NOTRE DAME, Indiana — The University of Notre Dame women’s soccer team got back on track Thursday night with a 4-0 home win over Pitt at Alumni Stadium. The Irish scored early and often, their third game this season with four goals at home, led by the brace from Kiki Van Zanten.
“I was just grateful for the opportunity to be on the field,” said Van Zanten. “In the first goal I was there to finish it off but with the second, it was an amazing ball from our goalkeeper and I am glad I was on the end of it.”
The Irish (7-3-0, 1-1-0 ACC) defense was spectacular once again. They limited the Panthers (3-5-2, 0-1-1 ACC) to just one shot the entire night and it did not reach frame. It is the sixth shutout of the season and the third of the season for Littman. It was the third game this season the Irish have not allowed a shot on goal.
How it Happened
The Irish got off to a fast start against the Panthers with multiple opportunities in the attacking third. Notre Dame had four corners in the opening 10 minutes and they took advantage on the fourth corner.
Shannon Hendricks sent a high ball in and it was deflected out towards the top of the box. Eva Hurm was sitting just outside the box and put a shot on net. Jenna Winebrenner was right in the path of the shot and deflected the ball past the goalkeeper for the opening goal. It is Winebrenner’s second goal of the season and Hurm tallied her second assist on the year.
The Irish kept up the offensive pressure and it paid off in the final 10 minutes of the half.
Maddie Mercado stood over a free kick about 30 yards away from goal and sent it in towards the six-yard box. None of the Pitt defenders got to the ball and Van Zanten took it off the bounce and slotted it home for the goal. It was the second goal of the year for Van Zanten and Mercado’s first collegiate assist.
In the second half, the offensive onslaught continued for Notre Dame.
Defense led to offense in the 54th minute as Hurm intercepted the pass from the Pitt keeper. She played the ball up to Delgado who took the Pitt defender with her into the box. Delgado laid the pass back to Hurm who slotted the ball inside the far post for her team-leading fourth goal of the year.
Van Zanten was at it again in the 62nd minute. Brooke Littman had a superb goal kick that got behind the Pitt defense while Van Zanten cut in behind them. Van Zanten had just the goalie to beat and her shot got around the keeper and inside the left post for her second goal of the night. Van Zanten is the fourth Irish player to record a brace this season, joining Luisa Delgado, Hurm and Autumn Smithers.
Stats of the Match
- Notre Dame tallied its sixth shutout of the season in the 4-0 win over Pitt.
- Brooke Littman recorded her third shutout of the season. She has allowed just one goal over 360:00 of play.
- Kiki Van Zanten scored in both halves to tally her first career brace. She is the fourth Irish player to have a brace this season.
- The shutout extends the scoreless streak for the Irish over Pitt. They have not allowed a goal against the Panthers in 454:39 of game time that extends back to Sept. 21, 2012.
- Eva Hurm scored her team-high fourth goal of the year off the team-high fourth assist from Luisa Delgado.
- The Irish scored four goals at home for the third time this season. They are 3-1 at home and have outscored opponents 15-3 in those games.
Coming Up Next
The Irish will head down to North Carolina to close out the weekend on the road. The Irish and Tar Heels will square off for a Sunday matinee in Chapel Hill. First touch is set for 1 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on the ACC Network Extra.