Oct. 10, 2017
by Tony Jones
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – A goal in the 56th minute from Jeff Farina, and a brace over the final 10 minutes for Jon Gallagher, provided the winning margin for the University of Notre Dame men’s soccer team on Tuesday night. A wild second half ended in a 3-1 Irish win over No. 24 Michigan at Alumni Stadium.
Despite trailing Michigan (7-4-2) by a 5-2 count in shots in the first half, No. 7 Notre Dame (9-2-1) responded strongly with a 10-7 edge in the second period to even the final total at 12-12. Two Wolverine players received yellow cards to just one player for the Irish, and a third Michigan player was ultimately sent off with 22 seconds remaining due to a straight red card.
Both teams struggled to find the range in the early going, with Michigan shots on net in the fourth and eighth minute both turned aside by Notre Dame goalkeeper Chris Hubbard. The Wolverines would ultimately manage only one additional shot on frame over the final 82 minutes of the contest.
With the first half winding down, Jack Casey gave Notre Dame its best scoring chance of the opening period in the 44th minute. A scorching left-footed shot from distance was pulled in by Michigan goalkeeper Andrew Verdi. The save sent the game to the half with neither team able to break through on the scoreboard.
Notre Dame broke the scoreless tie in the 56th minute. Great give-and-go touch passing from Gallagher to Felicien Dumas sent the Irish up the left wing, and Dumas angled a return pass toward goal to a charging Farina. The Notre Dame senior striker buried his sixth goal of the season on the run at 55:53 to vault the Irish up 1-0.
Michigan would respond later in the half to equalize and regain a foothold in the game once more. Jack Hallahan dribbled down the right flank and sent a pinpoint cross out front to Robbie Mertz, and Mertz’s second goal of the season tied the game 1-1 at 65:09.
After previously entering as a substitute in the 60th minute, Kyle Dedrick tried his hand at jumping onto the scoresheet. A bending right-footed shot from over 30 yards just curled over the Michigan crossbar in the 76th minute, thwarting a great Irish chance.
Notre Dame retook the lead in the 82nd minute. Farina prolonged a great run down the channel and threaded a perfect ball to Gallagher up the right flank. Gallagher calmly settled the feed and blasted it past Verdi short-side for his ninth goal of the year, and the Irish led once more at 2-1 at 81:41.
In a 90th-minute sequence that featured a Michigan yellow card for hauling Gallagher down inside the penalty area, and a subsequent Wolverine red card on a trailing player after the whistle had blown, the Notre Dame senior tri-captain was awarded the first official penalty kick try of his career. Gallagher drilled the shot in between the pipes for his second goal of the game (10th of 2017) to ice the contest at 3-1.
Notre Dame and Pittsburgh are set to meet in an Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) showdown on Friday night at Alumni Stadium. The 7 p.m. (ET) league tilt will air live on ACC Network Extra.
Play of the Game
A tremendous set of give-and-go passes for Jon Gallagher and Felicien Dumas artfully set the table for the opening Notre Dame goal in the 56th minute. Gallagher flicked a final pass ahead to Dumas, who flipped the ball along to Jeff Farina. A right-footed stab for Farina gave the Irish forward his sixth goal of the year and Notre Dame a 1-0 lead at 55:53.
Once it found the equalizer in the 66th minute, Michigan’s offense was unable to again capitalize on possession in the Notre Dame defensive third. The Wolverines managed only two shots for the remainder of the game.
Note of the Game
The Irish improved to 9-0-2 (.950) all-time against Michigan in games played on the Notre Dame campus, including a 4-0-1 margin in tilts at Alumni Stadium.
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.