Sept. 18, 2015
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Despite falling behind early in the first half, North Carolina responded with four unanswered goals in the ensuing 50 minutes to defeat the University of Notre Dame men’s soccer team 4-2 on Friday at Fetzer Field. The contest marked Notre Dame’s first trip to Chapel Hill in program history, and only the third meeting between the teams since the Irish joined the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) in 2013.
No. 3 North Carolina (5-0-1, 2-0 ACC) finished the game with a 15-10 lead in total shots, although No. 2 Notre Dame (4-2-1, 1-1 ACC) rebounded from a lackluster first stanza to outshoot the hosts 8-6 over the final 45 minutes. The Tar Heels logged 12 shots on goal to the six of the Irish, and attempted seven corner kicks to Notre Dame’s two.
North Carolina looked to spark the offense early in the first half, pressuring the Notre Dame defense in the Irish third. A loose ball found its way to Alex Olofson at the top of the box and a 25-yard shot was deflected right into the waiting arms of Chris Hubbard in the fifth minute.
After a Notre Dame foul in the box stuffed the initial Irish offensive surge of the match in the 11th minute, the visitors cashed in during their next trip down the field. Evan Panken executed a great steal in the Tar Heel end in the 13th minute, forcing the ball through to Jon Gallagher.
Gallagher made a great move to his right around the North Carolina defense and snuck in an 18-yard try off the right post past goalkeeper James Pyle. Gallagher’s fourth goal of the season gave Notre Dame a quick 1-0 lead.
North Carolina answered back in the 21st minute. David October looped a low cross through the box from the left wing that just missed the head of Patrick Berneski on a clearance attempt. The ball landed on the foot of Colton Storm, who beat Hubbard to the wide post for his first of the year to tie the contest at 1-1 at 20:29.
Alan Winn nearly put North Carolina in front with a tempting chance in the 23rd minute, hitting a 15-yard try from straight on that was saved by a diving Hubbard in the Notre Dame net.
A long throw-in by Storm found its way to Tucker Hume at the top of the box in the 45th minute. Hume wheeled around at the top right of the box and snuck a shot inside the far post past a lunging Hubbard to vault North Carolina in front 2-1 heading to the break.
Patrick Hodan looked for the counter in front of the North Carolina net in the 47th minute, collecting a rebound off a Mark Gormley try and aiming for the far left post. Pyle sprawled to that side to collect the save.
The Irish had another great chance best after Pyle saved a shot from Thomas Ueland on the step in the 50th minute. Panken nearly jammed in the rebound but the ball was cleared off the line by the Tar Heel defense.
Against the run of play after a dominant first 10 minutes from Notre Dame, Winn scored after clubbing a failed clearance off the hand of Hubbard and into the Irish net at 54:04 to up the North Carolina lead to 3-1.
The Tar Heels furthered the lead on Winn’s second goal of the game in the 63rd minute. A quick restart by Raby George found Zach Wright working his way up the end line to the right of the Notre Dame goal. Wright dished the ball out front to Winn, who connected inside the six-yard box for the dagger at 62:48 (4-1).
Notre Dame did not go quietly in the face of adversity. Hodan served a tremendous looping free kick from 30 yards out that was headed from the right side of the box to the center of the field by Brandon Aubrey. Aubrey’s header landed on the left foot of Gormley, who drove his first career goal into the back of the net at 68:47 to trim the Irish deficit to 4-2.
The Irish continued to mount an offensive over the final 20 minutes to try to get within one goal. Hodan found plenty of space all alone at the top of the box in the 79th minute and sent a bending left-footed try darting in toward the right post, but the ball bent too far and clipped the outside of the iron.
Gallagher got free once more in the 88th minute behind the North Carolina defense, but his shot from in close was saved by Pyle to cap the final score.
Notre Dame continues its brief two-match road swing by traveling to Michigan State on Tuesday at 4 p.m. (ET) for a nonconference showdown at DeMartin Soccer Complex in East Lansing, Michigan. Live coverage will be available on the Big Ten Network.
Sept. 18, 2015
No. 3 North Carolina 4, No. 2 Notre Dame 2
Fetzer Field (Chapel Hill, N.C.)
No. 2 Notre Dame 1 1 — 2
No. 3 North Carolina 2 2 — 4
ND 1. Jon Gallagher (4) (Evan Panken), 12:50; UNC 1. Colton Storm (David October), 20:29; UNC 2. Tucker Hume (3) (Storm), 44:57; UNC 3. Alan Winn (Zach Wright, Storm), 54:04; UNC 4. Winn (2) (Wright, Raby George), 62:48; ND 2. Mark Gormley (Brandon Aubrey, Patrick Hodan), 68:47.
Shots: UNC 15 (9-6), ND 10 (2-8)
Shots on goal: UNC 12 (7-5), ND 6 (1-5)
Saves: UNC 4 (James Pyle 4 in 90:00), ND 8 (Chris Hubbard 8 in 90:00)
Corner Kicks: UNC 7 (5-2), ND 2 (1-1)
Fouls: UNC 6, ND 6
Offsides: UNC 0, ND 0
Yellow Cards: Patrick Hodan (ND) 28:34; Jonathan Campbell (UNC) 68:40; Jordan McCrary (UNC) 80:11; Zach Wright (UNC) 85:08
— Tony Jones, Athletics Communications Assistant