Nov. 27, 2007
The Notre Dame women's soccer team (18-4-2) will put its 16-game unbeaten streak back on the line Friday night at Alumni Field, when the Irish play host to Duke (10-5-7) in NCAA quarterfinal action (7:00 p.m. eastern). Free video/audio will be available at NCAAsports.com.
Women's Soccer Live Video (Notre Dame vs. Duke)
(Note: plenty more ND women's soccer info. is on its way to und.com this week, leading up to Friday's game - stay tuned.)
Notre Dame is 7-2-1 in 10 previous NCAA quarterfinal appearances (7-1-0 at home), with both losses coming versus Portland (2-1 at home in '98 and 3-1 at UP in '05). The team's other eight NCAA quarterfinal results have included wins over William and Mary ('94; 2-1), Connecticut ('96; 2-0), Maryland ('96; 2-0), UCLA ('97; 8-0), Santa Clara (2000; 2-1/OT), Portland ('04; 3-1) and Penn State ('06; 4-0), plus the 1-1 tie at Nebraska in 1999 (ND advanced 4-3 on penalty kicks). The Irish have compiled a 25-9 scoring margin in NCAA quarterfinal action, with four shutouts and four other games with one goal allowed. Portland owns six of the nine goals ever scored verus the Irish in NCAA quarterfinal games (ND's scoring margin is 20-3 in the other seven quarterfinals).
All three of the other quarterfinals also will be played on Friday night at 7:00 p.m. (in their respective time zones). The ND-Duke winner will move on to the College Cup semifinals and will face the winner of the quarterfinal between Connecticut at Florida State. On the other side of the bracket, UCLA plays host to Portland while USC will travel to West Virginia (the Trojans are the higher seed but did not submit a bid for hosting in the quarterfinal round).
Notre Dame's half of the bracket has lost both of its #1 seeds (UNC and Stanford) and both of the #2 seeds (Texas A&M and Purdue). The Irish were the #4 seed in their quadrant of the bracket while FSU was a #3 in its quadrant (UConn and Duke were not among the top-16 national seeds). UCLA is the only remaining #1 seed in the tournament while Portland and USC both are #2 seeds and WVU is a #4.
Should the Irish advance past Duke, they would head south for a third appearance in the NCAA semifinals during the past four seasons (the '04 team was national champs while the '06 squad was runner-up). The College Cup semifinals will be held on Dec. 7 at the Aggie Soccer Complex, in College Station, Texas. Game times are 4:00 and 6:00 p.m. central (matchups will not be announced until Dec. 1). The semifinals will be broadcast on ESPN2 and/or ESPNU (TBA) while the championship game on Sunday, Dec. 9, is slated for a live broadcast at 1:00 p.m. (on ESPN2).
Notre Dame and Duke have met 10 times previously (the Irish lead the series, 6-3-1) but the most recent matchup between the teams came way back on Sept. 5, 1999, a 4-1 home win by Notre Dame in the second game of the Randy Waldrum era. Interesingly, two days prior to that game Notre Dame and North Carolina had battled in a double-overtime game that was won by the Tar Heels, 3-2.
Two other ND-Duke games have been played at Alumni Field, with the Blue Devils winning in 1992 (2-1) while the Irish won the 1997 meeting (5-0). Notre Dame owns a 25-13 scoring margin in a series that also includes two games played at Duke (4-0 loss in 1990; 2-0 win in '96) and five neutral-site games: a 2-0 Duke win in 1989 (at Virginia); a 3-2 ND victory in 1993 (played in Houston); a 5-0 Irish win in 1994 (played in St. Louis); a 2-2 tie in 1995 (again played in Houston); and a 3-0 ND win in a 1998 game that was held at UNC.
Notre Dame owns a 35-15-3 all-time record (.689) versus teams that currently comprise the Atlantic Coast Conference women's soccer grouping, with an 18-2-1 mark at Alumni Field versus current ACC teams. When excluding its records versus UNC (3-9-2) and Duke (6-3-1), the Irish are 26-3-3 against all other ACC teams. The other losses have come at Virginia (2-0, in '89), at North Carolina State (4-3, in '92) and versus Boston College in the 2003 BIG EAST semifinals (2-1; at Rutgers). UNC joins Duke as the only ACC teams to post a win (or tie) versus Notre Dame at Alumni Field (UNC played to a 2-2 tie at ND in '97 and then won the OT game in '99).