Oct. 20, 2017
by Tony Jones
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – After dominating the final 65 minutes of play at nearly every end of the field, the University of Notre Dame men’s soccer team was left looking for a game-winning goal. A furious Irish onslaught in the second half was countered by equally brilliant Duke defense and goalkeeping, and the teams finished a hard-fought scoreless draw Friday night at Alumni Stadium.
No. 12 Notre Dame (9-4-2, 3-2-2 ACC) bounced back from an early 3-1 deficit in shots to No. 15 Duke (10-3-1, 3-3-1 ACC) to control the game the rest of the night, outshooting the Blue Devils by an impressive 16-4 margin for the remainder of the game. The Irish also dominated in corner kicks 13-4, and limited Duke to a lone shot on goal after halftime.
After a tightly-contested but entertaining first half saw only four shots total in a defensive thriller, featuring three key saves by Irish goalkeeper Chris Hubbard, Notre Dame turned up the heat on Duke goalkeeper Will Pulisic. Pulisic made three saves of his own on Irish striker Jon Gallagher in the 54th, 60th and 64th minutes to stall the Notre Dame surge.
The Irish managed what was arguably their best chance of regulation in the 74th minute. Kyle Dedrick glided down the left wing after gathering a drop pass and gained momentum into the Duke zone. With the right corner of the goal in his sights, Dedrick sent a right-footed blast just wide of the far post.
Dedrick tried his hand once more in regulation in building up the attack in the 80th minute. Dedrick attempted to beat Pulisic once more but his shot was saved. A back-and-forth final 10 minutes of regulation, featuring stellar defensive and midfield play on both sides, left the game deadlocked at 0-0.
Notre Dame remained the team most dangerous to score as overtime began. Patrick Berneski wiggled free in the 92nd minute and got his head to a tempting cross in front of the Duke frame. Berneski’s header traveled over the crossbar and out of play.
Following a Jack Casey corner kick in the 93rd minute, Gallagher flicked a rebound while shaded left post back toward the Duke goal for a potential game-winner. Blue Devil center back Markus Fjortoft was on the scene and swept the ball off the line in another dramatic turn of events.
The Irish had one final chance to claim victory in the 110th minute, as Pulisic got overly anxious on playing the ball and tackled Gallagher on a free challenge for a shocking penalty result. The Duke freshman net minder proved that he is not merely the other Pulisic, in reference to cousin and United States Men’s National Team star Christian Pulisic, and stonewalled Gallagher from the spot and a follow-up shot from Jeff Farina for an improbable draw on the scoreboard.
Notre Dame returns to the road on Tuesday, heading to East Lansing, Michigan, to take on Michigan State at 7 p.m. (ET).
Play of the Game
Although it was a sequence that ultimately went against Notre Dame in the final result, Will Pulisic’s back-to-back saves following an Irish penalty kick attempt in the 110th minute saved Duke from the brink of defeat.
After settling into the game as the first half wore on, Notre Dame played one of its finest halves and pair of overtime sessions of the season the remainder of the evening. The Irish outshot Duke 16-4 the rest of the game after halftime, with seven shots finding frame in that span.
Note of the Game
The last four meetings between Notre Dame and Duke, dating back to 2015, have been settled in overtime. The Irish had won two of the last three in bonus soccer against the Blue Devils, with Friday’s result marking the first tie game in series history.
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.