EVANSTON, Ill. – No. 15 Notre Dame (6-3-1, 2-1-0 ACC) claimed its third consecutive victory in as many outings on Tuesday evening with a masterful performance in a 3-0 defeat of Northwestern (4-5-2).
Notre Dame’s goals all came in the final 20 minutes of the evening, as sophomore Paul Rothrock scored the first goal of his career in the 74th minute followed by strikes by senior Ian Aschieris in the 79th minute and senior Sean MacLeod in the 89th minute.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The first half was a cagey affair, as the Irish and Wildcats played to a scoreless standstill after the first 45 minutes of play. The best chance for either side came in the 31st minute, as freshman Jack Lynn rocketed a shot from just outside the box just over the crossbar.
Notre Dame was on the front foot from the beginning of the second half, getting numbers forward and continuously probing in the final third for the opening goal.
The breakthrough goal the Irish were searching for came in the 74th minute. After a Northwestern yellow card set up a Notre Dame free kick in a dangerous position, senior Thomas Ueland collected a loose ball and got to the end line to send a cross into the box. Rothrock got on the end of the pass and nodded home to open his account for the 2018 season and give the Irish the 1-0 lead.
Just minutes after taking the lead, the Irish doubled their lead in a moment of brilliance from Aschieris. The forward won a 50-50 ball and then darted toward the box. A Wildcat defender got a foot in and deflected a touch into the air before Aschieris wrapped his right foot around a volley, rifling a shot inside the near post to make the score 2-0.
In the final minute the Irish put an exclamation mark on the impressive performance, as MacLeod fired in the first goal of his career to give Notre Dame the 3-0 victory in Evanston.
STAT OF THE MATCH
The Irish have been excellent away from home this season, going 4-0-0. Notre Dame has outscored the opposition by a combined score of 11-2 away from Alumni Stadium.
HEAD COACH CHAD RILEY’S TAKE
On the performance…
“I am certainly proud of the squad tonight. I thought our mentality was strong and it was great to see so many guys contribute to the result.”
NOTES OF THE MATCH
- The Irish improve to 15-5-5 against the Wildcats in the all-time series.
- Notre Dame is now 2-0-0 in true road contests.
- The Irish have not allowed a goal in the first half of play in any match this season, spanning 450 minutes.
- Notre Dame shutout its opponent for the second consecutive outing and fourth time this season.
- With Rothrock and MacLeod adding their names to the goal column, nine Irish players have now scored in 2018.
- With the assist, Ueland notched his first assist of the season and fourth of his career.
- Junior goalkeeper Duncan Turnbull recorded the first clean sheet of his career in the winning effort.
The Irish return home to Alumni Field to face another highly-ranked ACC foe in No. 6 Louisville. First touch is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET on Saturday, Oct. 6. The match will be broadcast live on ACC Network Extra via the WatchESPN app.