Aug. 28, 2016
by Tony Jones
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – A 41st minute penalty kick converted by senior defender Brandon Aubrey proved to be the difference, as the University of Notre Dame men’s soccer team outlasted a lengthy weather delay and talented New Mexico side to prevail with a 1-0 victory on Sunday at Alumni Stadium.
No. 9 Notre Dame (2-0-0) won the Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament for the seventh time in the event’s 14-year history, successfully defending its crown from 2015. The Irish earned the tournament championship with a +5 goal differential during the event, edging six-time champion Indiana who also finished with two wins (+3 goal differential).
The winning Notre Dame goal was made possible by a strong counterattack by striker Ian Aschieris, who entered the match in the 32nd minute. As Aschieris wove through traffic in front of the New Mexico (0-2-0) goal, a foul inside the 18-yard box earned Notre Dame its second penalty kick in as many games. Aubrey calmly buried the try into the left corner of the net at 40:54 for his second goal of the season and the ultimate game-clinching score.
Notre Dame’s Jon Gallagher earned the Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament Most Outstanding Offensive Player award for the second straight season after posting two goals and adding an assist during the tournament. Aubrey was named the Most Outstanding Defensive Player with his two goals and performance on the Notre Dame back line, and Irish goalkeeper Chris Hubbard notched two clean sheets on seven total saves to be named the event’s Most Outstanding Goalkeeper. The full tournament awards list was as follows:
2016 Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament
Most Outstanding Offensive Player: Jon Gallagher, ND
Most Outstanding Defensive Player: Brandon Aubrey, ND
Most Outstanding Goalkeeper: Chris Hubbard, ND
Jon Gallagher, ND
Brandon Aubrey, ND
Matt Habrowski, ND
Chris Hubbard, ND
Tanner Thompson, IU
Grant Lillard, IU
Rich Ballard, IU
Chris Gurule, UNM
Aaron Herrera, UNM
Jose Ortiz, UCI
Giovanni Godoy, UCI
Notre Dame resumes the regular season with a pair of games at the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic on Sept. 2-4 in Bloomington. The Irish open the weekend with a 5 p.m. (ET) showdown against No. 1 Stanford, the defending NCAA champion, Sept. 2 on BTN2Go.
Season and single game tickets for the 2016 Notre Dame men’s soccer season remain on sale. Visit und.com/tickets or call the Murnane Family Ticket Office at 574-631-7356 for more information or to purchase tickets.
Play of the Game
New Mexico’s Chris Wehan nearly gave the Lobos an early first half lead after drawing the Irish defense toward the left post in the 22nd minute, opening a window in front of the Notre Dame goal. A left-footed serve from Wehan deflected off a Notre Dame player and nearly reached the goal line before Irish midfielder Tommy McCabe cleaned the loose ball away and averted the damage.
After New Mexico controlled the run of play for a significant portion of the first 40 minutes, Notre Dame’s Ian Aschieris made a hard run on the Irish attack toward the center of the Lobo 18-yard box and drew a penalty kick. Brandon Aubrey connected on the try from the spot for his second penalty kick goal of the opening weekend to vault Notre Dame ahead 1-0 at 40:54.
Coach Bobby Clark
Overall game assessmentÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦
“New Mexico are a real good team, they’re excellent. There’s no question about that. I would say that’s a better New Mexico team than the one we played in the NCAA semifinal in 2013. I’ve not seen many teams that can ping balls in that way, their back players all serve very well. They’re big and physical, and they have about four guys over 6-4, a big team and physical. I thought our central defenders were superb, and Chris Hubbard when called on and the way he approached crossed balls, he was excellent today. In a way we probably made as many good chances as they did (five shots on goal in six total attempts) with much less of the game. On Jon (Gallagher’s) shot in the 64th minute, if that guy hadn’t kicked it off the line, and we had some other chances. I thought we looked dangerous. We’ve got to do better at connecting our passes when we’re under pressure, but I’ll take it. We’ve got good size ourselves, we didn’t lose many headers in crucial areas today. Matt Habrowski and Brandon Aubrey won most of the stuff there, and up front when you have big Jeffrey Farina on, he does a good job.”
On responding to the challenging conditions brought on by a weather delayÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦
“New Mexico is a good team, but so are we. A two-game weekend, our guys have been on the go from 11:00 today. Our guys were up at Coach (BJ) Craig’s house for pancakes at 11:00, and the game ended at 8 p.m. Nine hours the boys have been around soccer, so that’s a long day when it works that way. To come out of it, keep your focus and play well, I thought we defended well as a group.”
Gaining momentum with a tournament win heading into another crucial weekendÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦
“You want to win everything. Next weekend we’re at Bloomington and we want to win that one. The focus at the moment is what can we take from this game into next week because next week we’re playing Stanford, who is very identical to how New Mexico plays. That was a good rehearsal for playing the current national champions, so next week it will be two big games against Pac-12 opponents.”
Note of the Game
Notre Dame won its seventh Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament championship, edging out of a tie with tournament runner-up Indiana for the most wins in event history. The Irish improved to 20-3-5 (.804) all-time in matches contested in the tournament dating back to 2002.
#9 Notre Dame 1, New Mexico 0
Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament, Game 4
August 28, 2016
Notre Dame, Ind. (Alumni Stadium)
New Mexico 0 0 — 0
No. 9 Notre Dame 1 0 — 1
ND 1. Brandon Aubrey (PK), 40:54.
Total Shots: ND 6 (4-2), UNM 18 (7-11)
Shots on Goal: ND 5, UNM 6
Saves: ND 6 (Chris Hubbard 6 in 90:00, UNM 4 (Jason Beaulieu 3 in 90:00; Team 1)
Corner Kicks: ND 5 (1-4), UNM 13 (6-7)
Fouls: ND 13, UNM 10
Yellow Card: Patrick Khouri (UNM) 69:06
Offsides: ND 0, UNM 0
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.