ND Women’s Soccer
Notre Dame prepares for West Coast weekend trip
Observer Sports Staff | Friday, September 9, 2016
No. 20 Notre Dame will begin a four-game road trip this weekend with two games in the Bay Area, facing Santa Clara on Friday night before a clash with No. 2 Stanford on Sunday morning.
The Irish (5-1-0, 0-0-0 ACC) have had success at home this season, winning all five games they’ve played at Alumni Stadium and keeping five clean sheets. But in their one game away from home so far, August’s encounter with Michigan, the Irish lost 2-0. Last year, the Irish had similar success at home, posting an 11-1-0 record, but couldn’t replicate their form on the road or at neutral venues, going a combined 3-4-1 away from home. Notre Dame will hope an improved record on the road will help them achieve more success than in 2015.
In their last encounter, the Irish scraped past Missouri in overtime thanks to a 25-yard shot from freshman forward Jennifer Westendorf. Westendorf is currently the leading scorer for the Irish this season with three goals. Senior forward Kaleigh Olmsted and senior midfielder Cindy Pineda are the leading assisters for the Irish, having created two goals apiece.
The Broncos (2-2-2, 0-0-0 WCC), who sit just outside the top 25 in the NSCAA poll, have been winless in their last four games, tying both of the last two 1-1. With their two wins this season being in overtime and double overtime, Santa Clara has played quite a bit of soccer already with 64 total minutes of overtime overall.
Senior midfielder Jordan Jesolva has recorded three goals and one assist so far this season for Santa Clara. Last year, the Broncos posted a 15-7-2 record, earning an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament where they were defeated by Arizona.
The Cardinal (5-0-0, 0-0-0 Pac-12) have been one of the best teams in the nation so far this year, posting a perfect record, including a 1-0 win over No. 5 Florida. Stanford boasts two TopDrawerSoccer preseason first-team All-Americans in senior goalkeeper Jane Campbell and junior midfielder Andi Sullivan, who has three assists so far. Senior defender Maddie Bauer was also named second-team All-American and senior defender Alana Cook was named to the third team. Sophomore midfielder Jordan DiBiasi leads the Cardinal in goals this season with three.
The last encounter for Stanford was a dominant 3-0 victory over Marquette, where the Cardinal outshot the Golden Eagles 31-2.
Stanford’s strong start to the 2016 season comes after a 2015 campaign in which it won the Pac-12 and earned a top seed for the NCAA tournament, before being upset by Duke in the quarterfinals.
Like the Irish, the Cardinal will come into the game off a short rest after playing Minnesota on Friday.
The Irish and the Broncos will kick off at 10:30 p.m. Friday at Buck Shaw Stadium. Notre Dame’s game against the Cardinal will begin at 2:00 p.m. Sunday at Cagan Stadium.