Oct. 12, 2013
#9/5 NOTRE DAME "Fighting Irish" (9-3-1/5-2-1 ACC) vs. #10/12 VIRGINIA TECH "Hokies" (10-1-2/5-1-1 ACC)
DATE: Oct. 13, 2013
TIME: Noon ET
LOCATION: Blacksburg, Va. (Thompson Field - cap. 3,528)
SERIES: ND leads 1-0-0 (First meeting at VT)
LAST MEETING: ND 5-0 (9/1/02 at VT)
BROADCAST: ACC-Regional Sports Networks/ESPN3 (live) (Mike Hogewood, p-b-p / Jenn Hildreth, color)
LIVE STATS: hokiesports.com
TEXT ALERTS: Sign up at UND.com
TICKETS: Call (800) 828-3244, visit hokietickets.com, or stop by the Thompson Field ticket windows on match day
It's not often you get a second chance, but the No. 9/5 Fighting Irish will get that opportunity just seven days later.
Facing nearly the same circumstances it saw one week ago, Notre Dame will look to end a rare three-match winless streak at noon (ET) Sunday when it closes out its first extended Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) road trip against No. 10/12 Virginia Tech at Thompson Field in Blacksburg, Va. The match will be televised live on the ACC-Regional Sports Networks (including Fox Sports Indiana; check local listings for additional outlets), as well as on ESPN3.
The Fighting Irish (9-3-1, 5-2-1 ACC) are seeking to put an end to what has been a rough seven-day stretch, starting with a 2-0 upset loss at Miami on Oct. 6 in Coral Gables, Fla., and continuing with a 3-2 double-overtime loss at No. 1 Virginia on Thursday night.
Notre Dame headed into that Miami contest on the heels of a double-overtime match against a top-15 opponent (a 1-1 draw with No. 13/11 Wake Forest at home on Oct. 3), much like it will do Sunday when it arrives in Blacksburg after going two extra periods at Virginia. What's more, the Fighting Irish will be taking on a Virginia Tech side that is well-rested, having not played in 10 days, just as Miami did before toppling Notre Dame.
"We have a great opportunity in front of us," Fighting Irish head coach Randy Waldrum said. "When we were faced with this kind of challenge a week ago, we didn't raise our level of play and compete, and Miami made us pay. Now we have another big challenge ahead with a very sound Virginia Tech team and we can learn from our mistakes and move forward. Sunday's game is about us taking advantage of this second chance and rediscovering what helped us find so much success in the first month of the season."
Notre Dame showed a great deal of fight and intensity in Thursday's double-overtime loss at Virginia, twice battling back from a one-goal deficit thanks to a pair of scores from senior midfielder/tri-captain Elizabeth Tucker (Jacksonville, Fla./Bishop Kenny), the latter with 17:11 left in regulation to force the Cavaliers into extra time for the first time all season. The Fighting Irish also performed well in very wet conditions against a high-octane, possession-based offense, creating its share of scoring chances in return, and becoming only the second team to score twice against Virginia, and the first visiting squad to score a goal of any kind at Klöckner Stadium since Aug. 30 (No. 7 Penn State in a 5-1 UVa win).
Virginia Tech (10-1-2, 5-1-1) has steadily climbed up the national rankings through a blend of efficient offense and reliable defense. The Hokies come into Sunday's match with Notre Dame on a six-match unbeaten streak (5-0-1), logging four shutouts in that span (two on the road, including a 2-0 victory at No. 21 Maryland on Sept. 19). Their only setbacks this season were a 2-1 home loss to then-No. 1 North Carolina on Sept. 12 (three days before Notre Dame knocked off the Tar Heels in Chapel Hill), as well as 1-1 draws with Louisville (Aug. 30) and at Duke (Sept. 29).
The last time Virginia Tech took the pitch, the Hokies edged visiting Clemson, 1-0 in overtime on junior midfielder Katie Yensen's goal 44 seconds into added time. After an evenly-played first half, Virginia Tech turned on the offensive fires the rest of the way, outshooting Clemson, 10-1 in the final 45-plus minutes (3-0 in shots on goal). Senior goalkeeper Dayle Colpitts did exactly what was necessary to post her sixth shutout of the season, recording two saves in the Hokies' net.
