10:30 p.m. (ET) – Sept. 9, 2016
LIVE STREAM: TheW.tv | Campus Insiders
Scouting Santa Clara
The Broncos have posted a 2-2-2 record so far this season, with an 0-2-2 record in their last four matches. Santa Clara defeated then-No. 11 USC and then-No. 18 California to start the season, but fell to unranked Washington and Washington State and tied Marquette and Wisconsin over the weekend. The Irish defeated Wisconsin on August 21.
The Broncos are led by Jordan Jesolva with seven points (three goals, one assist), and Jenna Roering with three points (one goal, one assist). In the net, goalkeeper Melissa Lowder has started five games and allowed five goals for a 1.05 goals against average. Lowder has tallied 14 saves and a .737 save percentage with one shutout. Courtney Ogren started in goal for the Broncos in their last game against Wisconsin. She has allowed two goals in 175 minutes with a 1.03 goals against average and a .833 save percentage.
The Last Time They Met
The Irish last met Santa Clara last season at the Notre Dame Invitational, taking a 1-1 tie into the final 10 minutes of regulation before picking up a 2-1 win over the Broncos. The Broncos took an early lead on a goal by Jenna Roering, but the Irish tied things up before halftime on a goal by then-junior forward Kaleigh Olmsted. The Irish peppered the Broncos goal to the tune of 14 total shots on goal, but couldn’t find the game-winner until the 81st minute when senior midfielder Glory Williams corralled a loose ball close to the penalty spot and drove a low shot inside the left post for the game winner. The Irish led 29-2 in shots and 14-1 in shots on goal. Notre Dame owns a 13-6-1 edge in the series.
Last Time Out
The Irish notched their fourth and fifth shutouts of the season last weekend in matching 1-0 wins over Illinois State and Missouri at Alumni Stadium.
The Irish outshot the Redbirds 23-8, including a 6-4 edge in shots on goal. The winning shot came late in the first half on a Cindy Pineda corner kick, as junior forward Kaitlin Klawunder headed the feed into the back post from eight yards. It was the first goal of the season for Klawunder, who was playing in her first game after returning from a preseason knee injury.
It was freshman forward Jennifer Westendorf who lifted the Irish against the Tigers on Sunday, lifting a left-footed shot from 20 yards out that bent inside the right post for her team-leading third goal of the season. The goal was made possible by a give-and-go from Klawunder and junior defender Monica Flores. Klawunder saved possession for the Irish on the left sideline and dropped a pass to Flores, who found Westendorf out in front of the Missouri goal.
At No. 20, the Irish are one of seven Atlantic Coast Conference teams to appear in the final regular season NSCAA Division I Women’s Soccer poll, along with No. 1 Florida State, No. 3 Virginia, No. 6 Duke, No. 8 North Carolina, No. 13 Clemson and No. 18 Virginia Tech. All of those teams earned seeds in the 2015 NCAA Championship, while Boston College (receiving votes) also earned a bid to round out ACC representation.
Individually, freshman forward Jennifer Westendorf ranks among the top five in the ACC in shots (5th, 30 shots) and shots per game (2nd, 5.00/gm). Westendorf is also tied for second in the conference in game-winning goals with two, and 10th in total goals with 3. Senior goalkeeper Kaela Little comes in at third in the conference in saves (23), saves per game (3.83) and save percentage (0.920), and fifth in goals against average (0.34). Little also comes in second in the conference in shutouts (four) and shutouts per game (0.67).
— ND —
Joanne Norell, athletics communications assistant director 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, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in mass communication, and earned her master’s degree in sports industry management from Georgetown University in 2013.