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ND Women’s Soccer

Notre Dame women’s soccer falls 2-1 to UNC in 2OT

| Thursday, October 28, 2021

Notre Dame women’s soccer dropped a heartbreaker Sunday, falling 2-1 to #7 North Carolina in Chapel Hill.

Olivia Wingate got the Irish out of the gates and ahead in the 59th minute, latching onto the end of an impressive combination play by first-year Korbin Albert and graduate student Sammi Fisher and slotting home a one-touch finish to put the Irish up 1-0.

But the lead, which had the Irish on the brink of a major statement win, wasn’t to last. Emily Colton slipped behind a Notre Dame defense that failed to track her back post run in time, allowing the first-year to tap the ball into an empty net for her team high 6th goal.

With regular time ending with the score knotted up at 1, the teams entered the two extra-time periods looking for a winner. In the end, it was the home team that eventually found the three points. Exploiting tired legs and a lack of width in the Irish defense, the Tar Heels worked the ball out wide and in the 101st minute a cross from Emily Moxley found the head of Avery Patterson, who powered the ball into the back of the net.

The walk-off defeat was the second straight for Notre Dame, who had previously lost in Golden Goal fashion just three days prior against No. 2 Duke. The loss to the Tar Heels closes out a rough stretch of three matches for the Irish. Since ACC play begun, it was clear this team was one of the best in the conference. It was hoped that the team would finally break their streak of poor results (the Irish entered the season 0-1-12 against top ten ACC teams in the previous three years) against the elite. This late October stretch of No. 1 Virginia, No. 2 Duke and No. 7 North Carolina was expected to show the teams’ true colors.

And agonizingly, three straight times, it did. Notre Dame remains, heading into tournament play, a team with the potential to pull off a top 10 win, but no tangible results to prove it. Against No. 1 Virginia the Irish held firm for 82 minutes before a pair of Virginia goals put the game out of reach, despite a Korbin Albert stunner pulling Notre Dame back into striking distance. They took the performance up a notch against #2 Duke — holding strong for the entirety of regular time before conceding a winner almost immediately after the start of extra time. The Irish finally took a lead Sunday and seemed to be in the driver’s seat for a crucial win, but North Carolina rallied and sent Notre Dame back to South Bend 0-3 on their road swing.

Notre Dame women’s soccer will be back in action Thursday, as Wake Forest comes to Alumni Stadium for what should be a crucial final match of the season for the Irish. Notre Dame currently sits fifth in conference standings, and with only six teams making the ACC tournament, now the only way to ensure their spot is safe is through a win.

The match will be at 7 p.m., and will be broadcasted on the ACC Network.

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