COLUMBIA, South Carolina — The University of Notre Dame women’s soccer team is hitting the road for another regular season rematch Friday night when they take on the fifth-ranked South Carolina Gamecocks in the second round of the NCAA Championship. The two teams met in Columbia back in September and the Irish will look to overcome the 2-1 defeat this weekend.
Van Zanten Lifts Irish Past Billikens
- The start of the NCAA Championship was déjà vu for the Irish as they faced off with the Saint Louis Billikens, the same squad they went against in the season opener.
- Similar to the season opener, it was a defensive battle for both squads as it remained scoreless for most of the first half.
- After getting through the opening minutes of the game were Saint Louis was out on the front foot, the Irish regained much of the possession and began playing more in the attacking third.
- In the 41st minute, an Irish corner kick led to the opening goal of the match. Sammi Fisher delivered a high ball that grazed the bar and fell into a scrum of players. Kiki Van Zanten was in the right spot at the right time and got her foot on the ball to send it over the line for her fourth goal of the season.
- The Irish packed it in defensively after the goal and did not allow the Billikens a shot on goal the rest of the game.
- The shutout was Notre Dame’s 10th of the season and the 43rd shutout in the NCAA Championship in school history.
Irish In The NCAA’s
- The Irish have advanced in the NCAA Championship for the 23rd time in school history after the first round win over Saint Louis.
- The last time the Irish advanced to the second round, they faced off with an SEC opponent on their home turf.
- The Irish advanced over No. 2 seed Texas A&M on penalty kicks on Nov. 17, 2017. The score was deadlocked at 2-2 after 110 minutes and the Irish moved on 4-1 on PK’s. Eva Hurm and Natalie Jacobs scored in regulation and the Irish did not miss on any of their four PK attempts.
- Notre Dame returned to the NCAA Championship for the 26th time in the last 27 years this year after a 10-7-2 regular season and a berth in the ACC Tournament.
- The Irish are 69-21-3 all-time in the NCAA Championship and have won three national titles (1995, 2004, 2010) while making 12 appearances in the College Cup.
Know the Opponent: South Carolina Gamecocks
- The Irish will square off with another familiar foe Friday night in the second round of the NCAA Championship as the Irish travel to Columbia to take on the South Carolina Gamecocks.
- This is the second matchup between the Irish and Gamecocks this year as Notre Dame visited Columbia back on Sept. 12. The Gamecocks came out on top, 2-1, thanks to a penalty kick goal in the first half and a late insurance goal in the second half.
- The fifth-ranked Gamecocks earned a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Championship after claiming the SEC Tournament Championship after defeating Arkansas on Nov. 10.
- This will be the second straight conference champion the Irish will face as the Billikens were the A-10 Tournament Champion.
- South Carolina enters Friday’s match with a 17-1-3 record and are riding a 14-game unbeaten streak (11-0-3).
- South Carolina has tallied five straight shutouts and have not allowed a goal since the second half against Florida on Oct. 27. The shutout streak has spanned 491:36 minutes of game time.
Irish Facts and Figures
- Notre Dame is set to face its seventh top-10 opponent this season and all seven matchups have been on the road. This will be the second matchup against a top-10 ranked Gamecock squad after their previous meeting on Sept. 12.
- Juniors Sammi Fisher and Eva Hurm were both named to the All-ACC third team by the league’s coaches at the end of the regular season.
- Hurm was also named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District first team while Shannon Hendricks and Brooke Littman earned second team honors.
- 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.
- 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.