Sept. 13, 2016
by Tony Jones
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Junior striker Jon Gallagher found the back of the net in the 103rd minute after a back and forth affair with UConn to lift the No. 1 University of Notre Dame men’s soccer team to a 1-0 nonconference win on Tuesday at Alumni Stadium.
Notre Dame (6-0-0) outshot UConn (3-3-0) 18-8 on the night, including a 12-2 edge in the second half and overtime periods. The Irish have now earned a result in five of their past six matches against the Huskies since 2009.
After both teams jockeyed for position in the opening 12 plus minutes of overtime, Notre Dame center back and reigning Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Offensive Player of the Week Brandon Aubrey sent a looping pass ahead down the right wing to the speedy Gallagher. Gallagher artfully dribbled inside the UConn 18-yard box and sent a shot at Huskies goalkeeper Scott Levene, who mishandled the spinning try and allowed the match-winning goal to beat him five-hole at 102:14.
Notre Dame improved to 2-0 in double overtime matches thus far in 2016, previously earning a 2-1 decision over then No. 15 Stanford on Sept. 2 thanks to an Aubrey golden goal. The Irish have not been defeated at home by UConn since dropping a 2-1 decision on Oct. 8, 2005 at old Alumni Field.
The Irish take to the road for their first road ACC match of the season, and are set to square off with Louisville on Friday night at Lynn Stadium. The 7 p.m. (ET) match will air live on ACC Network Extra.
Season and single game tickets for the 2016 Notre Dame men’s soccer season remain on sale. Visit und.com/BuyTickets or call the Murnane Family Ticket Office at 574-631-7356 for more information or to purchase tickets.
Play of the Game
UConn had its most advantageous offensive chance in the 25th minute. Kwame Awuah got free to the right of the Notre Dame goal and fired a tough angle shot curling toward the near post. Irish goalkeeper Chris Hubbard corralled the point-blank shot for his only official save of his fourth shutout of 2016.
The second half. Both teams battled to a 6-6 tie in shots during the opening 45 minutes, with UConn looking dangerous to break through against the Notre Dame defense. Over the final 58 plus minutes, the Irish limited the Huskies to only two total shots (none on goal), edging the visitors with a 12-2 shot margin that ultimately led to the winning goal in the 103rd minute.
Coach Bobby Clark
General game observations of the season’s first true midweek game…
“One of the team words this year is relentless. I think that’s exactly what we did in the second half and the two overtime periods. I thought the team kept doing what we do well, and it was 6-6 in shots in the first half and was 12-2 in the second half and overtimes. I felt we took over, and having said that I thought UConn was still dangerous enough. They’re a good team with a lot of good players, I was never relaxed in the game. I was a little sorry for the goalie, it’s never fun to let a shot through your hands and legs. He had several tremendous saves before then, so the only thing you can say to him is that he did very well.”
Trying to find a spark during the midweek contests…
“This is where we lost last year 1-0 to Xavier, and we came out flat in that game. Especially in the first half. It’s a little bit harder for the guys (in the midweek games), and with the experience of that from last year there was a big effort to do things differently. We looked at training from last year and a few other things, and we did our best to solve it. We took Connecticut on, Xavier are a good and tough team but Connecticut are one of the giants of college soccer. There was no way our guys would overlook this game, and that was important. It wasn’t perfect by any manner or means, and I could have done without the overtime because we have a huge game at Louisville on Friday. We now have to make sure the guys regenerate tomorrow and get ready for Louisville.”
On the strong efforts of the attacking players against UConn…
“Jeffrey Farina was fantastic again. He was great the first half getting the ball out and when he came back in the second half he was fantastic. That’s why I didn’t really take him off in the first half, because he was doing such a great job. All of the midfielders, Tommy McCabe, did a good job bolting the defensive midfielder. Oliver Harris and Blake Townes also. It was a team performance again, and everybody had their moments in the game. It’s hard to single one out, but Jon Gallagher always looks very dangerous when it comes to getting goals.”
Note of the Game
Gallagher became the third Notre Dame player to notch a game-winning goal in the 6-0-0 Irish start to 2016. Brandon Aubrey has received credit for three-game winners, while tri-captain Evan Panken has picked up two goals that have earned Notre Dame a victory.
#1 Notre Dame 1, UConn 0 (2OT)
September 13, 2016
Notre Dame, Ind. (Alumni Stadium)
UConn 0 0 0 0 — 0
No. 1 Notre Dame 0 0 0 1 – 1
Total Shots: ND 18 (6-8-3-1), UCONN 8 (6-1-1-0)
Shots on Goal: ND 5, UCONN 1
Saves: ND 1 (Chris Hubbard 1 in 102:14), UCONN 4 (Scott Levene 4 in 102:14)
Corner Kicks: ND 7 (3-2-2-0), UCONN 2 (1-1-0-0)
Fouls: ND 11, UCONN 13
Yellow Card: Munir Saleh (UCONN) 86:01
Offsides: ND 1, UCONN 0
Tony Jones, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2012 and coordinates all media efforts for the Notre Dame softball and men’s soccer programs. A native of Jamestown, New York, Jones is a 2011 graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and prior to arriving at Notre Dame held positions at the University of Louisiana Monroe and with the National Football League’s Buffalo Bills.