Aug. 7, 2018
By Matt Paras
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The No. 14-ranked Notre Dame women’s soccer team will be back on the field at Alumni Stadium Wednesday afternoon when they take on Michigan in an exhibition to kick off their 2018 campaign. Following a strong spring season, head coach Nate Norman will begin his Notre Dame coaching tenure Wednesday against the Wolverines.
DATE: August 8, 2018
TIME: 4:30 p.m. (ET)
LOCATION: Alumni Stadium (Notre Dame, Ind.)
The Irish return five starters and 17 letterwinners from the 2017 squad that earned its 25th consecutive berth to the NCAA Tournament. The Irish upset No. 2 seed Texas A&M in the second round and advanced to the Sweet 16 for the 17th time in school history.
Jennifer Westendorf is the leading goal and point scorer returning for the Irish this season. She scored 10 goals and tallied 27 points in her sophomore campaign, including the game-winning goal against Syracuse.
On the back line, the Irish return two of their top-three minutes earners for the 2017 season. Rachel Heard and Shannon Hendricks both started all 22 games last year and helped the Irish record seven shutouts, including a 5-0 victory in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
In goal, Brooke Littman returns after starting 10 games in goal during her sophomore season. She amassed a 5-3-2 record to begin the season with four shutouts. Littman played all 90 minutes in the ACC opener when the Irish knocked off No. 11 Clemson 4-2 on the road.
Coming Up Next
Notre Dame hosts Michigan in its first exhibition match of the season at 4:30 p.m. ET Wednesday at Alumni Stadium. The Irish will travel to Purdue for their final preseason match of the season at 7 p.m. ET Saturday.
Notre Dame opens its regular season against Central Michigan at 7 p.m. ET Thursday, August 16 at Alumni Stadium.
For behind-the-scenes coverage of the Irish women’s soccer program, follow @NDSoccer on Twitter and NDWSoccer on Instagram. For tickets to a Notre Dame women’s soccer match, click here.
Matt Paras, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since January 2018. In his role, he coordinates all media efforts for Notre Dame women's soccer, baseball and assists in ice hockey. A native of Warwick, Rhode Island, Paras is a graduate of the University of Louisville where he completed his bachelor's and master's degrees in Sport Administration. Prior to arriving at Notre Dame, he worked at Vanderbilt University as the sports information contact for the women's soccer and lacrosse programs.