Baylor soccer (14-5-3, 4-4-1 Big 12) continued its run into the program’s record books, defeating Notre Dame (10-6-5, 5-3-2 ACC), 3-2 (OT), on a golden goal by Precious Akanyirige on Sunday evening at Ellis Field on Texas A&M campus.
The Bears advance to the Elite 8 for the first time in program history, moving on to face Duke on Friday evening in Raleigh, N.C.
BU had one of their strongest performances on offense this season, getting the party started in the 42nd minute. Aline De Lima worked a pass in to Lauren Piercy, who netted the goal to put the Bears up, 1-0.
Baylor narrowly missed out on adding another in the closing seconds of the first half, with Piercy breaking away from the Irish backline to go one-on-one with keeper. Her shot cut to the back-right corner of the net, crossing the goal line about a half second after the time expired, negating what could have been her second goal of the half.
The Bears did not dwell on that for long, coming out in the opening minutes of the second half with another score. Piercy drilled in a shot that was saved by Irish keeper Lexi Nicholas.
The ball bounced free, falling in front of Kennedy Brown, who drilled in the score to put BU up, 2-0.
In what was a physical slugfest between the two sides, with BU on the losing end of a 14-4 foul ratio, the Irish would not go down without a fight, posting goals in the 54th and 58th minutes to tie the match.
With neither side able to net a go-ahead in regulation, the Bears and Irish moved into overtime, the 12th OT match for BU this season.
Baylor completely dominated the extra frame, leading 6-0 on shots and 2-0 on corners, with the Bears finally putting it all together in the 97th minute.
Caitlin Schwartz took a corner kick for the Bears, serving it into the 18 for Piercy, who took a strong kick that was blocked at the 6. The ball bounced up to Precious Akanyirige who toe-touched it into the net, sending the Bears into the Elite 8 with her first game-winning goal of the season.
*Baylor advanced into the fourth round of the NCAA Women’s Soccer Championship for the first time in program history, continuing a remarkable run in the postseason tournament.
*Baylor improved to 5-3-3 all-time in NCAA tourney action.
*Baylor junior forward Lauren Piercy scored her fifth goal of the season and added her fourth and fifth assists, taking her point total for the year up to 15 and up to 45 in her collegiate career.
*Baylor senior defender Precious Akanyirige scored her fourth goal on the year, including her first game-winner in 2017.
*Baylor junior forward Kennedy Brown scored her third goal of the season, the first three in her career.
*Baylor senior midfielder Aline De Lima notched her team-best eighth assist of the season.
STAT OF THE MATCH
Baylor is moving to the Elite 8 for the first time in program history, the last remaining team from the Big 12 in the tournament field. BU is the only non-seeded team to advance to the fourth round of the tourney.
Baylor will face No. 4 Duke on Friday, Nov. 24, at 7 p.m. ET in Durham, N.C. The Blue Devils advanced to the quarterfinals after knocking off BU’s Big 12 rivals Oklahoma State, 7-0, on Friday, and Texas, 3-0, on Sunday.