Nov. 30, 2014
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – A goal from Nicko Corriveau in the 82nd minute ended the University of Notre Dame men’s soccer team’s season as No. 16 seed Virginia upended the top-seeded Irish, 1-0, in the NCAA Championship Round of 16 on Sunday evening at Alumni Stadium.
Both teams managed two shots on goal in the match, while Notre Dame had the overall edge in shots, 11-8. The Fighting Irish also attempted two more corner kicks (5-3) than their Atlantic Coast Conference counterpart.
The setback snapped Notre Dame’s season-best six-game unbeaten streak and ended the program’s bid for a second straight national title. The Fighting Irish finished the campaign 12-5-4 overall.
“I’ve been proud of this team all season,” Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark said. “They’re a great group of guys and it’s very sad to go out. I thought we controlled the game, but full marks to Virginia. They defended well and they didn’t give very many clear-cut chances and they took their chance when it came along. Virginia always looked very dangerous. They’re a good team and I wish them all the best.”
Notre Dame controlled much of the possession in the opening half, but neither team had many solid chances in the stanza. Virginia’s first good look came in the 24th minute when Todd Wharton rifled a free kick on frame from 19 yards out and Fighting Irish goalkeeper Patrick Wall was there for the stop.
In the final minute of the first half, Notre Dame midfielder Patrick Hodan worked his way deep down the right side of the penalty box and crossed the ball to Evan Panken, but a Cavalier defender cleared it out of bounds right before the Irish midfielder could get a foot on it.
The Fighting Irish registered their first shot on goal of the match in the opening minutes of the second half when Hodan ripped a nine-yard attempt to Cavalier goalkeeper Calle Brown, who juggled the ball before regaining control. In the 52nd minute, Hodan fired a shot from just inside the penalty box that went wide of the near post. Hodan, a junior, had a game-high five shots.
The Virginia (12-6-2) goal sequence began with a free kick that was sent into the penalty box. The Irish defense cleared the ball out and Virginia’s Pablo Aguilar gained control and his shot was deflected right to Corriveau who blasted the ball into the back of the net from 16 yards away.
Notre Dame immediately threatened on its end of the pitch as forward Jeffrey Farina sent a shot towards the goal that was blocked and Jon Gallagher’s follow-up attempt went wide. In the 89th minute, Hodan rocketed a 25-yard free kick just over the crossbar.
Tonight was the third meeting this season between the Fighting Irish and Cavaliers. Notre Dame and Virginia tied 1-1 in the regular-season clash in Charlottesville, Va., while the Irish bested the Cavaliers 3-0 in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament at Alumni Stadium.
“It’s funny, in the three games we’ve played against Virginia this year this possibly was the game we had the most control of,” Clark said. “I felt this was the one I was most comfortable in, yet it was the one we lost. Soccer is a funny game sometimes.”
NCAA Championship Round of 16
Nov. 30, 2014
Alumni Stadium – Notre Dame, Ind.
#16 Virginia (12-6-2) 0 1 – 1
#1 Notre Dame (12-5-4) 0 0 – 0
Scoring: UVA: Nicko Corriveau (Pablo Aguilar) 81:36
— Sean Carroll, Assistant Athletic Media Relations Director