Virginia Tech is led by senior forward Jazmine Reeves (7G-4A) and sophomore midfielder Ashley Meier (7G-2A), although 10 different players have scored at least one goal and 13 have registered at least one point this season. Colpitts anchors the Hokies' defense with an 0.61 goals-against average (GAA) and .805 save percentage, in addition to her six shutouts.
"Virginia Tech has really been all business this season," Waldrum said. "They just go in, do exactly what needs to be done against a given opponent, and get out with the win. Reeves and Meier are very dynamic offensive players, and they have a new complement to their attack this year with (freshman forward Murielle) Tiernan (5G-4A). Overall, they're a veteran team that's been through the ACC fires before and understands the level of intensity and physicality that goes into being successful in this conference. It will be yet another challenge for us, but one we've come to expect playing in the ACC and it's one I believe our players are excited to take on Sunday."
THE NOTRE DAME-VIRGINIA TECH SERIES
Notre Dame is 1-0 all-time against Virginia Tech, and Sunday's match will mark the first time the Fighting Irish have ever traveled to Blacksburg.
The Hokies are one of five teams in the current ACC membership that Notre Dame has posted an undefeated record against. A sixth team, Clemson, will meet the Fighting Irish for the first time on Oct. 27.
THE LAST TIME NOTRE DAME AND VIRGINIA TECH MET
Notre Dame displayed a balanced scoring attack as the seventh-ranked Fighting Irish defeated BIG EAST foe Virginia Tech, 5-0 in the home opener at old Alumni Field on Sept. 1, 2002. Randi Scheller and Amanda Guertin each had a goal and an assist in the contest to lead the Fighting Irish offense.
Notre Dame exploded for four second-half goals against the Hokies, outshooting the guests, 15-4 during the second 45 minutes.
OTHER NOTRE DAME-VIRGINIA TECH SERIES TIDBITS
Despite five years of common membership in the BIG EAST Conference (2000-04), Notre Dame and Virginia Tech have only played one time in women's soccer ... Virginia Tech is the first of two new travel stops (at Clemson on Oct. 27) on the 2013 Notre Dame regular-season schedule. The Fighting Irish are 47-18-1 (.720) all-time in their first match played at an opposing team's home venue.
LAST TIME OUT: VIRGINIA
Senior midfielder/tri-captain Elizabeth Tucker scored a pair of goals at top-ranked Virginia, as No. 9/5 Notre Dame twice clawed its way back from a one-goal deficit, only to see the Cavaliers' Morgan Brian score one minute into the second overtime, keeping UVa unbeaten with a 3-2 double-overtime win in Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) action before 2,838 fans on a rainy Thursday night at Klöckner Stadium in Charlottesville, Va.
Brian's goal, which came off a header from a Danielle Colaprico corner kick, was not without controversy, as it appeared the ball deflected off Tucker near the right post, spun towards the goal line and then was swept off the line by freshman forward Kaleigh Olmsted. Virginia players began to celebrate as the ball was cleared and the assistant referee, positioned about six yards off the end line on the far side of the pitch paused slightly before raising his flag to indicate a goal. Television replays, both on the stadium video board and on the ACC Digital Network (which broadcast the match), didn't provide a clear verdict either way.
Freshman midfielder Morgan Andrews and junior midfielder Taylor Schneider registered assists on Tucker's two goals Thursday night. Gloria Douglas scored Virginia's first goal, also off a Colaprico assist, and the Cavaliers benefitted from a Fighting Irish own goal early in the second half.
Freshman goalkeeper Kaela Little was outstanding in the wet conditions, making a career-high nine saves, including several diving and reflex stops. Virginia netminder Morgan Stearns collected six saves for the hosts.
The Cavaliers ended up with a 21-13 edge in total shots, including a 12-8 margin in shots on goal. UVa also had an 8-3 advantage on corner kicks, while fouls were nearly even (14-12 against Virginia).
