Nov. 3, 2016
by Tony Jones
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – A stellar passing sequence during the 100th minute for the University of Notre Dame men’s soccer team on Thursday left little doubt for the Irish attack. Top conference goal scorer Jon Gallagher found his 12th of the year with under a minute remaining in the first overtime period, lifting the Irish to a 3-2 win over Duke in the first round of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Championship.
Thursday’s match was shifted from its originally scheduled start on Wednesday night due to inclement weather. Notre Dame (11-5-2), the tournament’s seventh seed, advances to the ACC quarterfinal round on Sunday at 1 p.m. (ET) against Wake Forest in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
The Irish finished the first round contest by outshooting Duke (7-8-2) 16-7, including a 12-5 margin over the second half and overtime. The extra time triumph for Notre Dame avenged an earlier 2-1 loss to the Blue Devils in Durham, North Carolina, on Oct. 21 in ACC play.
With Duke looking to stretch the match to a second overtime period, Gallagher finished the Blue Devil hopes in the 100th minute. Tri-captain Evan Panken sent a looping and accurate cross toward the right of the Duke 18-yard box for Jack Casey, who speared the ball out of the air with a flying header. Casey’s centering pass located Gallagher in stride, where the Notre Dame striker buried his fourth game-winning goal of 2016 for the Irish victory at 99:06.
Notre Dame struck first during the 10th minute following an Irish corner kick in the left of the Duke end. Tommy McCabe lobbed a great lead pass up the right flank to Brandon Aubrey, who settled the feed at the right post and finished a left-footed strike from seven yards out. Aubrey’s ninth goal of the season gave the Irish a 1-0 lead at 9:28.
Duke found the equalizer after a strong challenge deep in the Notre Dame zone in the 23rd minute. Brandon Williamson served a ball from the left wing across the field to Carter Manley, who ripped a soaring shot into the right corner of the net from distance for his first goal of the season. Manley’s blast tied the match at 1-1 at 22:58.
Jeffrey Farina found his first goal of the season during the second half to put Notre Dame back in the driver’s seat once more. Gallagher gained possession shaded left of the 18-yard box and angled a service on a dime to a cutting Farina in front of frame, and a glancing header from the Notre Dame forward gave the hosts a 2-1 lead at 70:13.
Duke battled back once more, tying the game for a second time just over three minutes later. A corner kick from the left flag by Max Moser was headed by a surging Cameron Moseley in space, and the Moseley forceful header for his sixth goal of the year squared the contest at 2-2 at 73:47.
Play of the Game
Jon Gallagher, who previously earned the primary assist on the second Notre Dame goal, emerged from Duke defenders in the penalty area and banked his 12th goal of the season off Blue Devil goalkeeper Robert Moewes in the 100th minute. Gallagher’s scoring tally, set up by tri-captain Evan Panken and Jack Casey, ended the match at 99:06.
Duke’s 74th minute goal by Cameron Moseley was the last legitimate scoring threat of the match for the Blue Devils. Duke ultimately attempted one shot over the final 25 minutes of play, a high attempt from Kevon Black in the 92nd minute, before Notre Dame scored the game-winner in overtime.
Coach Bobby Clark
On Notre Dame’s strong play throughout, especially in the second half…
“I thought we controlled the game pretty well start to finish. The thing is Duke always looks dangerous in transition. They knock balls up, transition and set pieces are where I felt they could score. We talked about that before and they certainly gave us problems in those areas, but we controlled the game from start to finish. They were playing for penalty kicks, no question, and it was a bit of the same when we played there in Durham. They were playing for the tie and suddenly got a goal on a good transition. Duke knew what they were doing, they have fast players and they were always dangerous.”
The importance of finishing the win versus Duke to avenge a regular season loss…
“I felt it would have been very hard to lose two games to them in overtime, and they had a set piece right at the start of overtime with some big bodies in there. I was very pleased, big Jeffrey Farina looked as though he was back at his best. Apart from his goal, he held the ball up and brought others into play. Jack Casey was also fantastic, he connects his passes and for the size of him he got in and got that winning header at the back post (to Jon Gallagher). But it was a team performance, and it sets us up for a great game on Sunday against Wake Forest. We tied them here and they were a very good side, we look forward to that and seeing where it takes us.”
Note of the Game
Notre Dame improved to 4-1 in home ACC Championship matches since joining the conference prior to the 2013 season.
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.