NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Notre Dame women’s soccer team returns home for the final ACC match day of the regular season. The Irish will square off with fifth-ranked Duke Thursday night at Alumni Stadium with seeding on the line for the ACC Tournament. The Irish are currently on the outside of the top-eight in the conference but three points against one of the top teams would boost Notre Dame’s chances of making the ACC Tournament. Thursday night is also senior night as the Irish seniors will be honored prior to the game.
SERIES HISTORY: BLUE DEVILS
The Irish and Panthers will square off for the 17th time in school history Thursday night at Alumni Stadium. The series between the two schools spans back to 1989 and this will be the fourth meeting as ACC conference foes. Last season the two teams faced off at Alumni stadium on Sept. 21 and the fourth-ranked Blue Devils came away with a 3-0 win. The Blue Devils and Irish have met once in the NCAA Tournament back in 2007 in the quarterfinals. Taking place at Alumni Stadium, the Irish knocked off Duke to advance to their ninth time in the past 14 seasons. Heading into Thursday’s matchup, the Blue Devils have locked up the #2 seed in the ACC Tournament after defeating No. 11 Boston College 2-1 this past weekend. The Irish are currently in a tie for the No. 8 seed with Virginia Tech and Wake Forest.
ACC TOURNAMENT SEEDING
Heading into the final match day of the regular season, six of the eight spots for the ACC postseason tournament is up for grabs. North Carolina and Duke have clinched the No. 1 and 2 seeds, respectively. The Irish are currently in a three-team tie with Virginia Tech and Wake Forest for the eighth and final spot. If the season ended today, Wake would advance based on goal differential. Notre Dame holds the head-to-head tiebreaker over Wake, Virginia Tech holds the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Irish and Wake would advance on goal differential over Virginia Tech if those two teams ended in a tie in the standings. There is a possibility for a four-way tie with the three teams and Clemson where goal differential would determine who claims the final two seeds of the ACC Tournament.
FISHER, INTERIAN LEAD IRISH PAST PANTHERS
Heading into the final road game of the regular season, the Irish were on the outside looking in for the ACC Tournament so Sunday’s match against Pitt was vital to pick up three points. The Irish did just that thanks to Sammi Fisher and Mattie Interian. Fisher scored a goal in each half and Interian logged a career-high six saves as the Irish took down Pitt 2-0. Fisher opened the scoring in the 13th minute after Shannon Hendricks sent a free kick into the box and Fisher got to the loose ball and fired a rocket into the top left corner for the goal. In the second half, Fisher scored again for her second career multi-goal game. Jennifer Westendorf’s shot clanged off the bar and Sabrina Flores headed the ball up to Fisher who beat the keeper inside the left post for the goal. Interian made a number of big stops, including a point-blank shot in the 51st minute to keep the Irish lead at 1-0.–ND–