The Hurricanes’ soccer team defeated No. 14 Notre Dame 1-0 in an overtime thriller at Cobb Stadium Friday night.
With time about to expire in double overtime, the Fighting Irish found themselves in great position to score with the ball in the box off a corner kick, but the ball somehow managed to squirt out going Miami’s way for the counter-attack. Senior forward Amy Schmidt gave junior forward Gracie Lachowecki a great pass that she could run with down the field. Lachowecki capitalized; she used her speed to outrun two defenders and kicked a fastball to the left for the goal and the win with 4:29 left in the overtime period.
“Luckily, I got a good touch and got a good shot off. Amy played me a great ball,” Lachowecki said after the game. The goal is her fifth of the season, which leads the team.
Facing one of the top teams in the country, Coach Mary-Frances Monroe simplified what Miami needed to do, and they went out and executed.
“We had a gameplan; first half, we didn’t connect as well as we would have,” Monroe said. “We talked about it at halftime, and we knew that there would be open spaces for Gracie. Exactly how she scored into those spaces is where I thought we would be successful.”
The match started off with the Canes playing conservatively, a smart move to combat the aggressive offensive play by the Fighting Irish. In the first 25 minutes, Notre Dame had already attempted four shots, two on goal, and one corner, but Miami’s defense held strong with two nice saves by redshirt sophomore goal keeper Catalina Perez.
The Canes remained committed to their game plan, focusing on defense. They succeeded in keeping the Fighting Irish off the scoreboard. Freshman midfielder Ainsly Wolfinbarger, who is usually one to set up others for scores (four assists this season), had a scoring mindset in the first half getting off two shot attempts, one of them on goal. Despite the valiant effort, the Canes were unable to score either, leading to a halftime score of 0-0.
Miami (4-7-0, 1-3-0) immediately started the second half with more aggression. The Canes showcased some sharp passing within the first five minutes, clearly trying to up the pace on offense. However, Notre Dame did not fold. The Irish remained attacking on offense with two more shots on goal and a corner kick attempt within the first 15 minutes of the second half.
During the 76th and 77th minute, Miami had two great opportunities to score. Sophomore forward/midfielder Grace Rapp had a good looking shot on goal, but it was saved by Notre Dame’s goalkeeper Kaela Little. Freshman midfielder Jamie Brunworth had a powerful shot attempt from right outside the box that hit the crossbar.
Notre Dame (8-3-1, 1-3-0) came right back with a counter-attack in the 78th minute where Canes goalkeeper Perez made an incredible sliding save to prevent a score by Anna Gilbertson. The score after 90 minutes remained 0-0, so the game went into extra time.
In overtime, the teams continued to be neck-and-neck. Every time the Fighting Irish had a promising play, the Hurricanes would come right back with one of their own. After the first 10-minute period, the score was still tied at zero.
The Canes started the second and final overtime period with an almost perfect play. Wolfinbarger kicked an excellent corner leading to a header by senior forward Jasmine Paterson, but it was blocked.
Miami also played in double overtime last Sunday against No. 7 Clemson, but fell 2-1 to the Tigers.
The Canes will look to add to this impressive win when they face off against ACC opponent Duke at 7 p.m. Thursday at Cobb Stadium.