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE: VIRGINIA
Notre Dame is 3-2-1 against ranked opponents this season with a 13-6 aggregate scoring margin ... Thursday marked only the third time in program history the Fighting Irish played the No. 1 team in the nation (according to the NSCAA poll) multiple times in the same season, having also done so in 1995 and 1999 (the latter year was the only time it happened in the regular season prior to this year) ... Notre Dame became the first Virginia opponent this season to take the Cavaliers to overtime, and the first opponent to score against UVa at Klöckner Stadium since Aug. 30 (#7 Penn State in 5-1 Virginia win) ... the Fighting Irish matched the most goals scored against Virginia this season, equaling totals by VCU (4-2 UVa home win on Aug. 23) and Duke (Sept. 26 in 3-2 UVa win at Durham, N.C.) ... Douglas' early goal for Virginia was just the second first-half score allowed by Notre Dame this season (also Sept. 12 at North Carolina State; 15-2 season aggregate in first half) ... the Fighting Irish have yet to trail at halftime through 13 matches this season (leading eight times, tied five times) ... Thursday's match was the second overtime contest of the season (and second in three outings) for Notre Dame, which earned a 1-1 draw with No. 13/11 Wake Forest on Oct. 3 at Alumni Stadium ... the result was the first overtime loss for the Fighting Irish since Sept. 25, 2011 (a 3-2 decision at No. 14 Marquette) ... Notre Dame is 21-7-17 (.656) in overtime matches during Waldrum's 15-year tenure with the Fighting Irish ... Notre Dame has lost back-to-back matches for the first time since Nov. 4 & 13, 2011, when it fell to Louisville (2-1, BIG EAST Championship semifinals at Morgantown, W.Va.) and at Illinois (1-0, NCAA Championship first round) ... the Fighting Irish had a similar three-match winless streak last season (1-0 loss at home to North Carolina, 1-1 draw at Portland, 3-0 loss at Washington) and responded by going unbeaten in their next eight contests (7-0-1) ... Notre Dame is 40-9-3 (.798) when coming off a loss during the Waldrum era ... the Fighting Irish dropped consecutive conference matches for the first time since Sept. 27-29, 2002, when an injury-depleted Notre Dame side fell at BIG EAST foes Villanova (2-1) and Georgetown (4-3) ... senior midfielder/tri-captain Elizabeth Tucker posted her fifth career two-goal match against Virginia, and her first brace since Oct. 5, 2012, in a 5-1 win over Seton Hall at Alumni Stadium ... Tucker now has had at least one two-goal match in three of her four seasons at Notre Dame (2010, 2012, 2013) ... Tucker is the fourth Notre Dame player this season to record a two-goal match, and the first since Sept. 26, when sophomore forward Cari Roccaro netted a hat trick in a 5-0 win over No. 21/22 Maryland ... freshman goalkeeper Kaela Little had a career-high nine saves at Virginia, topping her previous best of six stops in the season opener on Aug. 23 (a 4-1 Fighting Irish win over No. RV/25 Illinois at Alumni Stadium) ... Little's nine saves were the most for a Notre Dame goalkeeper in a match since Sept. 7, 2012, when current Fighting Irish sophomore Elyse Hight also turned aside nine shots in a 1-1 draw at No. 19/18 Portland ... junior midfielder Taylor Schneider tallied her second career point with the assist on Tucker's second goal, Schneider's first point since she recorded an assist on Oct. 19, 2012, at DePaul, helping set up a double-overtime goal by her classmate, forward Lauren Bohaboy.
UP NEXT: DUKE
Notre Dame returns to Alumni Stadium to host Duke at 1 p.m. (ET) Oct 20. The match will be streamed live through the Notre Dame multimedia platform, WatchND.
Sunday's match also will serve as the Fighting Irish Senior Day, with the four departing Notre Dame senior players (Mandy Laddish, Nicole Rodriguez, Elizabeth Tucker, Rebecca Twining) and senior manager Tom Feifar honored before the match.
Tickets for the 2013 Notre Dame women's soccer campaign may be purchased through the University's Murnane Family Athletics Ticket Office by calling (574) 631-7356 or visiting the ticket windows at Gate 9 of Purcell Pavilion weekdays from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET). Tickets also can be ordered on-line 24 hours a day with a major credit card through the official Notre Dame athletics ticketing web site, UND.com/tickets. Groups wishing to attend Fighting Irish soccer matches also can receive a discounted ticket rate -- contact Rita Baxter in the Murnane Family Athletics Ticket Office to learn more.
For more information on the Fighting Irish women's soccer program, follow Notre Dame on Twitter (@NDsoccernews or @NDsoccer), like the Fighting Irish on Facebook (facebook.com/NDWomenSoccer) or sign up for the Irish ALERT text-messaging system through the "Fan Center" pulldown menu on the main page at UND.com.
-- Chris Masters, Associate Athletic Media Relations Director