NOTRE DAME, Ind. – As the regular season begins to wind down, the Notre Dame women’s soccer team (7-8, 3-4) hits the road for their final road trip of the regular season. First up is a crucial matchup with Virginia Tech (7-5-3, 3-4) as both schools have the same conference record and are vying for a spot in the ACC Tournament. The Hokies (9th) and Irish (10th) are currently just outside of the top-8 in the conference but a win on Thursday will boost the chances of the winning team qualifying for the ACC Tournament which starts next weekend.
SERIES HISTORY: HOKIES
The Irish and Hokies will meet for the seventh time in school history Thursday night in Blacksburg. The series history is tied 3-3 between the two teams as all but one of the meetings have been as conference foes. Last season, the Hokies defeated the Irish 2-1 at Alumni Stadium. Monica Flores scored her first career goal in the first half but the Hokies responded with two second half goal to win. In the last meeting in Blacksburg, the game ended in a 0-0 draw on Oct. 20, 2016. Notre Dame notched its 11th shutout of the season as Kaela Little earned her ninth solo shutout of the season and tallied six saves.
OFFENSIVE OUTBURST LIFTS IRISH OVER SYRACUSE
Notre Dame had the best offensive performance of the season this past Saturday in its 5-1 road win over Syracuse. The five goals set a season high for the Irish and were the most they have scored since the first round of the NCAA Tournament last season when the defeated IUPUI 5-0. Irish jumped out to a 2-0 first half lead over the Orange and never looked back following three goals in the final 20 minutes of play. Karin Muya recorded her first career multi-goal game and has scored four goals in the last four games. Muya continues to lead the team with six goals and set a career high for most goal in a single season, surpassing her previous record of four from 2014. The Irish totaled the most goal against an ACC opponent since they defeated Miami 5-0 on Oct. 12, 2014. It was the most goals ever in an ACC road game since the Irish joined the conference in 2013.
The Irish boast a balanced offensive attack as we enter the final weeks of the season. Notre Dame has scored 21 goals this season with eight different players recording a goal. Muya leads the way with six goals and four coming in her last four games. Jennifer Westendorf is second on the squad with four goals, Eva Hurm has three on the season and three other players have a pair of goals. Westendorf leads the team in points with 12 and is tied with Sabrina Flores for the team lead in assists with four. Westendorf scored her fourth goal of the season in the 5-1 win over Syracuse coming off a Flores corner kick. Muya tallied her team-leading fifth and sixth goal of the season last Saturday against the Orange.–ND–