March 1, 2014
Hokies open conference play with No. 12 Notre Dame
Tech looks to keep three-game win streak going in league play

PDF Game Notes

Series Info

All Time vs. Notre Dame: 0-4 • At VT: 0-2 • At ND: 0-2 • Neutral: 0-0

Notes: The Hokies and Fighting Irish are reunited as conference opponents this season ... Notre Dame leads the all-time series 4-0, with all four meetings coming as BIG EAST foes ... The two teams have never faced off outside of league play or in the post season ... This is the fourth straight matchup that Notre Dame ranks in the top 15 in the nation ... Most recently, Tech fell to No. 3 Notre Dame 18-11 in South Bend in 2004.

Scouting Notre Dame

The Irish enter the weekend at 2-2 on the season after falling at No. 1 North Carolina, 19-9, on Thursday in their first road game of the 2014 season. Notre Dame began conference play with a loss to then-No. 17 Boston College, 15-10, but did knock off No. 12 Stony Brook at home.

Cortney Fortunato leads the attack with 11 goals so far this season, while Caitlin Gargan has seven goals and five assists on the year. Brie Custis and Margaret Smith have helped pace the Irish defense, combining for 20 gound balls and 13 caused turnovers.

Allie Murray has made 15 saves so far this year and boasts the team’s 2-2 record as well as a .333 save percentage.

Hokie Notes

-- Redshirt senior Julia Heaps set a career high with five goals and seven points in the season opener at James Madison.

-- Heaps became the second Hokie on the 2014 roster to rank among the all-time best as her three assists against High Point moved her into tenth place.

-- Three players (Bartley, Heaps, Macera) have scored in every game so far this season, while junior Megan Will in on an 8-game streak dating back to last season.

-- The Hokies return six starters from last season, including five of the team’s top seven scorers from a year ago.

-- Tech finished the 2013 season at 8-8 and has yet to suffer a losing season since head coach Megan Burker took over in 2011.

-- Seniors Julia Heaps, Kelly Naslonski, Lindsay Roche and Becca Niles will captain the Hokies this season.

-- Tech welcomes 10 freshmen this season, as well as two new assistant coaches.

-- In this week’s polls, seven of Tech’s opponents are rankednationally, with another receiving votes.

-- Junior Meg Bartley returns for the Hokies this year after leading the ACC in draw controls last season and ranking in the top 20 in the nation.

Last Time Out

The Hokies picked up a 15-8 midweek win at Longwood earlier in the week and were led by junior Megan Will’s 5-goal, 2-assist performance. Tech jumped out to a 5-1 lead after a slow start by both teams and went into the half up 6-3. A five goal run in the second half helped seal the win for the Hokies.

Meg Bartley won eight draws for the second straight game, while goalie Meagh Graham finished the game with five saves and four caused turnovers.

Against The Best

Being in the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Hokies play a number of the nation’s best teams and players on a weekly basis. Tech began the season facing James Madison, who is receiving votes in the IWLCA Poll, and open conference play with No. 12/12 Notre Dame. All seven of Tech’s conference opponents rank in the top 20 in both polls with five of them ranking in the top 10.

Although Tech is just 5-74 against ranked opponents, the Hokies have knocked off two ranked opponents in two of the last three seasons, and earned their first-ever defeat of a top-10 foe when they topped then-No. 7 Virginia in 2012.

Record Watch

Junior Meg Bartley has already broken into the all-time top 10, and ranks fourth with 136 career draws. She has also made her second notch on the single-seasons draw list, ranking second with 69 last year.

Redshirt senior Julia Heaps broke onto the all-time assists list against High Point. She is currently tied for eighth all-time with 37.

Junior Megan Will’s 42 goals last season landed her on the single-season scoring list, ranking seventh. She is on pace to break into the all-time scoring list this season, needing just nine more goals. She has scored 84 to date.

Will to be the Best

Junior Megan Will has scored in all four games for the Hokies and is in the midst of a scoring streak that dates back to last season. She neared a career high at Longwood, after setting the mark against Longwood a year ago, when she put away five goals and two assists.

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