Oct. 16, 2014
#9 NOTRE DAME
(7-3-2, 3-1-1 ACC)
(5-6-1, 2-3-0 ACC)
Friday, Oct. 17 – 8 p.m. (ET)
Koskinen Stadium – Durham, N.C.
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – While Tuesday’s 1-0 win over Northwestern wasn’t perfect, it produced some positives for the University of Notre Dame men’s soccer team as it heads into the final stretch of the regular season.
The ninth-ranked Fighting Irish have won their last two matches and they will look to keep the momentum going Friday against Atlantic Coast Conference counterpart Duke at Koskinen Stadium in Durham, N.C. Notre Dame is tied with Virginia for first place in the ACC Coastal Division with three league matches left to play. The Irish also have two non-conference games left on their docket. Duke is tied with Virginia Tech for fourth place in the Coastal Division.
“We might be getting a little run going,” Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark said after Tuesday’s win over Northwestern. “This was a difficult midweek game especially when you’re thinking about midterms going on and the guys are pretty busy. It was good to come out and get a result against a team that had only lost once this season.”
Patrick Hodan delivered the game’s lone goal when he buried a penalty kick in the 66th minute after freshman forward Jon Gallagher was taken down in the box. Hodan, a junior midfielder, has scored a goal in each of the last three games and he has team-high marks for goals (4) and points (11) this season. The deciding tally against the Wildcats was the second straight game winner for Hodan, who had the golden goal in last Friday’s 3-2 overtime triumph of Louisville.
“We’ve been playing well these last few games and we’ve been finding ways to win,” Hodan said. “Once you get close to the end of the season you really want to be hitting your peak and winning in all types of ways and hopefully we can continue to do that.
“I thought we moved the ball pretty well (against Northwestern). We created some chances and found the open space.”
Hodan paced the Notre Dame offense with six shots, including three on goal, in the Northwestern match. The Fighting Irish held a commanding 15-5 shot advantage, yet could not create more of a gap on the scoreboard.
“That’s kind of been the story of our year,” Clark said. “We’ve dominated games, but we’re not making enough good chances. We have to look to that and somehow find a remedy and get a few more goals on the board.
“All of our strikers contributed throughout the game. I thought Vince (Cicciarelli) was terrific in the first half. He had three good chances. There were great runs by him and great passes. The only thing for Vince is it would have been nice if he could have finished one of those. That would have taken a little bit of the pressure off, but it was great that he was making the runs and it was great work finding him.
“Leon (Brown) played well and we gave him a little bit of extra time in the second half. He has so much experience, which is very helpful. Jon (Gallagher) then came on and he’s quicksilver. He drew the penalty for the goal.”
The Fighting Irish would like to convert chances into goals and they just might have that opportunity on Friday when they face a Duke squad that is allowing over two goals a game in ACC play. However, nothing has come easy of late for the Irish, whose last five matches all have been decided by a single goal. Notre Dame is 3-2 in those contests and 5-3 overall this season in games settled by a single tally.
Tight games places stress on a defense and the Irish were able to come through against Northwestern despite losing two backline starters (Max Lachowecki and Andrew O’Malley) during a stretch late in the second half. Notre Dame pieced it together and fifth-year senior goalkeeper Patrick Wall made two saves to pick up the team’s fifth shutout of the campaign.
“It was good for the defense to get a shutout,” Clark said. “Pat (Wall) wasn’t overworked, but he had a vital save right at the end. It was good for Pat and it was good for the whole defense to get a shutout.”
ANOTHER BATTLE WITH THE BLUE DEVILS
– Friday will be the seventh meeting all-time between Notre Dame and Duke and it will be the fourth showdown in the last three seasons. The Fighting Irish have won the last four encounters with the Blue Devils and lead the series 4-2.
– This is just the second time Notre Dame has faced Duke in Durham. The first-ever meeting between the two schools was a 5-2 home victory for Duke in 1990.
– The two teams met twice last season at Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish won the regular-season matchup, 3-1, and then downed the Blue Devils, 1-0, in the quarterfinals of the ACC Championship.
– Notre Dame bested Duke, 1-0, in the 2012 season opener at Alumni Stadium. The Irish also topped the Blue Devils, 4-1, at the 2008 IU Classic in Bloomington, Ind. Notre Dame fell to Duke, 2-1, at the 1992 IU Classic.
– Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark is 4-0-0 all-time versus Duke.
LAST YEAR’S MEETINGS
– Notre Dame and Duke last met in the quarterfinals of the 2013 ACC Championship at Alumni Stadium. Patrick Hodan tallied the lone goal in the 59th minute. The Irish outshot the Blue Devils 16-3.
– Fighting Irish goalkeeper Patrick Wall made two saves, while Duke’s Alex Long had six stops.
– Hodan also notched the game-winning goal in last year’s 3-1 regular-season win over Duke. Max Lachowecki put Notre Dame up 1-0 in the 46th minute, but Duke’s Jack Coleman leveled the match in the 51st minute. Hodan scored in the 88th minute and Harrison Shipp tallied Notre Dame’s third goal in the final minute of regulation.
A LOOK AT DUKE
– Duke is 5-6-1 overall and 2-3-0 in ACC play. The Blue Devils boast a 5-1-1 home record.
– The Blue Devils are averaging 1.75 goals per game and allowing 1.83 per contest.
– Cameron Moseley (Fr./M) has team-high marks for goals (5) and points (11). Freshman Joe Ohaus has 11 starts in goal and he carries a 1.83 goals-against average and a .667 save percentage with one shutout.
– In ACC action, Duke has defeated North Carolina (2-1) and Boston College (1-0), while the Blue Devils have fallen to Louisville (5-0), Wake Forest (4-1) and Virginia (1-0).
– Last season, Duke went 9-5-8 (3-3-5 ACC).
– Head coach John Kerr is in his seventh season with the Blue Devils.
CLARK COACHING TREE
– Four former Notre Dame assistant coaches are leading teams that currently are ranked in the top-25 of the latest Soccer America poll.
– The list features Jamie Clark (#1 Washington), Brian Wiese (#4 Georgetown), Mike Avery (#22 Valparaiso) and Chad Riley (#25 Dartmouth). All four coached under Fighting Irish head coach Bobby Clark.
BEATING THE BEST
– Notre Dame is 5-0-2 against ranked teams this season.
– The Fighting Irish are 21-3-8 (.781) versus ranked foes since the beginning of the 2012 season.
— Sean Carroll, Assistant Athletic Media Relations Director