Tri-captain Evan Panken scored the first Notre Dame goal of 2016 in a 4-0 win over UC Irvine on Friday

#9 Irish Utilize Strong Attack With Opening Clean Sheet Against UC Irvine

Aug. 26, 2016

by Tony Jones

Box Score

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NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame men’s soccer team utilized a three-goal offensive blitz in the second half, including two tallies from junior attacker Jon Gallagher, in a 4-0 shutout of UC Irvine on Friday to open the Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament and the 2016 regular season at Alumni Stadium.

Tri-captain Evan Panken opened the scoring for No. 9 Notre Dame (1-0-0) in the 26th minute, finishing a cross from Gallagher sent from the right wing near the left post. A sliding Panken volley into the net gave the Irish a 1-0 lead at 25:43.

Gallagher started his own scoring surge in the 59th minute, gathering a through ball from Blake Townes and finding his way up the right flank. A hard strike from near the top of the six-yard box caromed off UC Irvine (0-1-0) goalkeeper Elliot Farmer and found its way into the left corner of the net, extending the Irish lead to 2-0 at 58:49.

A foul inside the box less than three minutes later provided Notre Dame with its first penalty kick opportunity of the young season. Brandon Aubrey left no doubt with the try, blasting his first goal of the year past Farmer at 61:07 for a commanding 3-0 Irish advantage.

Gallagher capped the scoring himself with his second goal of the evening in the 78th minute. Tri-captain Michael Shipp executed an artful run down the right sideline before launching a perfect pass in front to Gallagher, who flicked the ball with his right foot inside the near post for his final points of the night and a close to the Irish scoring at 77:41.

Notre Dame (1-0-0) will face New Mexico (0-1-0) in the final game of the Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament on Sunday at 2 p.m. (ET). Live coverage will be available through ACC Network Extra.

Season and single game tickets for the 2016 Notre Dame men’s soccer season remain on sale. Visit or call the Murnane Family Ticket Office at 574-631-7356 for more information or to purchase tickets.

Play of the Game

After Jon Gallagher lobbed what looked to be a cross that was destined for the left post in the 26th minute, tri-captain Evan Panken turned on the after-burners behind the UC Irvine defense with a well-timed run. A sliding strike by Panken found its way into the net, and Notre Dame came away with a 1-0 lead.

Turning Point

After finding the UC Irvine goal with five of its 10 shot attempts in the first half, Notre Dame upped its mark even more efficiently in the second frame. A total of seven of the 12 Irish shots in the second half were credited on target, including three goals that built an insurmountable 4-0 lead.

Coach Bobby Clark

On his biggest takeaways from the game…
“I think we’ve been very close to playing well in the previous (exhibition) games. In preseason games you’re just finding your way, today was a real game and I think everybody was ready for it. It was a fairly close game right up until nearly the 60th minute, and if they sneak a goal in it’s exactly the same as the Valpo game (1-1 exhibition draw). We kind of controlled that game very similarly, we get a goal, and then all of a sudden they got a goal. But once the second goal was in (tonight) it’s pretty difficult for the other team, and the third goal was the icing on the cake. There were a lot of parents here, it was a parents’ weekend for us and we were able to get quite a few people on.”

On the team maintaining the consistency that it showed against UC Irvine…
“We’ve done pretty well over the last few years now, and we come out every year and play what is one of the hardest schedules in the country. We’re always there or thereabout, and you’ve got to if you want to make the NCAA tournament. With the schedule we have, if we don’t play consistently we won’t make it. It’s tough but I think we enjoy that, we thrive on that.”

On the performance of many of the younger players in the season opener…
“Technically speaking you had Tommy McCabe, who’s a freshman, Sean Dedrick as a redshirt freshman because he didn’t play last year. Jack Casey, another true freshman, is such a smart player, Sean MacLeod as a redshirt freshman, as well as Ian Aschieris. You’ve got guys who this is their first year of eligibility and you’ve brought them along in one way or another. I also thought Mark Gormley was exceptional today as well. When he and Jon Gallagher were on they were pressuring well, and it’s nice that we’ve got four good strikers (along with Aschieris and Jeffrey Farina). It was good to get Thomas Ueland back on, Thomas came off against Bradley and we didn’t play him at all against Valpo. It was good to get him back because he’s a special player.”

Tri-Captain Evan Panken

On the strong offensive start to the 2016 seasonââ’¬¦
“It feels great, we’ve put in a lot of hard work. In preseason the games didn’t go exactly as we wanted them to, but tonight the pieces came together and everyone worked really hard and started to play our game. It just felt good, it kind of clicked. It was a great way to start the season off, with a good win.”

On building confidence for Sunday’s game against New Mexicoââ’¬¦
“It gives a lot of confidence because UC Irvine is a strong team. We knew they were going to come in here with a lot of energy and quality players. To be able to implement our game like that and get the result we wanted is a big boost of confidence, knowing that we can play like that against any team in the country.”

Note of the Game

Notre Dame, in search of its record seventh Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament championship, improved to 19-3-5 (.796) all-time in matches contested in the tournament dating back to 2002.

#9 Notre Dame 4, UC Irvine 0
Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament, Game 2
August 26, 2016
Notre Dame, Ind. (Alumni Stadium)

UC Irvine 0 0 — 0
No. 9 Notre Dame 1 3 — 4

ND 1. Evan Panken (Jon Gallagher), 25:43; ND 2. Gallagher (Blake Townes), 58:49; ND 3. Brandon Aubrey (PK), 61:07; ND 4. Gallagher 2 (Michael Shipp), 77:41.

Total Shots: ND 22 (10-12), UCI 7 (3-4)
Shots on Goal: ND 12, UCI 1
Saves: ND 1 (Chris Hubbard 1 in 90:00, UCI 8 (Elliot Farmer 7 in 90:00; Team 1)
Corner Kicks: ND 7 (4-3), UCI 1 (0-1)
Fouls: ND 15, UCI 17
Yellow Cards: Jorge Lara (UCI) 49:14; Randall McDermott (UCI) 54:40; Noah Gaines (UCI) 68:14
Offsides: ND 1, UCI 0
Attendance: 1,371


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.