RALEIGH, N.C. — Notre Dame’s fall portion of the schedule came to a close on Wednesday evening in the ACC Championship semifinals, falling to No. 1 Pitt by a score of 3-1 at Dail Soccer Field on NC State’s campus.
The final score was not indicative of the performance, as Notre Dame recorded more shots (18-13), shots on target (8-4) and corners (10-0) than the Panthers.
The lone Notre Dame goal came from junior Jack Lynn, who scored a penalty late in the second half.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Irish were unfortunate in the first half, as they trailed 3-0 at the half despite being even in shots on frame at 4-4. Pitt scored the opener in the 21st minute off a perfectly placed free kick and then added a 34th minute goal after scoring on a near-post run from a cross.
The Panthers added a goal right before the half in the 44th minute, scoring off a shot from distance that took a major deflection, leaving the Irish keeper with no chance to make the save.
Notre Dame created chances as well in the first half, but the Panthers’ goalkeeper was up to the task to keep the Irish off the board. McFadden nearly leveled the match at 1-1 off a powerful header that the Pitt keeper tipped over the bar followed by a low-driven shot from Patrick Coleman that was turned away.
The Irish utilized a high press early, generating five shots in the first six minutes but couldn’t find the back of the net.
Notre Dame kept up the intensity and finally got on the scoreboard in the 87th minute, as Jack Lynn converted from the penalty spot to trim the lead to 3-1. Unfortunately, it was too late, as the Panthers came away with the 3-1 win to advance to the title game.
HEAD COACH CHAD RILEY’S TAKE
On the performance…
“Firstly, congratulations to Pitt and best of luck in the championship. We certainly are disappointed not to be advancing, but I can’t help but be proud of the team’s effort and play. It seemed like the tide was against us in the first half, and we were unlucky not to get at least one goal, and their third on the deflection was tough to swallow.
“I’m not sure I have ever coached a team that responded like we did tonight, we came out and played the best half of soccer I have seen in a long time and unfortunately couldn’t put more of our chances in the net. I am so proud of the way our team has handled this unique first half of our season, and though this result hurts, it will make us even better.”
STAT OF THE MATCH
Lynn’s goal gives him seven on the season in just eight matches. The junior now has 20 career goals in his three seasons with the Irish.
The loss wraps up the fall portion of the 2020-21 schedule. The team will return in the spring, which will include the NCAA Championships.
FOLLOW THE IRISH ON SOCIAL MEDIA