Aug. 21, 2016
By Joanne Norell
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame women’s soccer team will look to replicate its season-opening performance when the No. 13 Irish welcome Wisconsin to Alumni Stadium on Sunday. The Irish looked sharp in a 3-0 win over Wright State on Friday and hope to turn in an equally consistent performance against the 2015 Big Ten co-Champions.
WHAT: Match 2
WHO: No. 13 Notre Dame (1-0-0) vs. Wisconsin (1-0-0)
WHERE: Alumni Stadium – Notre Dame, Ind.
WHEN: 3:00 p.m. (ET) – August 21, 2016
LIVE STREAM: ACC Network Extra
The Badgers opened their season at Illinois State on Friday with a 1-0 win before heading to South Bend for their tilt with the Irish on Sunday. Wisconsin was picked to finish third in the Big Ten after going 11-6-3 last season and ending the year as conference co-champions with Penn State. Wisconsin appeared at No. 16 in the TopDrawerSoccer.com preseason poll.
Wisconsin boasted three players on the Big Ten’s preseason all-league selections, with freshman Grace Bahr, junior Caitlyn Clem and senior Rose Lavelle appearing on the list. Lavelle is a returning NSCAA first-team All-American and is on the Missouri Athletic Clubs Hermann Trophy preseason watch list, leading the Badgers with 17 points on seven goals and three assists last year. Goalkeeper Clem was a second-team all-Big Ten selection last year and returns having posted nine shutouts with 59 saves last season.
The Last Time They Met
The Irish own a 13-2-1 record over the Badgers, but will look to avenge a loss in their last meeting in 2012. Wisconsin defeated the Irish 1-0 on August 17, 2012 in Madison, Wisconsin.
Last Time Out
The Irish were off and running in their first game of the season, turning in a cohesive 3-0 win over Wright State on Friday at Alumni Stadium. Freshman forward Jennifer Westendorf performed as advertised, kicking off her Notre Dame career with a pair of goals on seven shots to lead the Irish in both categories. The Irish got another goal from junior midfielder Taylor Klawunder, while senior forward Kaleigh Olmsted tallied two assists.
Off On The Right Foot
Notre Dame holds a 25-3-1 (.879) record in season openers, including a 15-1-1 (.912) record on the road. In addition, the Fighting Irish have carried a 15-2-1 (.861) mark in season openers since 1999, outscoring the opposition by a 81-11 margin in those 18 matches (29-4 in the past 10 matches).
The (Almost) 2-0 Guarantee
Notre Dame is a combined 365-1-1 (.996) all-time when claiming a 2-0 lead, and has won 338 of its last 339 contests when going ahead 2-0 (since a 3-3 draw with Vanderbilt on Sept. 15, 1991, in Cincinnati). The only loss in that span was a 3-2 defeat in double overtime against North Carolina (9/20/14).
In fact, just three of the past 246 Fighting Irish opponents to face a 2-0 deficit have won or even came back to tie, something achieved by five opponents in Notre Dame history: Duke on Oct. 17, 1993, in Houston (ND won 3-2), Connecticut on Nov. 10, 1996, in the BIG EAST final at old Alumni Field (ND led 2-0, later tied 2-2 and 3-3, ND won 4-3), Duke on Nov. 30, 2007, in the NCAA quarterfinals at old Alumni Field (ND won 3-2), Villanova on Oct. 12, 2008 in Villanova, Pa. (ND won 3-2 in OT), and most recently, North Carolina on Sept. 20, 2014 at Alumni Stadium (UNC won 3-2 in 2OT).
— 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.