NOTRE DAME, Ind. – It was a tale of two halves on Friday evening at Alumni Stadium, as No. 16 Notre Dame (8-5-1, 3-3-0 ACC) suffered a 5-2 defeat to Virginia Tech (9-4-2, 3-3-1 ACC) in the Irish regular season finale.
All seven goals were scored on the north end of the pitch, as the Irish bagged two in the opening 45 minutes before the Hokies struck for five in the second half. The two Irish goals were scored by seniors Ian Aschieris and Thomas Ueland.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Irish could not have asked for a better start to the match, scoring in the 2nd minute to take an early 1-0 lead. The goal came as a result of a header, as senior Blake Townes connected with Aschieris, who finished past the Virginia Tech keeper.
Notre Dame showed no signs of letting up, as the attack put the Hokies under constant pressure, firing shots at the visitor’s goal. In the 28th minute the Irish doubled their advantage to 2-0. Sophomore Aiden McFadden played a perfectly weighted through ball to Ueland, sending him in on goal. The senior made no mistake with his finish, placing it past the goalkeeper to score his fifth goal of the season.
Notre Dame had chances to increase its lead in the first half but were unable to tack on any additional goals, heading into the halftime break with a 2-0 lead.
The Hokies managed to pull a goal back in the first 20 seconds of the second stanza, completely taking all the momentum that Notre Dame built in the first 45 minutes. Less than five minutes later the visitors leveled the match at 2-2 after the Irish were unable to clear their lines, allowing a Virginia Tech player to finish at the right post.
In the 59th minute the Hokies took their first lead of the night, as Kristo Strickler curled a shot just inside the far post to put them on top 3-2. Virginia Tech then tacked on two more goals in the second half to give it the 5-2 win.
HEAD COACH CHAD RILEY’S TAKE
“It was obviously a little bit of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I thought the first half was one of our best halves of the year, as we got the 2-0 lead. Then the second half started and it’s always hard when the other team’s first shot in a half goes in and it goes in quickly. The second half went how it went. Part of being a competitor is dealing with outcomes that don’t go your way and I am sure the guys will be looking forward to getting back on the field Tuesday against Virginia.”
NOTES OF THE MATCH
- Twelve of Notre Dame’s 26 goals this season have come from set pieces.
- Ueland ranks second on the Irish in goals with five and has 13 goals in his career.
- With the assist on Ueland’s strike, McFadden recorded the first assist of his career.
- Aschieris found the back of the net for the third time this season.
The Irish travel to Charlottesville, Virginia, for a pivotal ACC midweek match at No. 6 Virginia. The match is slated to start at 7 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Oct. 23. The match will air live on ACC Network Extra via the WatchESPN app.