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ND Women’s Soccer

Notre Dame women’s soccer to face Detroit Mercy

| Wednesday, September 8, 2021

On Thursday, Notre Dame women’s soccer will look to get back on a winning track as they square off with the Detroit Mercy Titans at home at Alumni Stadium. The Irish are coming off a 3-2 road loss in extra time to Missouri, while the Titans enter having most recently lost 3-2 on the road to Belmont.

Detroit will come to South Bend as, on paper, the Irish’s most favorable out-of-conference matchup yet. The Titans have opened the season 1-5, with lopsided losses to Michigan State, Western Michigan and Toledo (the score lines being 0-4, 1-5 and 1-6 respectively). It appears to be a rebuilding year for the Detroit Mercy Titans. This tough start comes after they hoped to build something new off a disappointing 2-6-1 spring campaign. Freshman Erica Leinweber will likely lead the way up front for the Titans, as the rookie has posted two goals and two assists, tying for the team lead in points. Also of note up front for Detroit is Julie Ann Piechocki, who has three goals in six games. Piechocki and Leinweber have scored all but one of the Titans’ total goals on the year.

Notre Dame should come into Thursday’s contest with plenty of appetite for a major statement victory. This goal is especially important as they close out their out-of-conference schedule this week. The Irish haven’t won a match by more than a goal since August. That being said, the Titans defense should offer the perfect opportunity for the sort of offensive explosion any team would love to have to help find form before kicking off a difficult ACC schedule next Saturday against Syracuse. Notre Dame has also flirted with the national Top 25 this season and could use a major victory to offset their 3-2 loss to Missouri on Sunday.

The Irish attack squad this season has thus far been spread out fairly evenly. Senior forward partnership Olivia Wingate and Sammi Fisher, as well as freshman midfielder Korbin Albert, are the only Notre Dame players who have found the back of the net more than once this season. Look for that stat to potentially change come Thursday though, as ND looks to exploit Detroit’s porous backline.

Notre Dame’s final out-of-conference game will include a change in net. Kaylin Slattery is the assumed new No. 1 at Alumni Stadium, having replaced Mattie Interian when she came off injured against Marquette and then having started the next two matches. With ACC matches against elite offenses like Duke and North Carolina looming, every potential tune-up game to get the sophomore (who had no minutes for the Irish before this year) acclimated to the top level is crucial.

Catch the Irish on the ACC Network at 7 p.m. Thursday or in person at Alumni Stadium as they take on Detroit and look to move to a 5-1-1 record on the season.

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