South Bend, Ind. – The road to the College Cup does indeed pass through South Bend when two famous programs collide at Alumni Stadium on Saturday, November 26 at 5 p.m. ET. It will be no. 1 Notre Dame (17-2-3), the No. 2 North Carolina (18-4-1) receives in an ACC showdown. This is the first time this season that the two league opponents will face off.
The Fighting Irish are attempting to secure their College Cup ticket for the 13th time and for the first time since 2010 (when they last won the national championship).
Notre Dame is 7-22-3 all-time against North Carolina and 3-7 against them in the NCAA tournament. However, this will be the first NCAA tournament matchup to be held in South Bend. Importantly, the Irish have a 50-3-1 record at home in the NCAA tournament.
HISTORY OF THE NCAA TOURNAMENT
Notre Dame’s postseason overall record is 73-23-4, which ranks third in wins behind UNC (142-17-4) and Florida State (75-18-4). UCLA is right behind at 71-21-6.
The Irish have three NCAA championship runners-up finishes – 1995, 2004, 2010 – and five second-place finishes (1994, 1996, 1999, 2006, 2008).
They are in the quarterfinals for the 16th time and for the first time since 2012. They are in this round with an impressive 12:3.
UNBEATEN STREAK CONTINUES ROLLING…
Notre Dame is now undefeated in their last 12 games, beating opponents at this stretch 33-6. Their most recent loss was a 3-1 decision against Pitt on September 25.
ALBERT GREETS THE HERMANN TROPHY COMMITTEE
Korbin Albert was an absolute highlight in the final leg of the season and we’ll let the following stats speak for themselves.
Albert has achieved an impressive result 14 goals about the last 11 games.
4 multi-goal performances in last 7 games – 5 in total for the season
16 goals in total – 8th in the country – top for a midfielder
0.8 goals per game – 10th in the country
37 total points – 9th in the country
1.8 points per game – 11th in the country
6 game-winning goals – 4th in the country
She has 3 PK goals, so if you look at her 13 non-PK goals – 10 came from outside the box. In addition, three came from direct free kicks.
One of the best individual performances she had this season was against Florida State on Nov. 3 when she scored her first hat trick of her career. The way she did it, you just have to see it to believe it.
She scored 9 of her 16 goals against top 25 teams.
And by the way, she’s your 2022 ACC Midfielder of the Year in the country’s top conference
Notre Dame’s defensive/goalkeeping crew is now boasting 14 Shutdowns this year – the most since 2016 (15). Their shutout percentage of .636 ranks 6th in the country.
The Irish are the only Elite Eight team not to have conceded a goal in this year’s NCAA tournament, with an 11-0 goal difference.
The Ireland back line of Hudson, Klenke and ACC Defenseman of the Year Eva Gaetino has conceded just 65 shots on goal in 22 games – which amounts to a stout 2.95 SOG per game.
7 games this season the Ireland backline has only allowed 1 SOG or fewer: TCU (Nov. 20), NC State (Oct. 6), Boston College (9/30), Virginia (9/22), Saint Louis (9/8) ./ 25), Western Michigan (8/21) and Marquette (8/18).
Mackenzie Wood won the starting reel and was great – her .522 GAA ranks 8th in the nation, 1st in the ACC. Additionally, she has amassed a career-high 10 shutouts and would have had two more, both in the NCAA tournament, had there been no late-game substitutions. Their 10 shutouts ranks 13th in the country.
TAKE YOUR PLACE
The Irish have made important statements throughout the season. Take that stat – 6-1-3 against the top-25.
Notre Dame then defeated No. 2 Virginia 1-0 and No. 3 Florida State 4-0, marking the first time in program history that they defeated two top three teams during the regular season. This weekend they could be No. 2 Add North Carolina to the list.
The win over FSU was the biggest win against a top-three program since September 8, 2000 (6-1 win over #2 Santa Clara). In addition, Florida State last lost 5-1 to #2 UNC on October 15, 2002 in a 4-goal ACC match.
ND’s RPI was rated #4 when entering the tournament. They went 3-2-3 against the current RPI top-25 and 7-2-3 against the top-50.
How important is it to score first? Well, the Irish are 17-0-1 and unbeaten. The Irish are also leading 11-0-1 at half-time.
Notre Dame averages 9.6 shots per game, which ranks 2nd nationally. Overall, the Irish average 20.9 shots per game which ranks 3rd nationally.
In comparison, shots on goal differential sit at 211-65.
All of those shots have resulted in 56 goals this year and one shot on goal (2.6) that ranks 9th in the nation.
2ND HALF STRONG
If you look at Notre Dame’s 56 goals – 37 came in the 2nd half. The goal difference in the 2nd half is 37:8.
HOME SWEET HOME
The Irish have made the Alumni Stadium a difficult venue for opposing programmes. Since its inception in 2009, Notre Dame has played 119-28-8.
This year, the Irish have won 11-1-2 within the alumni. Last season, Notre Dame went 10-1-1. Because of this, Notre Dame is at home 21-2-3 for the last two seasons. Since the start of the 2019 season, the Irish have been 33-5-4 at home.
Irish improved to 50-3-1 at home in the NCAA tournament.
OFFENSIVE SPARK PLUGS
Notre Dame has scored a total of 56-14 goals in the 2022 season. Of the 56 goals – it comes from 10 different players: Albert (16), Wingate (14), Mercado (10), Van Zanten (7), Klenke (2), Ospeck (2), Coyle, Fisher, Matriano and Gaetino .
The trio of Albert, Mercado and Wingate all have a career highlight years at the top of goals scored.
Wingate – 3 in SOG per game (2.4), 10th in total goals and 13th in total points.
Now add Van Zanten to complete the four-headed monster representing the Irish Attack. As a foursome, they contributed 74.7 percent of the team points.
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