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Irish Head Off for ACC Quarterfinals Against North Carolina

NOTRE DAME, Indiana — The University of Notre Dame women’s soccer team is back in the ACC tournament and are set to face the top seed and regular season champion North Carolina Tar Heels Sunday night at Dorrance Field.

Irish Facts and Figures

  • Notre Dame is set to face its sixth top-10 opponent this season in the quarterfinal matchup with the Tar Heels with all six previous occurrences coming on the road.
  • In the most recent matchup against a top-10 team, Notre Dame tied with No. 9 Duke, 1-1, on Oct. 24 at Koskinen Stadium. Olivia Wingate scored the late equalizer in the 86th minute and the two teams were unable to score in extra time.
  • The Irish are looking for their first road win over a top-10 opponent since Sept. 24, 2015 when they defeated No. 1 Virginia 2-1 in Charlottesville.
  • Junior midfielder Sammi Fisher leads the team with 16 points and six goals on the year.
  • Fisher scored her team-leading sixth goal in the first half of the season-finale win over Wake Forest.
  • Fisher notched her first career hat trick in the 3-0 win over Miami. It was Notre Dame’s first hat trick since 2013 when Cari Roccaro scored three against No. 21 Maryland. 
  • Fisher tied a Notre Dame record for most goals in a half when she scored all three in the second half. Fisher’s goals all came in a span of 11:58 minutes of game time.
  • Brooke Littman leads the squad with six shutouts in 12 games this season. She has allowed 13 goals in 1139:34 minutes of game time, good for a 1.03 goals against average. 
  • Littman currently ranks second in the ACC in shutouts (6) and eighth in the conference in goals against average (0.96).
  • 11 different players have scored so far this season after only eight different players scored during the entire 2018 campaign. Bea Franklin scored her first career goal in the second half in the win against Wake Forest.
  • The Irish have four players that have tallied a brace so far this season. Eva Hurm and Luisa Delgado scored twice against Northwestern and Autumn Smithers scored both goals against Western Michigan. Kiki Van Zanten was the latest Irish to tally a brace in the win over Pitt.

Late Goal Propels Irish to ACC Quarterfinals

  • The Irish went into the ACC regular season finale against Wake Forest with postseason aspirations and were holding on to the eighth and final spot in the ACC Championship. 
  • Wake scored the game’s first goal but Notre Dame leading goal scorer got them right back in it. With just minutes to go in the first half, Sammi Fisher connected on a shot from almost 30 yards out to net the equalizer and bring the score to 1-1 at the break.
  • Playing as the center forward for most of the second half, Bea Franklin tallied her first career goal in the 76th minute to put the Irish ahead 2-1. A late Wake Forest equalizer in the final seconds sent the game to extra time.
  • In the final minute of the second overtime, Shannon Hendricks corralled a cross in the box and took a shot on net. The Wake keeper made the initial save but the rebound deflected off a nearby defender and into the back of the net for the game winning goal.
  • With the win, the Irish secured the final spot in the ACC Championship and are set to play the No. 1 seed North Carolina Tar Heels

Know the Opponent: North Carolina Tar Heels

  • Two of the most storied programs in women’s soccer will meet for the second time this season and the 30th meeting all-time Sunday night in the ACC Quarterfinals.
  • The Tar Heels lead the all-time series 19-7-3 but the Irish hold a 5-4-1 edge in games played in Chapel Hill.
  • This will be the second meeting all-time between the Tar Heels and Irish in the ACC Championship. The previous meeting occurred in 2016 when North Carolina defeated Notre Dame 2-1 in the ACC Semifinals.
  • The Tar Heels are Notre Dame’s second most common opponent behind UConn but these two teams have met 10 different times in the NCAA Tournament, with a number of those occasions being in the College Cup. 
  • The Irish and Tar Heels have met five times in the College Cup final and twice in the College Cup semifinal. The Irish knocked off North Carolina 4-1 in the 2010 College Cup semifinal en route to the program’s third national title. 
  • North Carolina enters Sunday’s matchup with a 16-1-1 record, a 10-game unbeaten streak and claimed the ACC regular season championship after the 2-0 win over Virginia Tech on Oct. 27.