Oct. 26, 2017
By Megan Golden
CARY, N.C. — The No. 24 University of Notre Dame women’s soccer team battled No. 4 North Carolina to a 1-1 draw in double-overtime on Thursday.
The Irish (9-5-4, 5-3-2) dominated the Tar Heels (12-2-2, 8-0-2) until the final minute of regulation, closing their regular season with a 3-3-2 mark against ranked opponents. Notre Dame remains unbeaten in its last six road games, going 4-0-2 in those contests.
Notre Dame’s defense, which has limited teams to 13 goals in the second half or later, nearly shut out a North Carolina team that had been held scoreless just twice prior to Thursday.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã‹Å“Ã‹Å“️ HIGHLIGHTS ÃƒÂ¢Ã‹Å“Ã‹Å“️
– ND Women’s Soccer (@NDSoccer) October 27, 2017
How It Happened
Playing at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary — North Carolina’s home field for the 2017 season — the Irish and the Tar Heels got off to a slow start with several errant first touches from both sides early.
Notre Dame’s defense helped it control possession for much of the first half, keeping the ball in front of the back line and pushing play down the field.
Graduate student Sandra Yu led Notre Dame with four first-half shots. The Irish offense rattled off eight shots to North Carolina’s four, but Notre Dame entered halftime in a scoreless tie for the eighth time this season.
Notre Dame, which has shined in the second half all season, wasted little time getting to work in the final 45 minutes.
In the 58th minute, Yu broke away from a defender and connected with the ACC Offensive Player of the Week, Jennifer Westendorf, who scored her career-high ninth goal of the season (57:24) to give the Irish a 1-0 lead. Westendorf fielded Yu’s pass just left of the center of the field and scored in the bottom left of the net.
The goal from the Irish sophomore was just the ninth goal allowed by North Carolina all season.
North Carolina fought back, picking up many opportunities offensively in the ensuing minutes. The Tar Heels took four corner kicks in the second half, while the Irish collected just one.
Notre Dame’s defense battled for nearly 90 minutes, but a goal from North Carolina’s B Andrzejewski at the 89:45 mark evened the score at 1-1. The last-minute goal took the Irish to overtime for the sixth time in 2017.
The Irish and the Tar Heels battled through two overtime periods, but neither team was able to find the back of the net in extra time as they finished in a 1-1 draw.
Note of the Match
As a team, the Irish have recorded 36 goals so far this season, 10 more than their 2016 scoring total. Notre Dame’s 36 goals are its most since 2015 (37) and are tied for the second-most since 2013 (45).
- The Irish are 5-1-2 on the road in 2017, including going 5-1-3 away from home (includes neutral-site matchup).
- Notre Dame owns a 7-17-3 record all-time against North Carolina. The Irish move to 5-3-1 on the road against the Tar Heels.
- Sophomore Jennifer Westendorf owns a career-high nine goals, three more than her previous single-season career high (six).
- Senior goalkeeper Lexi Nicholas collected five saves against the Tar Heels.
Coming Up Next
Notre Dame earned the No. 6 seed in the ACC Championship and is scheduled to face No. 3 NC State at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday at the Dail Soccer Field/Track Complex. The Irish previously shut out the Wolfpack 4-0 at Alumni Stadium on Sept. 24.
Megan Golden, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since August of 2016. In her role, she coordinates all media efforts for the Notre Dame women’s soccer and cross country/track and field programs. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Golden is a 2014 graduate of Saint Mary’s College and former Irish women’s basketball manager. Prior to arriving at Notre Dame, she worked in public relations with the Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox.