RALEIGH, N.C. – Off to a strong start which has included five wins in its first six matches, the North Carolina State University women’s soccer team prepares for a Thursday evening visit from No. 8 Notre Dame. The Wolfpack and Fighting Irish will kick off from Dail Soccer Field at 7 p.m. with the match set to be broadcast to a national audience on ESPN3.
In its last game action, the Wolfpack took down visiting UNC Wilmington by a final score of 2-1 on Sunday afternoon. Sophomore forward Brittany Stanko (Glenmore, Pa.) played a huge role in NC State’s victory, scoring both Wolfpack goals. Freshman goalkeeper Mackenzie Stelljes (Charlotte, N.C.) was vital to the winning effort as well, making a season-high eight saves throughout the course of the 90 minutes.
EIGHT TO THE GOOD Through the first six matches of the 2013 season, NC State has posted a +8 goal differential, scoring 15 goals while allowing just seven.
NEARLY TOP OF THE LEAGUE Freshman forward Jackie Stengel has made an immediate impact in her first six matches with the Wolfpack. The Melbourne, Fla., native is currently tied for fourth place in the ACC with five goals, and is just one tally shy of the top spot. Stengel ranks 21st in the country in goals scored as of the latest official NCAA statistics release (Sept. 9).
THE SHOT STOPS HERE Despite having played just four matches, Mackenzie Stelljes ranks second in the ACC in goalkeeper saves. The redshirt freshman has made 20 stops in four matches, putting her just three saves behind the leader. Stelljes ranks atop the league in saves per game (5) and made a conference season-high eight saves in a win against UNCW on Sept. 8.
WOLFPACK TRADITION Sunday’s win over UNCW marked the 600th match in NC State program history. The Wolfpack has won 317 matches since the program’s first season began in 1984.
UP-TEMPO OFFENSE NC State’s 2.50 goals per match mark currently ranks 37th of 329 NCAA programs.
MS. CONSISTENCY To this point in the season, Jackie Stengel has been counted upon for nearly one goal per match. Her 0.833 goals per contest mark currently ranks 44th in the country.
SCOUTING THE FIGHTING IRISH -Notre Dame enters Thursday’s match the owner of a 4-1 record. -The Fighting Irish have dispatched Illinois, Northwestern, Oakland, and Detroit this season -ND’s only loss came at the hands of current No. 5 UCLA -Notre Dame has outscored its opponents by a 16-3 margin in 2013 -Thursday’s match will be Notre Dame’s first away from home this season -Notre Dame is tied for the second best defense in the ACC, allowing a mere 0.60 goals per match -Lauren Bohaboy leads the Irish with five goals in five matches -Kaela Little is the team’s leading goalkeeper with 16 saves and three goals allowed
NC STATE - NOTRE DAME SERIES HISTORY -Thursday’s match marks just the third all-time meeting between NC State and Notre Dame -The two programs are tied 1-1 in the all-time series -The last meeting between the programs was on Sept. 24, 1993 in South Bend, Ind. Notre Dame shut out the Wolfpack by a final count of 3-0 -NC State earned a 4-3 victory in the first meeting between the two programs, defeating the Fighting Irish in Raleigh on Sept. 5 to open the 1992 season
A NEW ERA BEGINS The 2013 season marks the beginning of Tim Santoro’s career as a head coach. The New Jersey native most recently served as an associate head coach at fellow ACC school Wake Forest, and, prior to that, College of Charleston.