NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The University of Notre Dame women’s soccer team continued its string of strong performances Sunday afternoon with a 2-0 win over Syracuse. The Irish have won three straight games and picked up a shutout in each of those three wins.
“Overall, very happy to walk out of here with a win,” said head coach Nate Norman. “I thought Syracuse did a good job defending and made it difficult for us to get in the back of the net. I was happy we stayed persistent at it and were able to keep a lot of possession.”
Kiki Van Zanten has been a super sub for the Irish so far this season, providing a number of chances off the bench and Sunday was no different. The sophomore forward scored the opening goal of the game in the 43rd minute off the great assist from Brooke VanDyck. In the waning minutes, Van Zanten was able to deflect a kick from the Syracuse keeper and had a wide open net for her second goal of the match to seal the win for the Irish.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Similar to their previous game against Boston College, the Irish came out on the front foot and created a number of offensive opportunities early on. Syracuse’s keeper was up to the challenge in the first half, making a number of saves on quality chances for the Irish.
The best chance early on for Notre Dame came from the foot of Olivia Wingate in the 19th minute. She beat her defender into the box and had the keeper one-on-one on the left side of the goal. Lysianne Proulx made a great run out of the goal to cut off the angle and scooped up Wingate’s shot for the save.
The Irish kept at it offensively and it paid off in the 43rd minute. With a number of the starters off the field, the bench got Notre Dame in front. VanDyck had a great move to get past her defender and clean into the box. She sent a low cross towards the six-yard box where Van Zanten was waiting for the volley. Van Zanten connected with her right foot and slotted it inside the right post for the first goal of the match.
The Irish took the 1-0 lead into the half and it was another strong defensive effort in the opening 45 minutes. The Irish limited the Orange to just one shot in the first half and it was from a long distance outside the box.
In the second half, the Irish kept the shots coming but Proulx was still keeping them out of the back of the net. Even when Proulx was unable to come up with the save, the crossbar was there to help. Luisa Delgado and Eva Hurm both hit the bar in the second half and kept the Irish from doubling their lead.
Defense led to offense to seal the match for the Irish in the final minutes. Van Zanten put pressure on Proulx prior to her kick and was able to deflect it and settle it inside the box. With a wide open net, Van Zanten calmly put it in the back of the net for her second goal of the match and sixth of the season.
NOTES OF THE MATCH
- Kiki Van Zanten tallied a brace to increase her season total to six goals. She has scored in three straight games and all of them she has come off the bench.
- Notre Dame recorded its third straight shutout with the 2-0 win over Syracuse.
- The Irish improved to 9-0 all time against Syracuse at home and have not allowed a goal in any of those matches.
Notre Dame will have another bye week coming up prior to playing their next match on October 15. The Irish will continue their homestand on the 15th with a matchup against Wake Forest at Alumni Stadium. First touch is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on the ACC Network Extra.