No. 22 Irish Take Down Wake Forest 2-1 on Senior Night – Notre Dame Fighting Irish – Official Athletics Website

No. 22 Irish Take Down Wake Forest 2-1 on Senior Night – Notre Dame Fighting Irish – Official Athletics Website

NOTRE DAME, Ind. –  The No. 22 Notre Dame women’s soccer team (13-4-1, 7-3-0) ended the regular season with a 2-1 victory over the visiting Wake Forest Demon Deacons (14-3-0, 6-3-0) Thursday night inside a wet Alumni Stadium. 

With the win, the Fighting Irish secured the No. 4 seed in the ACC Tournament and will host Clemson on Sunday, Oct. 31, at either 6 p.m. or 8 p.m. That match will air live on ACC Network. 

Sophomore goalkeeper Ashley Naylor was certainly the star of the match, recording diving save after diving save tonight to notch a career best 10 saves.  

On the offensive end, Sammi Fisher earned her 11th goal of the season, while Olivia Wingate earned her fifth assist, tying Kati Druzina for the most assists on the team. 

However, the gamewinner belonged to Maddie Mercado, marking her third of the season and fourth goal overall. Mercado tallied the go-ahead goal in dramatic fashion, scoring directly off a corner kick in the 83rd minute.  

How It Happened

Naylor was tested early and made a huge save in the seventh minute, diving to her left to block a shot from Wake Forest’s Ryanne Brown. Naylor later handled some pressure in the 21st and 28th minute but stood her ground to keep the Demon Deacons at bay. All-in-all, she recorded six saves in the half.

On the offensive end, it was the Wingate/Fisher combo that struck again, as the latter scored in the 20th minute. A back-heel pass from Druzina found Wingate who then slotted a thru ball past a few Wake Forest defenders. Fisher outran the final defender and poked it past the keeper for the goal. 

Naylor continued her strong play into the second half, recording more diving saves in both the 55th and 65th minutes.

Unfortunately, Notre Dame got a tad unlucky in the 70th minute when Wake Forest found the equalizer. Shayla Smart recorded the goal off a deflection from an Irish defender.  

Yet, the Irish showed fight by battling back and getting the go-ahead goal and game-winner from Maddie Mercado in the 83rd minute. Mercado bent the ball perfectly to the far post and over the keeper, directly off the corner kick. 

Up Next

It’ll be a rematch from Oct. 10 when No. 4 Notre Dame hosts No. 5 Clemson in the quarterfinal round of the ACC Tournament. Only the top-six seeded teams made this year’s ACC Tourney.

— ND —


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