November 28, 1998
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Sophomore forward Vanessa Talbot scored the game-winning goal the 88th minute to lead fifth-seeded Portland to a 2-1 win over fourth-seeded Notre Dame on Saturday in the quarterfinals of the NCAA championship at sun-drenched Alumni Field, with unseasonable temperatures in the high 60s.
The loss snaps Notre Dame’s 45-game unbeaten streak at Alumni Field, dating back to a 5-4 overtime loss to Connecticut on Oct. 6, 1995, and is the first loss in 13 home NCAA championship games for the Irish. Portland improves to 19-2-2 and will face top-seeded North Carolina in the semifinals on Fri., Dec. 4, in Greensboro, N.C. The Irish end the year at 21-3-1, their most losses since finishing 19-3-0 in 1993.
The loss is the earliest NCAA exit for Notre Dame since falling in the regional semifinal in its first appearance in 1993. Portland had lost five consecutive games to the Irish entering the day. The Pilots’ only win had come in the first meeting between the two teams and the only time they had played each other at Alumni Field, a 2-1 Portland win 1992. All seven games in the series have been one-goal games.
Freshman Brooke O’Hanley gave Portland a 1-0 lead at 27:44 when she won the ball on the left sideline and scored from 18 yards out on the left wing into the right corner of the net. The Pilots led for nearly 45 minutes until Irish forward Jenny Heft volleyed in a header by Anne Makinen from a free kick from Jen Grubb at 72:21 to tie game.
With less than three minutes until overtime, Pilot senior Tara Koleski won ball just beyond midfield and slipped a pass through the Irish backline. Talbot ran onto the ball at the top of the box and scored past a charging Irish goalkeeper LaKeysia Beene at 87:06.
Notre Dame outshot Portland 18-12 and had nine corner kicks to one for the Pilots. The Pilots had 24 fouls to Notre Dame’s 12. Beene made five saves, while Portland’s Angela Harrison stopped four shots.