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Sports

Notre Dame heads to Iowa to kick off regular season

| Friday, August 25, 2017

Friday evening, the No. 24 Irish will take on Minnesota at the Iowa Soccer Complex in Iowa City at 6 p.m. This matchup is the squad’s first regular season game away from Alumni Stadium this season, but is considered a neutral site for both teams. Last season, Notre Dame ended the season with a 3-1-4 road game record and a 0-1 record for its only contest at a neutral site.

Irish sophomore forward Jennifer Westendorf dribbles up the pitch during Notre Dame’s 1-0 win over North Carolina State on Oct. 30 at Alumni Stadium in the quarterfinals of the ACC tournament. The Irish went on to drop the semifinal matchup to North Carolina.Observer File Photo

Irish sophomore forward Jennifer Westendorf dribbles up the pitch during Notre Dame’s 1-0 win over North Carolina State on Oct. 30 at Alumni Stadium in the quarterfinals of the ACC tournament. The Irish went on to drop the semifinal matchup to North Carolina.

Notre Dame (1-0-1) ended up on top in its last game against Minnesota (1-0-1) in 2010, which improved the squad’s all-time series record against the Gophers to 2-1. Each of the three contests between the two teams have been determined by only one goal; more specifically, each game has been low scoring with the final score resting at 1-0.

Notre Dame then faces Iowa on Sunday at Iowa Soccer Complex at 3 p.m. The Irish have a 1-0 lead in the all-time series against the Hawkeyes. The only time the two teams met was at Alumni Stadium in 2013 for the first round of the NCAA championships when Notre Dame walked away with the 4-1 triumph. Sunday’s game will be streamed live on the Big 10 Network Plus.

Notre Dame’s two games this weekend come after the team’s 0-0 draw with Butler on Friday and its 4-0 victory over Ball State on Sunday. After those two contests, all eyes are on Jennifer Westendorf after her three-point performance on Sunday, as the sophomore forward netted one goal while garnering two assists. Another standout is sophomore Brooke Littman, recent starter at goalie, who has two shutouts under her belt after only two career starts.

After last weekend’s games, the United Soccer Coaches Poll listed seven ACC teams in the top 25. Notre Dame is at No. 24, preceded by five ACC teams, including No. 4 North Carolina, No. 6 Florida State, and No. 10 Virginia.

Additionally, No. 3 South Carolina will be visiting Notre Dame on Sept. 1 for its first-ever contest against the Irish.

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