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Van Zanten’s Late Goal Lifts Irish over Michigan, 1-0

The University of Notre Dame women’s soccer team pulled out a thrilling 1-0 win on the road against rival Michigan Friday night at U-M Soccer Stadium.

Box Score (PDF)

NOTRE DAME, Indiana — The University of Notre Dame women’s soccer team pulled out a thrilling 1-0 win on the road against rival Michigan Friday night at U-M Soccer Stadium. The Irish and Wolverines were scoreless heading into the final five minutes until Kiki Van Zanten’s header in the 87th minute pushed the Irish in front and secured the win.

“It was an incredible moment to score my first career goal and help the team get the win,” said Van Zanten. “I think as a team we are still growing and it is only going to get better from here.”

The whole game was back and forth between the two teams but as regulation was winding down, the Irish (5-0) kept the pressure up. The game-winning goal sequence got started by Luisa Delgado playing a short pass up to Jenna Winebrenner. Winebrenner sent a cross into the middle of the box where Van Zanten had lost her defender and sent the header into the back of the net for her first career goal.

“It was a great team win in a hostile environment on the road,” said head coach Nate Norman. “I thought as the second half wore on we kept pushing forward. I really liked our intensity level and our effort and it led to the winning goal.”

The Irish defense kept their early-season dominance up against the Wolverines (3-2), limiting the chances they had all night. Mattie Interian made a few key saves in the opening half and secured her third shutout of the season. The Irish as a team have had four shutouts and allowed just one goal this season through the first five games.

How it Happened

Michigan had the best chance between the two teams in the opening half as Sarah Stratigakis made a strong run into the box. She got past the Irish defense and fired a shot on goal but Interian was up to the task and deflected the shot away. Raleigh Loughman got to the rebound and put another chance on net but Interian smothered it up for the save.

The best chance for the Irish in the opening half came early in the 15th minute when Delgado got in behind the defense after a through ball from Sammi Fisher. Delgado put some pace on the shot but it was deflected away.

Delgado had another strong opportunity in the second half in the 60th minute. Fisher made another run into the attacking third and sent a pass up to Delgado. She turned quickly and fired a shot from her left foot that sailed just above the keeper but deflected off the bar and out of play.

In the final five minutes, the Irish kept pressuring and it led to the only goal of the match. Delgado made a strong play on the throw-in and sent a short pass to set Winebrenner up for the cross. Winebrenner’s cross was right on the money and Van Zanten was clear of any defender and the keeper for the header and finished it off for the game-winning goal.

Stats of the Match

  • With the win, Notre Dame improves to 5-0 to begin the season. It is the first time since 2008 that the Irish have won five-straight games to begin the season.
  • Kiki Van Zanten is the third Irish player to score her first career goal this season, joining Jenna Winebrenner and Camryn Dyke.
  • Van Zanten is the eighth Irish player to score a goal this season, totaling the number of goals scorers from the 2018 season.

Coming Up Next

The Irish will close out the weekend road trip with a Sunday afternoon matchup against Oakland. It will be the first time in the school the Irish have traveled to Rochester to face the Golden Grizzlies. First touch is set for 4 p.m. ET and the game will be broadcast on ESPN+.

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.