Sophomore midfielder Connor Klekota put the Irish up 3-1 in the 68th minute with his first career goal.

#2 Notre Dame Downs #12 Wake Forest, 3-1, To Move To Top Of ACC

Nov. 2, 2013

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – In a match that had major Atlantic Coast Conference implications, the No. 2 Notre Dame men’s soccer team came out the victor with a 3-1 triumph of No. 12 Wake Forest on Saturday evening in front of nearly 4,000 spectators at Spry Stadium.

Notre Dame (9-1-5, 6-1-3) is now tied with Maryland atop the ACC standings with one league match left to play for both teams. The Irish conclude conference play on Friday with a home tilt against Pittsburgh, while Maryland finishes at Virginia Tech that same day. Wake Forest fell to third place with the loss.

Saturday’s game was scoreless until the 36th minute when an offensive outburst resulted in three goals in a span of 4:17. Notre Dame sophomore midfielder Evan Panken was first to score when he deposited his third goal of the season with just over nine minutes left in the first half.

Wake Forest (8-4-5, 5-1-4) knotted the contest in the 40th minute when Luca Gimenez converted a penalty kick after Notre Dame left back Max Lachowecki was issued a yellow card for pushing a Wake Forest player in the box. The Irish had an answer of their own just 40 seconds later when junior forward Vince Cicciarelli scored off a pass from Harrison Shipp. It was Cicciarelli’s third goal of the season and it was the team-best 19th point (6g, 7a) of the campaign for Shipp, a senior forward. The Fighting Irish led 2-1 at halftime.

Notre Dame survived a flurry of shots from the Demon Deacons early in the second half. Senior goalkeeper Patrick Wall finished the night with seven saves, which was one away from his career-high total. Alec Ferrell had two stops for Wake Forest.

Sophomore midfielder Connor Klekota pushed the Irish lead to two in the 68th minute when he scored from outside the penalty box for the first tally of his career. The three goals matched a season-high total for the Irish, who posted their first victory in six tries against Wake Forest.

“Our team showed a lot of character coming down here and scoring three goals and getting a big result against a very good Wake Forest team,” Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark said. “Wake Forest had a spell at the start of the second half where they got some shots, but Pat Wall did well tonight.”

The Demon Deacons held an 18-13 shot advantage, while they also gained 10 corner kicks compared to three for the Irish. Notre Dame played a man up for the final 16 minutes after Wake Forest’s Jared Watts was issued a red card.

“It was a bit easier to close out the game with a two-goal lead after their guy got sent off,” Clark said. “Overall I thought we played well. Both teams had periods where they dominated, but we looked very good once we started connecting passes.

“All three of our goals were very good and Harry (Shipp) had a nice pass on Vince’s goal. Harry was brilliant tonight.”

The Fighting Irish return to the pitch Tuesday with a non-conference showdown at No. 22 Michigan State. The match is slated for 3 p.m. (ET) at DeMartin Stadium in East Lansing, Mich. The contest can be seen on the Big Ten Network.

“This is a huge week for us,” Clark said. “We play a very good Michigan State team on Tuesday and then we have to finish it on Friday against Pittsburgh, which will be one of the biggest games ever for the program.”

November 2, 2013
Spry Stadium – Winston-Salem, N.C.

#2 Notre Dame (9-1-5, 6-1-3) 2 1 – 3
#12 Wake Forest (8-4-5, 5-1-4) 1 0 – 1

Scoring: ND: Evan Panken (unassisted) 35:58; WF: Luca Gimenez (penalty kick) 39:35; ND: Vince Cicciarelli (Harrison Shipp) 40:15; ND: Connor Klekota (unassisted) 67:01

Shots: ND 7-6 – 13, WF 5-13 – 18
Corner Kicks: ND 1-2 – 3, WF 3-7 – 10
Goalkeepers: ND: Patrick Wall – 7 SV, 1 GA, 90:00, W; 1 Team Save
WF: Alec Ferrell – 2 SV, 3 GA, 90:00, L; 1 Team Save
Fouls: ND 11, WF 9
Offsides: ND 5, WF 3

— Sean Carroll, Assistant Athletic Media Relations Director