Michigan shuts out Notre Dame 1-0 to reach program's second quarterfinal
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Michigan is headed back to the quarterfinals for the second time in the 20-year history of the program, as senior Meghan Toohey converted a second-half penalty kick to send the Wolverines to a 1-0 victory against Notre Dame in the third round on Sunday at U-M Soccer Stadium.
Freshman goalkeeper Taylor Bucklin made four saves in net to guide the defense to its third consecutive shutout (all in the NCAA Tournament) while also setting the program record for most shutouts in a single season (12). The win is Michigan's 18th of the season, tying a program record for most wins in a season.
Each squad had two shots on goal during the opening frame, though U-M led in shots 9-7. Notre Dame had the first quality chance, when Mandy Laddish hit the crossbar in the 15th minute. On the other side, Michigan had two chances back to back; the first shot by senior Nkem Ezurike was blocked. The rebound caromed to senior Meghan Toohey, but her follow-up shot was saved by Notre Dame goalkeeper Kaela Little, who made a nice recovery to make the stop. Five minutes later, Ezurike got in behind the defense again, but her shot was saved by Little again.
The Wolverines outshot the Fighting Irish by a 13-3 margin in the second half. In the 54th minute, Ezurike got in behind the defense, but her shot caromed off the crossbar. A minute later, a foul was called on Notre Dame leading to a Michigan free kick about 35 yards out. Sophomore Christina Murillo sent the service into the box, but the ball bounced off the ground and hit a Notre Dame player in the hand inside the box, leading to Toohey's penalty kick.
Michigan kept pressing and nearly added another goal after freshman Madisson Lewis was fouled inside the box by a Notre Dame defender. Ezurike stepped up to take the team's second penalty kick, but her shot was pushed wide left. A red card was issued 30 seconds later to defender Sammy Scofield, who impeded Ezurike on a breakaway towards the net. With Notre Dame down to 10 players, Michigan continued to attack, and Ezurike got in behind the defense in the 74th and 76th minute, but both attempts were turned away. Looking for an insurance goal, Ezurike had one final chance on a breakaway in the 89th minute, but her attempt was once again saved.
The Michigan defense limited Notre Dame to just four shots on goal the whole match (two in each half).
The Wolverines advance to the quarterfinals where they will take on the winner of No. 1 Virginia against Wake Forest. Location and time of the match will be announced later Sunday.