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ND Women’s Soccer: Team travels west for matchup with Stanford

Joe Meixell | Friday, September 11, 2009

Following a tough loss last weekend to top-ranked North Carolina, No. 5 Notre Dame has a chance to redeem itself against another top-five competitor when it takes a school-record 15-game road winning streak to the Santa Clara/adidas Classic tonight in Santa Clara, Calif.

The Irish will face off against the Santa Clara Broncos Friday night before taking on the No. 3 Stanford Cardinal in a marquee matchup Sunday morning.

Notre Dame (3-1-0) is 9-5 all-time against Santa Clara (3-2-0), who will provide a solid game for the Irish before their clash with the Cardinal. The Irish and Broncos have a history of meeting each other in big games, having met each other three times in the College Cup. In their most recent College Cup matchup, the Irish defeated the Broncos 1-0 in the semifinals en route to their second national title.

The teams also met last year in South Bend at the Inn at Saint Mary’s Classic where the Irish earned a 2-0 victory over the Broncos.

Senior Jordan Angeli leads a talented Broncos squad in scoring with five points off two goals and one assist.

In Sunday’s game, the Irish hope to regroup from their last top-five matchup, which ended with a 6-0 loss to UNC in Notre Dame’s first game at new Alumni Stadium. The Cardinal (5-0) have looked dominant this season en route to their undefeated record, outscoring their opponents by a total of 19-5 in their first five matches.

However, the Irish will provide the first true test for the Cardinal, who have only played one team currently receiving votes in the NSCAA Top-25 poll.

Senior Kelley O’Hara leads the Cardinal with 16 points this season off of six goals and two assists.

The Irish hold a slight 6-4-1 advantage in their all-time series with the Cardinal, including a 2-1-1 record in neutral site meetings.

The Irish and Cardinal’s last meeting came in last season’s College Cup semifinal where Notre Dame out-dueled Stanford in a 1-0 thriller. Current Irish sophomore Courtney Barg scored the game’s only goal in the 15th minute and the Irish defense shut down the Cardinal the rest of the way to earn a berth in the College Cup final.

Current senior goalkeeper Kelsey Lysander played a full 90 minutes in the win, tallying a career-high seven saves in the shutout.

The Irish are scheduled to play the Broncos tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Buck Shaw Stadium and will take the field for their match against the Cardinal at 11 a.m. Sunday.