Aug. 28, 2015
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame hopes to roll with the momentum the Fighting Irish picked up during their opening weekend as the program hosts the 23rd annual Notre Dame Invitational this Friday and Sunday at Alumni Stadium.
Here are the five things you should watch for as the Irish welcome Santa Clara to campus on Friday:
THE BOOK ON THE BRONCOS: The Broncos enter Friday’s contest with a 1-1-0 record, opening the season with a 2-0 win over UC Davis on Friday and falling to Arizona 2-1 on Sunday.
Santa Clara is averaging 10 shots per game, including four shots on goal per game, while the Broncos are allowing 12 shots per game and 6.5 shots on goal per contest. They have allowed just two corner kicks so far this season while taking 10 of their own.
Santa Clara has so far seen significant contributions from the younger part of their roster. Freshman midfielder Janae Gonzalez is leading the way for the Broncos with a goal on four shots, while freshman forward Grace Cutler and sophomore midfielder Jenna Holtz have also tallied scores for Santa Clara. Senior goalkeeper Andi Tostanoski has played all 180 minutes in goal so far for the Broncos, allowing two goals on 11 saves for an .846 saves percentage and a 1.00 goals against average. Tostanoski was the 2014 West Coast Conference Goalkeeper of the Year in 2014 and was named to the 2015 Preseason All-WCC Team along with junior forward Brittany Ambrose.
LAST MEETING: Notre Dame and Santa Clara met last season during the first road trip of the season for the Irish. After losing two straight matches to start the season 2-2-0, the No. 25 Irish went into Santa Clara and and stole a 2-0 victory from the No. 16 Broncos. Though the Irish lead the all-time series 12-6-1, it was just their second win on Santa Clara’s home field in eight chances. The Irish were led in that game by then-freshman Karin Muya, who netted a goal and picked up an assist in her collegiate debut.
NOTRE DAME INVITATIONAL HISTORY: This marks the second season in which the Notre Dame Invitational will not be contested under a tournament format. The Irish won their home tournament 14 times over its first 21 seasons, including seven of the final 11.
The Irish are 33-9-2 (.773) all time in the Notre Dame Invitational and hold a 116-45 scoring edge over its opponents. Last season, the Irish dropped a pair of heartbreakers to Texas Tech and USC, both by 2-1 decisions.
LAST TIME OUT: Things couldn’t have gone much better for the Irish during their opening weekend. After dispatching Valparaiso 6-0 on Friday night, Notre Dame handled Toledo in a 3-0 decision on Sunday afternoon.
Offering a balanced attack, the Irish managed to keep their opponents out of their zone for the majority of the weekend, allowing just one shot between the two contests, which came in the second half against the Rockets. Notre Dame outshot Valparaiso and Toledo by a combined 53-1 and saw seven different players get in on the scoring action.
Junior midfielder Sandra Yu and sophomore midfielder Taylor Klawunder led the Irish with two goals apiece, and are two of four players leading the Irish with four points each. Also impressive in her first official action with the Irish was freshman forward Natalie Jacobs, who tallied a goal and two assists while firing a team-leading 11 shots. Senior forward Anna Maria Gilbertson also added a goal and an assist on 10 shots.
MOVING ON UP: After entering the season ranked No. 9 by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, Notre Dame moved up two spots to No. 7 after their season-opening sweep of Valparaiso and Toledo. The Irish also moved up two spots in both Soccer America and TopDrawerSoccer.com poll to No. 6 this week.
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 Irish women’s soccer coverage, be sure to log on to UND.com, follow @NDSoccer on Twitter and like Notre Dame Women’s Soccer on Facebook.
— Joanne Norell, Athletics Communications Assistant