CARY, N.C. - The No. 7/10 Notre Dame women's soccer team (20-2-0) beat No. 17/19 Ohio State (17-5-2) by the score of 1-0 on Friday night in the first national semifinal of the NCAA Championship held at WakeMed Soccer Park. Irish freshman Maddy Laddish scored the gamewinner with 7:38 left in regulation to send the Irish into the title game against either No. 1/1 Stanford or No. 18/16 Boston College. The title game will be held Sunday, Dec. 5 at Noon, ET and televised live on ESPN2.
Laddish scored following a long run through the midfield to create some open space. The rookie then cranked a left-footed blast into the upper left corner. It was her second goal of the season, an unassisted tally.
"It feels really good to score a goal in my first Final Four game," said Laddish. "It's an amazing feeling that I can help my team get to the national championship game."
"I am extremely proud of the way the team played," said Irish head coach Randy Waldrum. "We had some concerns early but they made adjustments. The second half was very reminiscent of the typical Notre Dame teams that fans are used to seeing."
With temperatures below 40 degrees on a cold, clear evening, the Irish remained hot offensively and peppered the OSU defense with numerous scoring chances. Notre Dame held a 22-7 edge in shots, including an 11-2 advantage in shots on goal. Notre Dame also nailed the cross bar four times. Ohio State on the other hand, was held for most of the second half without even a shot on net.
Notre Dame also held a 5-0 advantage on corner kicks. Irish senior Nikki Weiss made two saves in goal, while Ohio State counterpart Katie Baumgardner had 10 saves.
With the victory, the BIG EAST also posted its record 11th win during the 2010 NCAA Championship. Holding a combined 11-5-2 mark during the tournament, the BIG EAST had six teams selected for the 2010 NCAA Championship. Three teams hosted First and Second Round sites (Notre Dame, Marquette and West Virginia), while four teams advanced to the Third Round (Sweet 16) of the tournament (Georgetown, Marquette, Notre Dame and West Virginia).
The BIG EAST has claimed a pair of women's soccer national titles (Notre Dame in 1995 and 2004) and captured 29 national championships overall. The most recent was by the Villanova women's cross country team in Nov. 2010.