Leon Brown has scored four goals in the last three games.

#2 Irish Fall To #14 Clemson In Penalty Kicks, 5-4, In ACC Semifinal

Nov. 14, 2014

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CARY, N.C. – Following a 1-1 draw, No. 14 Clemson advanced past the second-ranked University of Notre Dame men’s soccer team in penalty kicks, 5-4, on Friday evening in the semifinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship at WakeMed Soccer Park.

Notre Dame, the tournament’s top seed, held a 1-0 lead late in the match when Clemson’s Bobby Belair headed in the equalizer off a Paul Clowes corner kick.

The Fighting Irish (11-4-4) got on the board in the 26th minute when Luke Mishu passed the ball down the right side of the field to Evan Panken, who crossed it to Leon Brown in the box and he deposited his seventh goal of the season on Notre Dame’s first shot on goal of the contest. Brown has four goals in the last three matches.

“We were eliminated in a similar fashion last year (against Virginia in ACC semifinals),” Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark said. “It was disappointing especially when you lose a goal right in the last few moments of the game. Congratulations to Clemson, they fought very hard. They had to take the game to us in the second half and they certainly did that well.”

Clemson (10-6-3) produced the game’s first dangerous opportunity in the 21st minute when Oliver Shannon fired a shot just wide of the near post from seven yards out.

The Irish threatened in the 41st minute as Panken played a nice pass to Max Lachowecki and the left back drilled his shot just wide of the post from 10 yards away. Notre Dame led 1-0 at halftime.

Midfielder Patrick Hodan was in a good position to put Notre Dame up by two in the 74th minute, but his seven-yard attempt from straight on was sent wide of the left post. Minutes later, Irish forward Jon Gallagher had a bid for a goal yet his 12-yard attempt from the right side rolled just past the far post.

The fourth-seeded Tigers had the better of the offensive play in the first overtime period, yet goalkeeper Patrick Wall produced a couple crucial stops to keep Notre Dame alive. Wall stopped a Tiger breakaway in the early stages of the extra session and Clemson’s Diego Campos hit the near post from close range two minutes later. In the 103rd minute, Wall deflected a laser from Manolo Sanchez and the ball then deflected off the post and went back into play.

Clemson goalkeeper Andrew Tarbell saved Panken’s shot from distance in the 112th minute. Notre Dame forward Jeffrey Farina had a look from the top of the box with a few minutes left in the second overtime, but the ball sailed high of the crossbar.

The Tigers held advantages in shots on goal (7-2) and corner kicks (13-2). Wall made six saves, while Tarbell had one stop. Chris Glodack replaced Tarbell for the penalty kick shootout.

“I thought we had really good quality chances,” Clark said. “On another day we maybe could have put away three goals comfortably, but we didn’t for whatever reason and we only had the one goal today. We knew they were going to put a lot of pressure on us. They are a very high-pressure team and a team that puts a lot of crosses into the box. I was pretty pleased with how we handled most of it.”

The Fighting Irish have a season-best five-game unbeaten streak and Notre Dame is 6-1-2 in its last nine matches. Notre Dame will learn its NCAA Championship draw on Monday when the bracket is unveiled.

ACC Championship Semifinal
Nov. 14, 2014
WakeMed Soccer Park – Cary, N.C.

#14 Clemson (10-6-3) 0 1 0 0 – 1
#2 Notre Dame (11-4-4) 1 0 0 0 – 1

Clemson advances on penalty kicks, 5-4

Scoring: ND: Leon Brown (Evan Panken, Luke Mishu) 25:52; CU: Bobby Belair (Paul Clowes) 88:01

— Sean Carroll, Assistant Athletic Media Relations Director