ND Women’s Soccer: ND draws Iowa in NCAA first round
Observer Staff Report | Tuesday, November 12, 2013
No. 23 Notre Dame drew one of the 64 slots in the NCAA Women’s Soccer Championship tournament and will host Iowa on Friday in the first round.
The selection is the 21st consecutive in the tournament for the Irish (11-7-1, 7-5-1 ACC), who head into the match coming off a double-overtime loss in the ACC tournament quarterfinals to Virginia Tech.
The Hawkeyes (15-6-1, 5-5-1 Big Ten) enter the tournament after a loss to Nebraska in the Big Ten championship game.
Much like Notre Dame, Iowa started off its season hot, winning its first nine games. However, the squad’s success leveled off from there as it took only six of its final 11 matches.
The Irish won nine of their first 11 games but claimed only two games in its last eight contests.
Junior forward Cloe Lacasse leads the Hawkeyes with six goals and seven assists, and the team as a whole averages 1.55 goals per game, compared to Notre Dame’s average of 2.11.
Sophomore goalkeeper Hannah Clark has played every minute between the pipes for Iowa this season and has a 0.94 goals against average, just a bit above the 0.93 average of Irish freshman keeper Kaela Little.
The winner of Friday’s match takes on the victor of the game between Western Michigan and No. 2-seed Marquette. At the top of Notre Dame’s region is No.1-seed Virginia, who beat the Irish in double overtime on Oct. 10.
The ACC claims all four No. 1 seeds in the NCAA tournament, with No.1-overall Florida St., Virginia Tech and North Carolina joining the Cavaliers as top squads. Virginia, Florida State and Virginia Tech all beat the Irish in double overtime this season, and Virginia Tech and UNC both beat Notre Dame by scores of 1-0.
The first four rounds of the tournament take place at campus sites. Once the final four teams reach the semifinals, the tournament then moves to Cary, N.C., where those four compete for the College Cup.
Looking to advance to their eighth champion game, the Irish take on Iowa on Friday at 7 p.m. at Alumni Field.