Nov. 26, 2000
The pairings and game times are set for the NCAA Women's Soccer
College Cup semifinals, with top-seeded Notre Dame to meet No. 5 seed North
Carolina in the first game (5:00 p.m. PST) on Friday, Dec. 1, followed by
the Portland-UCLA semifinal at approximately 7:30 p.m.
Both semifinals and Sunday's championship game (12:30 p.m.) will be
played in San Jose, Calif., at Spartan Stadium.
ESPN2 will broadcast both semifinals on a delayed basis (Saturday,
Dec. 2, beginning at 3:00 p.m. EST) while the championship game will be
broadcast live by ESPN2.
Notre Dame was the only top-four seed that advanced to the
semifinals, with Washington losing to Portland and Nebraska losing to
Connecticut (both in the third round) while 6th-seeed UCLA knocked off
3rd-seeded Clemson in the quarterfinals (2-1).
Portland joined UCLA in securing quarterfinal victories on
Saturday, with the Pilots posting a 1-0 overtime win at Penn State.
UNC (19 out of 19), Notre Dame (6) and Portland (5) have combined
to make 30 trips to the NCAA semifinals while UCLA will be playing in the
semifinal round for the first time.
Since the founding of the Notre Dame women's soccer program in
1988, only UNC (13) and Santa Clara (7) have made more trips to the
semifinals than Notre Dame's six (which also is tied for third all-time).
Notre Dame has postseason experience with each of the other
semifinalists, including an 8-0 victory over UCLA in the 1997 NCAA
quarterfinals (the only series meeting between the teams).
North Carolina and Notre Dame steadily built on their rivalry during the
second half of the 1990s and rank 1-2 among many national records,
including all-time NCAA Tournament winning percentage (the Irish are
23-6-1). UNC leads the ND series 7-2-2, including a 4-0-1 record in the
last five games vs. the Irish.
Notre Dame and UNC met at both ends of the 1999 season, with the Tar
Heels rallying in the season opener for a goal in the closing minutes of
regulation before winning in double overtime (3-2). Three months later, UNC
topped the Irish 2-0 in the NCAA title game.
The first game of the series produced a 3-0 UNC win in '93 (in Houston)
but the rivalry immediately picked up steam on Oct. 2, 1994, when the Irish
ended UNC's 92-game winning streak with an 0-0 tie in a game played in St.
Louis. UNC got revenge in the '94 NCAA title game (5-0) and beat the Irish
in a midseason game the next season (2-0, in Houston).
Six weeks after that 2-0 game, the teams met again in the NCAA semifinals
(at UNC's Fetzer Field) and an own goal sent Notre Dame on the championship
game, where the Irish beat Portland in triple overtime (1-0) to claim the
1995 NCAA championship.
The Irish also beat UNC in the next meeting (2-1 OT, in Durham, N.C.) but
the Tar Heels posted an overtime win of their own at the end of that
season, again beating the Irish in the NCAA title game (1-0, at Santa
The 1997 and '98 seasons represent the only seasons in the last eight
(1993-2000) in which ND and UNC have not met in the NCAAs. The teams did
play to a 2-2 tie in '97 (at Notre Dame) while the Tar Heels post a 5-1
regular-season win over the Irish in '98.
ND and Portland likewise have fashioned a memorable series, with the
Irish holding a 6-2-0 series lead, all eight games decided by one goal
(four of them in NCAA Tournament play) and the home team yet to win in the
Most recently, Portland ended ND's 1998 season with a 2-1 win at Alumni
Field in the NCAA quarterfinals while the Irish won the 2000 Portland
adidas Invitational earlier this season after outlasting the Pilots and a
spirited Merlo Field crowd, 1-0 (Sept. 17)-a win which vaulted the Irish
atop the national polls.
In ND's previous visit to Merlo Field, Monica Gerardo scored the game's
only goal to end Portland's 25-game home unbeaten streak, early in the 1997
In the '96 NCAA semi's at Santa Clara, Portland jumped out to a 2-0
1st-half lead before the Irish scored three goals in the first 15 minutes
of the 2nd half for a 3-2 win. In '95, the teams met in the NCAA title game
(as mentioned above) and battled for 125 minutes before ND won 1-0 in the
third overtime, on a free-kick goal by Cindy Daws.
ND made a pair of trips to Portland in 1994, with the first wins of the
series for the Irish coming 2-1 in the regular season and 1-0 in the NCAA
semifinals (at UP). The Pilots first win of the series came in 1992, when
goals by Tiffeny Milbrett and Shannon MacMillan beat the Irish, 2-1,
Portland made a return trip to Alumni Field in '97 but did not face the
Irish, as they beat Duke 3-0 and lost to North Carolina (UP has a 4-1-0
all-time record at ND's Alumni Field).