On drizzly Sunday afternoon, Notre Dame women’s soccer topped ACC opponent Syracuse with a final score of 2-0 at Alumni Stadium. The win pushed the Irish (3-1, 3-1 ACC) to 16-0-1 all-time against the Orange (0-3, 0-3 ACC), including 9-0 at home with no goals from Syracuse.
The Irish dominated in the offensive third from early in the first half, with senior forward Eva Hurm and senior midfielder Sammi Fisher sending shots into the box within the first 10 minutes of play. Just a few minutes later, junior forward Olivia Wingate evaded Orange defenders in the final third, though her shot was saved by Syracuse senior goalkeeper Lysianne Proulx. Proulx was forced to make nine saves, one off of her career high of 10 (achieved against fellow ACC opponent Pitt); just last year, she had led the ACC in saves with 96.
It was sophomore forward Kiki Van Zanten, who subbed in for freshman Eva Gaetino in the 29th minute, to make the difference for Notre Dame. Tallying her fifth and sixth goals in the first four games to start the season, Van Zanten slotted home a layoff from junior midfielder Brooke VanDyck in the 43rd minute to open the scoring. The first half ended with Notre Dame outshooting the visitors 11-1, with the only Syracuse shot coming from outside the box.
After the half, Irish forwards continued to fluster the Orange defense with shots on net from junior Luisa Delgado and sophomore Maddie Mercado in the 47th and 66th, minutes respectively. Eva Hurm sent one ringing off the crossbar and out in the 84th minute, but yet again it was sophomore Kiki Van Zanten to beat the keeper in the final second of the 89th minute to propel the Irish to a 2-0 win.
Van Zanten leads Notre Dame in scoring with six goals on the young season, with a hat trick against Miami and one against Boston College in addition to today’s pair. She also has not started a game this year, scoring all of her goals once coming in off the bench. Senior midfielder Sammi Fisher (3) and junior forward Olivia Wingate (1) are the only other Irish players to find the back of the net.
The Irish defense similarly dominated the Orange, and held the opposing attack to a single shot on goal from senior defender Shannon Aviza late in the second half. Syracuse has yet to score a goal this season, while giving up seven in their three games so far.
This is Notre Dame’s third straight shutout since falling to the Seminoles of Florida State in the opening match of the season, with junior Irish keeper Mattie Interian recording one save to put her at 10 on the season.
Now halfway through their shortened 8-game ACC season, the Irish look to continue their win streak against Wake Forest (1-3-1), who visits Thursday Oct. 15, with kickoff scheduled for 7 p.m. from Alumni Stadium.