NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The Michigan State women's soccer team fell to No. 1 Notre Dame, 1-0, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday, Nov. 16. The Spartans finished the season with a 14-7-3 record, while the Fighting Irish remained undefeated, extending their season record to 23-0-0.
Notre Dame went on the offensive right off the bat, and finished the game with 29 shots to the Spartans' three, which is the lowest shot total MSU has been held to this season.
Notre Dame pressured early on with plenty of good scoring chances. Nine of the Fighting Irish's 13 first-half shots were taken in the first 19 minutes, with MSU freshman goalkeeper Jill Flietstra making four saves over that span. Flietstra finished the contest with seven saves, tying her career-best.
The Spartans' first good chance came close to 30 minutes in, when a give-and-go play between Lauren Hill and Laura Heyboer left Heyboer one-on-one with a Notre Dame defender near the left side of the box. A nice defensive play again left the Spartans without a shot.
The Spartans took their only shot of the first half 37 minutes in, but despite being outshot 13-1 in the half, MSU prevented the high-powered Notre Dame offense from cashing in on its opportunities.
The Irish came out firing again in the second half, creating two scoring chances inside the box within the first three minutes. The Spartans responded with a chance of their own, but the Irish intercepted a pass across the 18-yard mark from Katelin Chaklos to clear the ball from their zone.
One of Notre Dame's best chances came not too much later into the half when Rose Augustin took a deflection off of Courtney Shegos' leg to create a breakaway. Flietstra came out close to the top of the box to meet Augustin, making sliding save to block Augustin's shot.
Augustin finally broke through for the Irish in the 73rd minute, scoring on a lead-in pass from Kerri Hanks. Augustin took Hanks' pass at the top-left of the box, with Flietstra starting to charge after the ball. Augustin then sent the ball spinning past Flietstra into the right side of the net.
The goal proved to be all the Irish would need, as they wore the clock down to seal the win.