Blue and Gold Illustrated

Nov. 12, 2022

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 49 of 55

50 NOV. 12, 2022 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED BY TODD D. BURLAGE A gifted goal scorer and a strong leader, Notre Dame senior forward Kalyssa "Kiki" Van Zanten is a busy young lady right now as her Irish pre- pare for a deep run later this month in the 2022 NCAA Tournament. Following a 14-2-1 regular season, No. 4 Notre Dame will be considered one of the favorites to win a national title — and Van Zanten isn't afraid to point that out — when the 64-team NCAA Tournament opens Nov. 11. "We have so much momentum after arguably one of the best seasons Notre Dame has ever had," said Van Zanten, whose 6 goals and 15 points both ranked fourth on the Irish when the ACC Tour- nament began Oct. 30. And it's hard to argue with Van Zanten about peaking at the right time. An opening-round win on penalty kicks over No. 6 Pitt in the ACC Tournament Oct. 30 kept Notre Dame unbeaten in its last eight matches. The Irish's last loss is a 3-1 to the Panthers Sept. 25. "Avenging that loss to Pitt was a great confidence boost for us going forward," Van Zanten said, shortly before her team was set to play No. 5 Florida State Nov. 3 in the semifinals of the ACC Tournament. "Just to know that we can beat any team that we play was super important." No. 8 Duke and No. 2 North Carolina rounded out the strong ACC final four. Van Zanten knows better than to look ahead with high hopes and nothing but tough elimination matches coming up. That said, with everything this bright Chicagoland native has ahead of her, we'll forgive a little daydreaming. Van Zanten's mother is of Jamaican descent, which provided her with the opportunity to play for the Jamaican Women's National Team last summer. She made good, scoring a goal against Costa Rica in July at the CONCACAF Women's Soccer Championship that secured Jamaica a third-place finish in the eight-team event and a place in the 2023 Women's World Cup next summer. It will be only the second appearance for Jamaica on soccer's grandest stage. "I'm very blessed with that opportu- nity to help contribute to the team," said Van Zanten, who noted that the third- place CONCACAF finish also pro- vides the team a chance to compete for a spot in the 2024 Paris Summer Olympics. "It was really exciting for the girls. We just keep getting better and better." Yet, even with all of her personal and team success while playing for Jamaica — a team affectionately known as the "Reggae Girlz" — a World Cup ros- ter spot isn't guaranteed for Van Zanten. "It's a little bit of an uphill battle to get cho- se n ," Va n Z a n te n ex- plained. "A majority of the players are older or professionals, and they have some really amazing players on the team." Jamaica faces a tough d raw i n t h e Wo m e n 's World Cup with games against France and Brazil in the group stage. "I'm going to do my best and what- ever happens, happens," van Zanten said. "But right now, I'm focused on what's going on here at Notre Dame." ✦ Soccer Senior Kiki Van Zanten Focused On Finishing Strong Van Zanten ranked fourth on the team in both goals (6) and points (15) during the regular season. PHOTO COURTESY NOTRE DAME ATHLETICS ND SPORTS Irish Roundup Through Nov. 3 HOCKEY (4-2-2 OVERALL, 1-0-1 BIG TEN) No. 12-ranked Notre Dame opened Big Ten play by blanking Michigan State 5-0 Oct. 28, and then skated to a 1-1 tie against the Spartans Oct. 29 … Next up for the Fighting Irish is a two-game series at No. 3 Minnesota Nov. 4-5. MEN'S SOCCER (8-7-2 OVERALL, 3-4-1 ACC) The Fighting Irish closed the regular season with a 1-1 draw at Pitt Oct. 28 … No. 9-seeded Notre Dame suffered a 3-1 setback at the hands of No. 8-seeded Clemson in the first round of the ACC Tour- nament Nov. 2. WOMEN'S SOCCER (14-2-3 OVERALL, 7-2-1 ACC) No. 4-ranked Notre Dame closed out the regular season with a 2-2 tie vs. No. 8 Duke Oct. 27 in South Bend … The No. 3-seeded Irish played No. 6-seeded Pitt to a 1-1 draw in the first round of the ACC Tournament Oct. 30 in South Bend, but advanced by winning the penalty kick shootout 5-4 … Notre Dame played No. 2-seeded and No. 5-ranked Florida State to a 3-3 draw in ACC Tournament semifinals Nov. 3 in Cary, N.C., but were eliminated when it lost the penalty kick shootout 4-2. VOLLEYBALL (9-13 OVERALL, 4-8 ACC) The Fighting Irish fell 3-2 Duke Oct. 30 in South Bend … Notre Dame hosts North Carolina Nov. 4 and North Carolina State Nov. 6. — Steve Downey

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Blue and Gold Illustrated - Nov. 12, 2022