SOUTH PLIAGE, Ind. – Starting 4-0 and back in the top 25, the No. 16 Notre Dame women’s soccer team looks to continue its strong start when the No. 22-ranked Wisconsin Badgers (2-0-2) visit the Alumni stadium. The first kick is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET, with the game streaming on ACCNX.
It’s been a great start to the 2022 season for the Irish, with an unbeaten record of 4-0-0. More impressive is the goal tally of 11-0. Of the 11 goals, it comes from seven different players: Wingate (2), Mercado (3), Klenke (2), Fisher, Albert, Ospeck and Coyle. The Irish have already secured a ranked win this season, knocking out No.19 Saint Louis 2-0 on the road.
DOMINANT DEFENSIVE START
With four shutout wins to start the year, the Irish tied their second-best shutout winning streak to start a season. Other cases and sequences include: 1995 (8), 2008 (4), 2010 (4).
Overall shutout streaks (any time in the season) – the Irish are two shutouts away from equaling the third longest in program history: 10 – 2003 // 8 – 1995 // 6 – three times
Then there are currently 12 Division I teams (counting ND) who have played three or more games and are yet to concede a goal this season.
Moreover, the Irish defense allowed just four shots on goal in four games, including three in the 4-0 win over Illinois. On the season, ND has a SOG advantage of 51-4. Overall, they have a 95-11 lead over the opposition.
Notre Dame is posting an impressive 12.75 shots on goal average, which ranks 3rd nationally. Overall, the Irish average 23.75 shots per game, ranking them 6th nationally.
Another notable ranking for the Irish – 1st domestically in corner kicks per game – 11.5.
JUST A FIRST STUDENT
In just her second week in college football, Leah Klenke is already attracting a lot of attention. The rookie was named ACC Defensive Player of the Week on Aug. 30 for his efforts in wins over No. 19 Saint Louis and Illinois. Klenke started at left back in both shutout wins. She also led on Sophia Fisher’s second-half goal against Saint Louis, then recorded a fine goal against Illinois in which she floated a ball from outside the box down the left side, above- above the goalkeeper and in the far post of the net.
Klenke now ranks second on the team with five points, with two goals and one assist.
THE SOFTNESS OF HOME
The Irish have made the Alumni Stadium a difficult venue for opposing programs. Since its inception in 2009, Notre Dame has posted a 111-27-6 record, good for a .792 winning percentage. In fact, they’ve only conceded one loss or better in six separate seasons.
Looking at just the past four years (counting this season as one year), the Irish are 25-4-2 at home.
Notre Dame went 10-1-1 in the 2021 campaign — its only loss a 3-2 decision to Clemson in the ACC Tournament.
The Aug. 28 game against Illinois kicked off a streak in which the Irish face four consecutive Big Ten teams. It started with a 4-0 win over the Illini and next is No. 22 Wisconsin. A win over the Badgers would give the Irish two ranked wins in five games. After Wisconsin, Notre Dame has two straight road games, starting with Indiana, then Purdue.
MAC HERMANN WATCH LIST
Central back Eva Gaetino is one of the main reasons for the backline’s success. Now, her success has not gone unnoticed as she has been named to the Mac Hermann Trophy watch list. On August 18, United Soccer Coaches announced their 61 players for football’s most prestigious award. The roster is reduced to 15 players on November 30.
WIN NO. 100
When Notre Dame knocked out No. 19 Saint Louis on August 25 to improve to 3-0, it not only marked the team’s first ranked win this year, but also the No. 100 career win for the coach. Norman. Norman is in his fifth year with the Irish as a head coach and his 10th year overall as a head coach.
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