Sept. 29, 2017
by Tony Jones
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – It was a tale of shifting momentum in each half for both the University of Notre Dame men’s soccer team and Virginia on Friday night. After 110 minutes of action, and after the No. 7 Irish controlled the majority of the final hour of play, Notre Dame and the No. 10 Cavaliers finished in a 1-1 stalemate in front of an energized Alumni Stadium crowd.
Notre Dame (6-2-1, 2-1-1 ACC) was the most dangerous team to score throughout the second half and overtime, as evidenced by its 13-9 edge in shots and 9-2 margin in corner kicks for the game. The Irish held a 10-4 advantage in shots over the game’s final 60 minutes.
Virginia (6-1-2, 1-1-2 ACC) was the first to make a surge into the opposing third during the 13th minute, as Pablo Aguilar unleashed a dangerous shot from in close. Notre Dame goalkeeper Chris Hubbard was on the scene to make the save.
The Cavaliers would find their goal on the run in the 32nd minute. Jean-Chrisophe Koffi sprung Nathaniel Crofts Jr. free down the right sideline, and a pinpoint cross reached Aguilar in front of the Notre Dame goal. A swift strike into the back of the mesh from 16 yards out gave Aguilar his third goal of the year and Virginia the 1-0 advantage at 31:59.
Jon Gallagher mustered a final Notre Dame shot in the 41st minute that kept the Irish after the equalizer, but it was a 1-0 Virginia lead at halftime.
Notre Dame was the more aggressive team for the remainder of the contest following the first 45 minutes, and it played out that way on the scoreboard in the 52nd minute. Thomas Ueland won a loose ball at the top of the Virginia 18-yard box and slashed toward the net. The Irish midfielder uncorked a left-footed blast that curved inside the right post into the upper 90 for a phenomenal equalizer. Ueland’s second goal of the season tied the game at 1-1 at 51:33.
The Irish continued to press on, and nearly took the lead in the 67th minute. A dangerous Gallagher volley from inside the Virginia zone cleared a pair of Cavalier defenders but clanged loudly off the left post and out, stealing the potential go-ahead chance.
Notre Dame added an additional dangerous try within the final six minutes of regulation. Sean Dedrick looped a pass from the right flank toward the left post for brother Kyle Dedrick, who had entered in the 77th minute for Ueland. Kyle Dedrick met the cross with a solid header, but just bounced the chance on the outside of the post and away from Virginia goalkeeper Jeff Caldwell.
The Irish ultimately outshot Virginia by a 3-0 count over 20 minutes of overtime, and had one final chance for the game-winner in the 107th minute. A free Kyle Dedrick narrowly missed a chance at the left post once more, solidifying the top-10 tie.
Notre Dame remains at Alumni Stadium on Tuesday, facing off with Northwestern. The 7 p.m. (ET) game will air live on ACC Network Extra.
Play of the Game
With Notre Dame trailing 1-0 in the 52nd minute, Thomas Ueland sprang into action to find the equalizer for his side. A headed ball that was ultimately a failed clearance by Virginia landed right at Ueland’s feet, and a surging touch and left-footed shot into the back of the right netting from distance tied the game at 1-1 at 51:33.
Despite continuing to march forward on the attack for the remainder of the game, Ueland’s goal slowed the Virginia offensive production for the final hour of the contest. The Cavaliers would muster only four additional shots the rest of the night, including none following the conclusion of the second half.
Note of the Game
In the sixth meeting between the teams ever at Alumni Stadium, Friday was the first time Notre Dame and Virginia have tied at the home ground of the Irish. Notre Dame improved to 3-2-1 in home matches all-time against the Cavaliers.
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.