Sept. 25, 2017
by Tony Jones
2017 NOTRE DAME MEN’S SOCCER – Match 8
#7 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (6-1-0) vs. #2 Indiana Hoosiers (6-0-2)
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Nonconference play rolls along for the University of Notre Dame men’s soccer team on Tuesday. In a brief break from the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) slate, the No. 7 Irish travel to No. 2 Indiana for a 7 p.m. (ET) contest at Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington. Tuesday’s match will air live on the Big Ten Network.
Notre Dame (6-1-0) makes its first return to Bloomington since a 1-0 win in the second overtime period on Aug. 30, 2015. Then freshman Thomas Ueland scored his first career goal in the 109th minute of the 2015 matchup between the teams.
Since 2010, Notre Dame owns a 5-2-1 mark against Indiana (6-0-2), including a 2-1 record in games played at Armstrong Stadium. In the most recent meeting in the series on Oct. 4, 2016, Jon Gallagher scored a pair of goals as the Irish knocked the Hoosiers from the unbeaten with a resounding 4-0 clean sheet at Alumni Stadium.
Smash and Grab for VT Over Irish
Despite chasing control for large portions of the game, Virginia Tech found goals when it needed it most. Marcelo Acuna scored in the seventh minute before adding the game-winner against the run of play in the 71st minute as the Hokies defeated Notre Dame 2-1 on Sept. 22 at Thompson Field.
Notre Dame was most dangerous in virtually every phase of the game for large stretches of play, finishing the contest with a 23-10 edge in shots and an 11-7 count in shots on goal. The Irish added a 7-6 margin in corner kicks, which only leveled after Virginia Tech gained offensive momentum late in the second half.
Gallagher Goal Count Mounts
Despite being shut out of the goal column over his first three starts of the 2017 season, which included a team record 14 shot attempts against Cal Poly on Aug. 27, senior forward/tri-captain Jon Gallagher has exploded on offense as the calendar has changed to September.
Gallagher has scored six goals over the past four Irish contests, converting on six of his 13 shots on goal in that span. The goal barrage began with Gallagher’s first career hat trick in a 3-1 win at Boston College on Sept. 8, and continued with first half goals against NC State (Sept. 15) and Bowling Green (Sept. 19) during Notre Dame’s recent homestand at Alumni Stadium, and a second half tally at Virginia Tech on Sept. 22.
Included on the 2017 MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List in the preseason, Gallagher ranks second in the ACC in goals. The reigning ACC Offensive Player of the Year has scored 20 goals in his past 28 overall starts dating back to the opening game of the 2016 campaign.
Farina The Distributor
After lighting up the goal column in the first three Notre Dame games of 2017, senior forward Jeff Farina has since found a different way to make noise on the scoresheet. Carrying on a role he has occupied for the past four seasons, Farina continues to be a matchup problem.
Farina has notched primary assists in three straight games, serving the breaking pass to Jon Gallagher for the final Notre Dame goal against NC State (Sept. 15), springing Thomas Ueland for the winning Irish goal versus Bowling Green (Sept. 19), and once more sending Gallagher through for a goal against Virginia Tech (Sept. 22). Farina is the active Notre Dame leader with 17 career assists in 63 games.
Welcome Back Ueland
In only three games since making his season debut against NC State on Sept. 15, junior Thomas Ueland has made a triumphant return as an impact player in the Notre Dame midfield.
Ueland saw his first action of the 2017 regular season in the opening home ACC game against NC State, coming on for the final 29 minutes of a 3-0 clean sheet victory against the Wolfpack. Ueland followed that up by notching the game-winning goal in the 77th minute of Notre Dame’s 2-1 win over Bowling Green. By opening his 2017 goal account with the game-winning strike, Ueland scored his seventh career goal in a Notre Dame uniform. Three of Ueland’s tallies (Tuesday against Bowling Green; 60th minute of the 2015 ACC Championship semifinal at No. 1 Wake Forest; 109th minute at No. 14 Indiana on Aug. 30, 2015) have been game-winning goals.
Those Who Shoot Most, Often Win
Notre Dame’s 2-1 setback at Virginia Tech marked the first time in 2017 that the Irish failed to win a game while winning the shots battle on the scoreboard (23-10 against the Hokies). Notre Dame has had more or an equal number of shots against six of its seven opponents this season, with only UConn (10-4) outshooting the Irish despite Notre Dame earning a 1-0 victory on Sept. 2.
Irish Against The Big Ten
Leading in to Tuesday’s showdown against Indiana in Bloomington, Notre Dame is 68-65-23 (.510) against the current nine teams that comprise the Big Ten men’s soccer membership. The Irish have faced every Big Ten member at least five times.
Notre Dame has had the most success against Michigan State (16-6-6), who the Irish are set to meet on Oct. 24 of this year. The Irish have added a 13-5-5 mark against Northwestern (teams play on Oct. 3) and an 11-2-3 record versus Michigan (teams play on Oct. 10), along with 10 victories against Indiana.
Indiana enters Tuesday’s game with a 6-0-2 record in 2017, fresh off a 5-0 shutout of Rutgers in Big Ten play on Sept. 22. The Hoosiers have drawn the only other top 25 foes they have faced thus far this season, batting No. 2 Maryland to a scoreless tie on Sept. 8 and No. 18 Michigan to a 1-1 stalemate on Sept. 13.
Head coach Todd Yeagley is 90-41-29 (.653) in his eighth season in Bloomington, and led Indiana to the 2012 NCAA Championship as the tournament’s 16th seed.
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.