Oct. 16, 2015
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The No. 14/9 University of Notre Dame women’s soccer team will look to go over .500 in Atlantic Coast Conference play when the Irish welcome Wake Forest to Alumni Stadium this evening.
WHAT: Match 15
WHO: No. 16/11 Notre Dame (10-3-1, 3-3-0 ACC) vs. Wake Forest (4-9-1, 1-5-0 ACC)
WHERE: Alumni Stadium – Notre Dame, Ind.
WHEN: 7:00 p.m. (ET) – October 16, 2015
LIVE STREAM: ESPN3
Below are the five things you should watch for as the Irish and Demon Deacons face off:
Scouting Wake Forest
The Demon Deacons have struggled of late, having dropped seven straight contests dating back to an overtime loss to Pittsburgh on September 24. Wake Forest has faced five top-10 opponents in a six-game span, including Notre Dame, which comes in at No. 9 in this week’s Soccer America poll.
The Demon Deacons have kept things relatively even between themselves and opponents on the stat sheet, allowing 12.9 shots per game to their own 12.5 shots per game and having been outscored just 18-16. A relatively young squad, Wake Forest has started more than one senior in just one game this season, while there have been zero senior starters in seven games.
Sarah Medina leads Wake Forest with four goals and 10 points, while Sarah Teegarden, Katie Dry and Ally Haran each have two goals. In goal, Lindsay Preston and Nonie Frishette have combined for five shutouts, with Frishette (1-2-1) having made eight starts with an .848 saves percentage and a 0.68 GAA. Preston (3-7-1) has a 0.711 saves percentage and a 1.56 GAA in seven starts and 12 appearances.
Irish In The Series
Notre Dame is 4-0-1 all-time against Wake Forest, including last season’s 1-0 win in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. In five previous meetings, the Irish have outscored the Demon Deacons 10-2, with three shutouts. Friday’s match will be the third in the series contested on Notre Dame’s home turf, as two previous meetings occurred on neutral ground and just one has taken place on Wake Forest’s home field.
The Last Time They Met
The Irish made their first-ever trip to Wake Forest last season and walked away with a 1-0 victory over the Demon Deacons thanks to a fast start. Then-senior Karin Simonian gave Notre Dame all the cushion it needed with a goal in the sixth minute. Simonian took a short service from current senior Brittany Von Rueden and completed a nice run into the box to beat Wake Forest goalkeeper Lindsay Preston on the right corner. The Irish outshot the Demon Deacons 16-12, putting seven shots on frame to Wake Forest’s four. Irish goalkeeper Kaela Little snared four saves to post her sixth shutout of the season.
At No. 14, the Irish are one of six Atlantic Coast Conference teams to appear in the NSCAA Division I Women’s Soccer poll, along with No. 1 Florida State, No. 2 Virginia, No. 6 Clemson, No. 7 North Carolina and No. 12 Virginia Tech. They rank near the top of the ACC in most defensive categories, including second place in goals against average (0.48), third place in goals allowed (7) and a thirdplace tie in shutouts (8). The Irish also rate third in the league in shots (259; 18.5/gm) and fifth in goals (26).
Individually, Anna Maria Gilbertson leads the league in shots (74) and shots per game (5.29), while ranking fourth in goals (7). Kaela Little is third in the league in goals against average (0.45), fourth in shutouts per game (0.40), fifth in solo shutouts (4) and seventh in saves percentage (.810) (all stats as of 10/12/15).
A Championship Reunion
As part of Friday’s game, the Irish will welcome the 1995 National Championship team for its 20th reunion. Members of that first Irish championship squad will be on hand for both Friday’s soccer game and Saturday’s football game against USC. The team will be honored on the field at halftime of Friday’s soccer game and during the course of Saturday’s football game.
After their official recognition, members of the 1995 squad will take part in the #17for17 Irish Juggling Challenge, a social media initiative the Irish have started to raise awareness for the SEGway Project. The organization, started by 2012 graduate and former Notre Dame soccer player Lindsay Brown, uses soccer to empower girls in the developing world, helping them to fulfill their potential both on and off the field. The 1995 team will attempt to perform 17 juggles (or donate $17) to represent the 17 million girls worldwide without access to an education.
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.
— Joanne Norell, Athletics Communications Assistant