Dec. 15, 2017

By Megan Golden

As women’s soccer student-athletes head home for Christmas break and the 2017 calendar year concludes, the Irish faithful are encouraged to check out this past season’s top-five moments.

No. 5: Jennifer Westendorf collected one of five “first goals” this season at the 57:24 mark of No. 24 Notre Dame’s game against No. 4 North Carolina to give the Irish a 1-0 advantage. Notre Dame ultimately battled the Tar Heels to a 1-1 draw at WakeMed Park in Cary, North Carolina, to close the regular season. Westendorf’s five first goals in 2017 rank tied for the 16th-most in program history.

No. 4: In the final minute of Notre Dame’s 4-0 shutout victory over Ball State, senior Katie Uhler scored her first career goal on the team’s home turf at Alumni Stadium. Uhler rebounded Sammi Fisher’s shot off the crossbar and netted a goal with 89:07 on the clock to secure Notre Dame’s first win of the season on Aug. 20.

No. 3: Midway through a career season for graduate student Sandra Yu, the Irish midfielder turned in a single-game career-high five points against No. 24 NC State on Sept. 24. Yu’s two goals and assist led the Irish to a 4-0 shutout victory against the Wolfpack, one of seven four-goal showings in 2017.

No. 2: Playing on the road against No. 18 Florida State on Oct. 19, the Irish trailed the Seminoles 3-2 with 10 minutes remaining in regulation. Notre Dame drew a foul roughly 35 yards out with 82:01 on the clock, and Jennifer Westendorf capitalized with a game-tying goal on the ensuing free kick. Just five minutes later (87:35), Sammi Fisher netted her second goal of the game on a pass from Sabrina Flores, giving Notre Dame a 4-3 come-from-behind win — its fourth on the road and third against a ranked opponent.

No. 1: Competing for its first trip to the NCAA sweet sixteen since 2014, Notre Dame had battled No. 6-ranked Texas A&M to a 2-2 draw after two overtimes in front of 2,582 fans at Ellis Field. The Irish, who previously defeated IUPUI 5-0 in the NCAA First Round, ultimately advanced on penalty kicks, 4-1, ending Texas A&M’s 14-game winning streak and eliminating the No. 2-seeded Aggies from the postseason.