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Two Late Goals Help #6 Memphis Upset #3 Notre Dame 3-2, Advance to Second Consecutive Sweet 16

Friday afternoon, the 6-seed Memphis Tigers defeated the 3-seed Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the second round of the NCAA tournament 3-2.

Memphis entered the match on a 16-game winning streak following their 2-1 first-round victory against LSU. Notre Dame came into the match fresh off a 2-0 win against Valparaiso in their first-round matchup. 

Notre Dame controlled the attack to start the game, getting two shots on goal in the first 10 minutes. Memphis goalkeeper Kaylie Bierman saved both shots. 

The Tigers responded with a string of shots as Finley Lavin scored the first goal of the match in the 16th minute to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead. 

In the 24th minute, Notre Dame’s Maddie Mercado saw her shot saved by Bierman. 

After a long stretch of controlled possessions with no shot attempts, Notre Dame had another good chance in the 40th minute stalled again by a Bierman save. 

In the 43rd minute, Memphis’s Ashley Henderson had the last good chance of the half, but Irish goalkeeper Atlee Olofson made the save. 

A minute later, the Fighting Irish found the equalizer from Meg Mrowicki. 

Memphis and Notre Dame were knotted 1-1 at halftime. Notre Dame outshot the Tigers 9-6, but Memphis’ Kaylie Bierman had 5 saves. 

The intensity picked up in the second half as the Tigers continued to be aggressive offensively. Memphis had three shots saved by the Irish in the first 15 minutes of the half. 

In the 76th minute, Ashley Henderson earned a yellow card against Notre Dame’s Eva Gaetino. Saorla Miller shot the ensuing free kick off the goalpost and into the net. 

Ashley Henderson scored the Tigers' 3rd goal of the game just 90 seconds later, giving Memphis a commanding two-goal lead with 13 minutes to play. 

Notre Dame responded with a goal of their own in the 79th minute as Maddie Mercado cut the Memphis lead to 3-2. 

With the Tiger defense sagging back, Mercado had a great chance off the ensuing kickoff. Mercado had a one-on-one opportunity against Kaylie Bierman but her shot hit the crossbar. 

The Tigers ran out the clock to advance to their second consecutive NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen. 

Memphis will play the 7-seed Pittsburgh Panthers who upset the hosting 2-seed Arkansas. 

The Tigers will play at 6 p.m. CT on Sunday in Fayetteville. The game will be streamed live on ESPN+. 

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