Wisconsin advances to Sweet 16 after 1-0 win over Notre Dame

Chris Mueller had Wisconsin's lone assist in its 1-0 victory over Notre Dame.

Image By: Brandon Moe

Mike Catalano didn’t want to stop dancing.

The senior midfielder scored a header in overtime to give the Wisconsin Badgers (4-3-1 Big Ten, 12-4-5 overall) a 1-0 win over the No. 12 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (3-3-2 ACC, 11-7-2) and continue the Badgers’ run in their first NCAA Tournament since 2013.

“"It's exciting for the guys to be moving onto the round of 16,” head coach John Trask said. “To have a performance like this on three days' rest against a very good Notre Dame team is phenomenal.”

The last time the Badgers faced the Fighting Irish was during their last Tournament berth in 2013. The Irish, who went on to win the national title that season, beat Wisconsin 4-0 that night. Sunday, they were again pretty dominant.

Led by senior forward Jon Gallagher, Notre Dame constantly pressured Wisconsin’s goal. The Irishman led the ACC in shots, and he had 11 all by himself, including one chance with just over five minutes to play in regulation that went right over the crossbar.

The game remained 0-0 after ninety minutes, but was full of action. Notre Dame had 18 shots while Wisconsin had 14 in an end-to-end affair that was often physical.

In overtime, Wisconsin earned a corner. Senior midfielder Chris Mueller swung the ball into the box, and Catalano was there to head it home at the near post. As Catalano jumped into the arms of Mueller, they were soon mobbed by the rest of their teammates to celebrate Wisconsin’s third Sweet Sixteen appearance in school history.

For Mueller, that was his 18th assist on the season which leads the NCAA. For Catalano, it was his second game winning goal in the NCAA Tournament, and his eighth goal this season. Again, the seniors in the attack made the difference for Wisconsin as its amazing run continues into Thanksgiving.

In the locker room postgame, the team rallied around the cheer of “green bean casserole,” which is what the team will dig in on for Thanksgiving dinner together.

“A few guys mentioned it’s their favorite food,” Trask said. “Robin [Oloffson], he's from Sweden, said 'I don't know anything about Thanksgiving, but that green bean casserole sounds good.’”

Wisconsin will be playing the No. 5 Akron Zips on November 25th in the Sweet 16, two days after its green bean casserole and turkey feast.

Comments powered by Disqus

Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Cardinal.