Women's Soccer 2013 NCAA Tournament Notre Dame / #3 Michigan Region 2nd and 3rd Round Game Breakdowns

Notre Dame / #3 Michigan Region 2nd and 3rd Round Game Breakdowns


Notre Dame vs. Western Michigan

The Fighting Irish took advantage of the early exit in the ACC Conference tournament and came out of the gates flying against Iowa in a 4-1 rout in the first round matchup in South Bend. Morgan Andrews scored two late goals in the first half to pull Notre Dame away from the Hawkeyes. The Fighting Irish did an outstanding job generating a relentless offensive attack as they had 32 shots and did not let Iowa get rolling at all. Western Michigan pulled off the upset of the tournament so far by eliminating second-seeded Marquette 1-0 at Valley Fields, thanks to Audrey Sudomier’s goal in the 84th minute. The Broncos did a great job of holding strong in the back and being patient offensively to pick their spots and Sudomier took advantage of the opportunity and sent Western Michigan through to the next round. The keys for both teams are the same.  Notre Dame needs to stay relentless offensively and the Broncos need to be patient and pick their spots to attack.


#3 Michigan vs. Illinois State

The Wolverines carried the momentum of an Nkem Ezurike goal in the third minute to a dominating 4-0 rout over Milwaukee. Michigan generated 19 shots with nine on frame and defensively allowed 15 shots, but that stat is misleading as only one shot was on frame for Milwaukee. Illinois State outlasted Louisville in a penalty kick shootout 4-3 to advance on to face the Wolverines.  Dagny Olson converted the decisive kick to clinch it for the Redbirds. Illinois State is in their first ever second round appearance in the NCAA tournament.  Michigan needs to start fast again and force the Redbirds to push numbers forward and open up more opportunities for the Wolverine attack. The key for the Redbirds is they need to keep doing what they have been doing and not let the fact that they are in the second round phase them.


Notre Dame should be able to move forward into the Sweet 16 by wearing down Western Michigan, who may not have enough left in the tank emotionally after winning such a dramatic matchup against Marquette. Michigan’s home field advantage should allow them to outlast Illinois State and set up a fantastic showdown with the Fighting Irish in the Sweet 16. Michigan and Notre Dame are very evenly matched.  Both teams can defend well and can be very explosive offensively when they are on point. The difference, I think, is going to be the home field advantage for the Wolverines as Notre Dame has lost a lot of tough road matches this season in ACC play.


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