#8 Notre Dame Women's Soccer 2013 Preview

Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Overall Rank: #8
Conference Rank:  #5 ACC
#8 Notre Dame Women's Soccer 2013 Preview
Notre Dame Team Page


Notre Dame enters its first season in the ACC after a trip to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament. The Irish, who are coming over from the Big East, now join arguably the top conference in women's soccer. But the Irish look as if they will fit right in in their new conference as they are one of the more tradition-rich programs in the sport. Notre Dame has qualified for 20 NCAA Tournaments in the program's 26-year history and has a 479-88-27 record in those 26 years. Yes, Notre Dame has won 83 percent of its matches and has not lost a total of 100 games in program history. With much of last year's squad returning, it's no shock the Irish are ranked this high in the preseason poll.

2012 Record: 16-6-2, 8-1-1 (Big East)
2012 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Randy Waldrum

Notre Dame enters its inaugural ACC season as one of the most experienced teams, bringing back 10 of 11 starters. What is most impressive is that every player that scored a goal returns, led by sophomore Crystal Thomas, who had 10 goals in her freshman campaign. Lauren Bohaboy had seven goals as a sophomore and Cari Roccaro six in her first season. The Irish had 12 freshman on last year's roster, with nine of them playing in 16 or more games and three of them being among the top four scorers. As impressive as the offense was, the defense may have been more so. Notre Dame used four goalies last year and they combined to give up 18 goals on the year. Elyse Hight got her college career off on the right foot, playing more than 1,400 minutes, being in goal for five of the team's 10 shutouts and having a 0.00 GAA in conference play.  Sarah Voight played just over 740 minutes and was a part of three shutouts, while giving up 0.92 GAA in Big East play.

There aren't going to be many weaknesses for the Irish this season. The biggest weakness might be adjusting to the level of play in conference. Going from a conference that had two other NCAA Tournament teams, to one that had nine, including two Final Four teams, is a big jump in competition. Including an exhibition win over Virginia, the Irish were 2-2 against ACC opponents last season. Playing that competition day in-day out will be a challenge for the Irish.

Final Projection:
The Fighting Irish will be good.  Very good. And to add to the already embarrassment of riches, Notre Dame brings in a ridiculously talented recruiting class, led by two-time Gatorade National Player of the Year Morgan Andrews. Andrews piled up 114 goals and 52 assists in her prep career. Three of the six signees won Gatorade Player of the Year awards in their respective states and five are four stars. Top Drawer Soccer ranked the class as the third best in the country. In addition to the challenging ACC schedule, the Irish face off against Oakland, Northwestern, Illinois, Detroit and UCLA. The month of October pays the Irish no favors, as they play Wake Forest, Miami, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Duke, Boston College and Florida State. That is seven NCAA teams in eight games, including six in a row. One thing is for sure...when the NCAA Tournament comes, the Irish will be plenty tested and plenty ready. 

Projected Postseason: NCAA

Returning Leaders:
Goals: Crystal Thomas, Sophomore, F, 10
Assists: Brittany Van Rueden, Sophomore, D, 7
Shots: Lauren Bohaboy, Junior, F, 72
Saves: Elyse Hight, Sophomore, 57

Madness 2014 NWSL Draft Rankings:
#11 Mandy Laddish

Madness 2013 Women’s Soccer Recruit Rankings:
#1 Morgan Andrews
#13 Sandra Yu
#90 Rilka Noel
#130 Mariel Adams


See All Women's Soccer Top 44 Team Previews