Oct. 29, 2014
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Junior midfielder Evan Panken gave the fifth-ranked University of Notre Dame men’s soccer team a lead in the 56th minute, but No. 12 Michigan State equalized with just over 10 minutes left in regulation and the two teams ended Wednesday evening’s match deadlocked, 1-1, at Alumni Stadium.
Notre Dame held a 10-6 edge in shots on goal and the Fighting Irish also earned four more corner kicks (12-8) than the Spartans. Irish goalkeeper Patrick Wall made five saves, while Zach Bennett had nine stops for the Spartans.
The Fighting Irish (9-4-3) came out of the gates on the attack and outshot the Spartans 7-2 in the first half. In the 10th minute, Irish right back Luke Mishu sent a shot on frame from 20 yards out that Bennett punched away. Minutes later, forward Vince Cicciarelli gained possession of the ball after he fought off a Spartan defender near the endline and he then raced towards the goal and fired a low-angle shot that Bennett saved.
Michigan State (9-3-4) threatened in the 25th minute when Jason Stacy sent a free kick to the near post and Wall got his fingertips on the ball to knock it out of bounds.
Following an Irish corner kick in the 35th minute, the ball was loose in the six-yard box and central defender Brandon Aubrey had a close-range attempt that Bennett stopped.
“I thought the first half was possibly our best opening performance of the season,” Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark said. “We controlled the game from start to finish and we maybe should have had some goals at the half.”
In the opening minutes of the second half, Nick Besler headed a Mishu throw-in over to Panken and Bennett saved his header that was directed at the near post.
Panken came through later in the stanza when he received a pass from Patrick Hodan and fired a shot that Bennett deflected, but the junior hammered home the rebound from three yards away for his third goal of the season.
“It was good to see Evan get another goal,” Clark stated. “He’s been getting some goals. Evan’s always there around the back post or in the box. He has a nose for the goal.”
Notre Dame continued to push for a second goal. In the 67th minute, forward Jon Gallagher sent a low attempt on frame from the top of the penalty box, but Bennett once again was there for the save. In the 73rd minute, left back Michael Shipp delivered a crossing pass to forward Jeffrey Farina and he flicked the ball just over the crossbar.
Desperate for a goal, Michigan State upped its pressure in the latter stages of the second half. Jay Chapman placed a header high of the goal from 14 yards away in the 74th minute. Four minutes later, a header from Ryan Keener hit off the near post.
The Spartans broke through in the 80th minute when a corner kick was sent into the box and batted around before Tim Kreutz drilled it into the back of the netting.
“After we scored Michigan State put on a second forward and I thought we lost our grip on the game a little bit,” Clark stated. “They scored and then we came back into it a little bit. It was disappointing, but full marks to Michigan. State. They are one of the best teams in the region.”
Wall saved a Chapman shot early in the first overtime period and the Fighting Irish goalkeeper came up big again a little while later as Michigan State’s Adam Montague streaked down the field with the ball and Wall came off his line to negate the chance.
Notre Dame’s best scoring threat of the extra sessions occurred in the final minute of the first overtime period when Farina crossed the ball to Mishu, who had his eight-yard header ripped out of the air by a leaping Bennett.
The Fighting Irish will conclude the regular season Saturday at Pittsburgh. The Atlantic Coast Conference clash is slated for 7 p.m. (ET) at Ambrose Urbanic Field. Notre Dame currently leads the ACC by one point over North Carolina.
Oct. 29, 2014
Alumni Stadium – Notre Dame, Ind.
#12 Michigan State (9-3-4) 0 1 0 0 – 1
#5 Notre Dame (9-4-3) 0 1 0 0 – 1
Scoring: ND: Evan Panken (unassisted) 55:29; MSU: Tim Kreutz (Adam Montague) 79:22
— Sean Carroll, Assistant Athletic Media Relations Director