SOUTH BEND, Ind.. – The United Soccer Coaches poll took note of Notre Dame’s big week in women’s soccer with wins over NC State and No. 3 Florida State, moving all 11 Irish positions to No. 6. This week, the Irish (11 -2-0, 4 -2-0) turn their attention to the Louisville Cardinals (5-5-2, 2-4-0). They hit the road for a Saturday night game at Dr. Mark & Cindy Lynn Stadium at 7 p.m. ET. The game will be broadcast on ACCNX.
In the October 10 RPI rankings, the Irish came in fourth place behind UCLA, North Carolina and Alabama. Notre Dame is 4-2 against the RPI Top-25, which scores the most wins of any team in the country. Additionally, the Irish are 5-2 against the Top-50 and 7-2 against the Top-100.
The Irish have four ranked wins on the season, including two against the top three: No. 19 St. Louis (road play), No. 22 Wisconsin, No. 2 Virginia and No. 3 Florida State
Notre Dame’s schedule strength ranks 11th in the nation.
DECLARATION VICTORIES – TOP THREE ARE DOWN
With a 1-0 win over No. 2 Virginia and a dominating 4-0 victory over No. 3 Florida State, Notre Dame has now earned two top-three wins during the regular season for the first time. of the program’s history. Additionally, this is the first time Notre Dame has beaten both Virginia State and Florida State in the same season since joining the ACC in 2013.
For Notre-Dame, it was its biggest victory against a top 3 program since September 8, 2000 (6-1 victory against #2 Santa Clara).
Not to mention, defensively, both games were shutouts, with Virginia and FSU combining for just 6 shots on goal.
The Irish will also have another opportunity in a top-12 ranked ACC team before the end of the season – No. 12 Duke in the home final on October 27.
QUOTES AFTER FSU WIN
“That’s what we should bring to every game. That energy and ability to keep the ball and attack and press teams. We talk about our identity of being the best press team in the country and that was phenomenal . We were relentless and took risks and we also had that courage. That’s our norm now. This is what we do.” – Doug & Lisa Jones Family Head Coach Nate Norman
“There is 100% difference in mentality. Going into these games, if we do what we do and do it well, we will win these games. And that’s what I think we showed today. We have more confidence. I think we just have to have the humility to know that every game from now on will be a battle, and we’re going to have to bring it to every game. – Eva Gaetino
BLOWS ON BLOWS
Notre Dame averages 9.6 shots on goal per game, which ranks 3rd at the national level (1st in ACC). Overall, the Irish average 20.3 shots per game, ranking them 5th at the national level (1st of the ACC).
By comparison, Notre Dame is up 264-83 (20.3 to 6.4) on the opposition on total shots. The penalty shootout is 125-30 (9.6-2.3).
All of those shots led to 33 goals on the year, which ranks 17th nationally, while scoring offense (2.5) ranks 13th. Notre Dame has amassed 91 points overall which ranks 24th in the nation.
Notre Dame’s ability to stretch the field led to a national ranking of 18th in corner kicks (3rd in ACC) – 7.0 per game. Notre Dame has scored twice from corners this season: September 11 against Ohio, a Gaetino header, and September 22 against Virginia, a Mercado goal on a deflection.
Defensively, ND’s shutout percentage of .615 ranks 17th.
Olivia Wingate — 20th goal per game (0.69) // 14th in points per game (1.77) // 5th in shot accuracy (0.685) // 14th in shots per game (4.2) // 3rd in SOG per game (2.9) // 18th in total goals (9) // 12th in total points (23)
Maddie Mercado — 6th in game-winning goals (4) // 15th in SOG per game (2.1)
Mackenzie Wood — 5th in goals against average (.375) // 29th in shutouts (6)
The importance of scoring first? Well, the Irish are 11-0 when they do. Both times ND have trailed this season at half-time (both 1-0 at the time) they have suffered defeat.
The Irish backline of Gaetino, Hudson and Klenke have allowed just 30 shots on goal in 13 games – which is a big 2.3 SOG per game. Even on shots in general, opponents are averaging just 6.4 against the Irish.
In six games, almost half of their games this season, the Irish backline have allowed only one SOG or less: NC State (October 6), Boston College (9/30), Virginia (9/ 22), St. Louis (8/25), West Michigan (8/21) and Marquette (8/18).
Notre Dame’s defensive/goalie team has 8 shutouts this year. Mackenzie Wood in particular has been stellar in net, as his .375 average ranks 5th in the nation, allowing three goals in eight games. Additionally, she has six shutouts, including her last 4 starts – Virginia, Boston College, NC State and Florida State.
ACC – A FULL CREW
With its recent winning streak, Notre Dame has caused a pretty crowded field atop an ACC standings in which only six teams compete in the conference tournament. The Irish are 4-2 and tied for third place alongside North Carolina and Pitt. Florida State and Duke have a win lead with a 5-1 record.
Now, Notre Dame had won 11 BIG EAST Tournament crowns on the day, but is still in the hunt for its first ACC title, let alone its first title game.
LIST OF ACTIVE CAREER LEADERS
Goaltender Mackenzie Wood ranks 23rd on the list of active career leaders in saves, recording 271 saves in her career.
Additionally, Wood ranks 11th on the list of active career leaders in shutouts with 26.
Notre Dame has scored a 33-8 goals total in the 2022 season. Of the 33 goals, it comes from 9 different players: Wingate (9), Mercado (8), Albert (5), Van Zanten (4 ), Klenke (2), Ospeck (2), Coyle, Fisher and Gaetino.
Mercado and Wingate have career years at the top, much like Sammi Fisher did a year ago. Mercado has a career high in goals (8) and wins (4). Mercado’s 4 winners are the most in the ACC and rank 6th in the nation.
Meanwhile, Wingate surpassed his previous career high of seven with nine goals this year. Frankly, she does it all, leading the team in both goals and assists (5). Wingate’s 23 total points rank 12th in the nation and 2nd in the ACC.
Wingate and Mercado combined for 45% of the team’s points. The four-headed monster of Wingate, Mercado, Albert and Van Zanten contributed 69% of the team’s points.
Kiki Van Zanten has scored 4 times in the last 8 games and reached double digit points on the season.
Korbin Albert has played up front the last two games and has three goals to score in that span. She, too, moved into double-digit points with 12 – the third-most on the team.
Senior left midfielder Kati Druzina once again lends a hand, or should I say a foot, in the assist department. During the 2021 campaign, Druzina is tied for second on the team with five assists, including his first career multi-assist game (with 2) against Brown.
This season, Druzina ranks second again, this time behind Wingate. Druzina has three assists — against Marquette, Illinois and Ohio.
FIVE ACC PLAYERS OF THE WEEK – 4 PLAYERS
In the first four weeks for the ACC Offensive and Defensive Player of the Week announcements, Notre Dame picked up three winners.
In her second week in college football, Leah Klenke was named ACC Defensive Player of the Week on August 30 in her 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 post furthest from the net.
A week later, on Sept. 6, Olivia Wingate earned the offensive honor after recording her first career hat trick in a dominating 4-1 victory over a ranked Wisconsin team.
A week later, on September 13, it was Kiki Van Zanten who earned the offensive nod from the ACC. The elder scored in back-to-back games in wins over Purdue and Ohio, including a three-point performance against the latter.
On Oct. 11, it was a double dose of Irish after big wins over NC State and No. 3 FSU. Wingate won the offensive POTW for the second time, while goalie Mackenzie Wood won her first defensive award. Wingate had six points in the two games, while Wood had two shutouts with a total of six saves.
— N/A —