Notre Dame got an 83rd minute goal by freshman Mandy Laddish and held on to beat Ohio State in the first semifinal game of Friday’s College Cup in Cary, N.C. Laddish’s left-footed strike that beat Ohio State keeper Katie Baumgardner in the bottom left corner of the goal sends the Irish to the NCAA Championship for the eighth time.
“It feels really good to score a goal in my first Final Four game,” Laddish said after the game. “It’s an amazing feeling that I can help my team get to the national championship game.”
Notre Dame Head Coach Randy Waldrum, who, back in August told Our Game Magazine that he had a “very good group of freshmen,” talked after the game about how he gives his younger players a chance from the get-go. “I’m not one of those coaches that believes in bringing them along slowly. I want to put them in right away so they can get experience early in the season.”
Ohio State got 10 saves from Baumgardner. Lauren Granberg had both of OSU’s shots on goal.
“If we can rewind the first 45 minutes of the match, it was pretty even,” OSU Head Coach Lori Walker said. “It was the tale of two halves in the second half. I know what our Achilles heel is, and penetrating on the dribble through the middle was the one thing that if they did that, we did not have an answer for. When you’re playing against a great coach, that’s their job, to find that, and he did. I’m very proud of what we did during the first half. I thought we kept a good rhythm and created some decent chances.”