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Late Goal Propels Irish to ACC Quarterfinals

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NOTRE DAME, Indiana — The Notre Dame women’s soccer team battled the elements along with the Wake Forest Demon Deacons Thursday night at Alumni Stadium with postseason aspirations on the line. After nearly 110 minutes of play, the Irish (10-6-2, 4-4-2 ACC) came out on top, 3-2, after a save deflected off a Wake Forest (6-8-4, 1-6-3 ACC) defender and into the back of the net for the game-winning goal.

“I am incredibly proud of our team for fighting through a ton of adversity not just tonight but the whole season,” said head coach Nate Norman. We have battled a number of injuries and illnesses the past few weeks and had a tough weather environment tonight but they never quit. Even after allowing a late equalizer, they fought back in extra time and scored the game winner to advance on to the ACC Quarterfinals this weekend.” 

Both teams got on the scoresheet in the first half with shots from outside the box and the score was level at halftime. In the later part of the second half, Bea Franklin scored her first career goal and gave the Irish the lead with less than 15 minutes to play. Wake responded with a goal in the final 10 seconds off a corner kick that sent the game to extra time.

In the final minute of the second overtime, Shannon Hendricks got on the end of a cross and fired a shot on net. Raben made the save for the Demon Deacons but the rebound deflected off a nearby defender and made its way into the back of the net for the goal. With the last minute heroics, the Irish claimed the eighth and final spot in the ACC Championship.

How It Happened

A driving wind and rain limited the pace and opportunities for both teams in the opening half as the teams tried to get a feel for what the weather and the field would allow. Wake got the opening goal after Hulda Arnarsdottir settled a deflection just outside the box. After settling the ball, she fired a shot over Littman for the opening goal.

Notre Dame responded in the 43rd minute when Sammi Fisher grabbed a loose ball and took a shot from distance. From nearly 30 yards out, she sent a curling shot towards the left post and it deflected off the keeper into the net for the equalizer.

In the second half, Wake controlled play to start but Littman kept the Demon Deacons at bay and the score remained level as it got closer to the end of regulation. 

In the 76th minute, the Irish capitalized on a loose ball and took the lead. Hendricks headed a ball down from a Wake defender and played it up to Franklin who was heading into the box. She sent a high curling shot around the keeper for the go-ahead goal and the first of her career.

In the final minute of regulation, Wake was able to turn a free kick into a corner with under 30 seconds remaining. Mia Albery corner was sent in right outside the six-yard box and Ryanne Brown connected on the ball for the equalizer with just eight seconds left in regulation.

After a scoreless first overtime period, the Irish put on the offensive pressure as they needed a win to advance to the ACC Championship. In the final minute, they got the goal they were looking for thanks to Hendricks. She pounced on a cross in the box and put a low shot on net. Rabin was there to make the save but the ball found the back of the net after the deflection off the nearby defender. 

Stats of the Match

  • Sammi Fisher notched her team-leading sixth goal of the season in the first half.
  • Bea Franklin scored her first career goal in the second half and is the 11th Irish player to score this season.

Up Next

With the win, Notre Dame qualifies for the upcoming ACC Championship. The Irish head in as the eight seed and travel to Chapel Hill to take on the ACC regular season champion North Carolina Tar Heels. Sunday’s quarterfinal match will kick off at 7 p.m. ET on the ACC Network.

For behind-the-scenes coverage of the Irish women’s soccer program, follow @NDSoccer on Twitter and @NDWSoccer on Instagram. For tickets to a Notre Dame women’s soccer match, click here.