NOTRE DAME, Ind. – No. 20 Notre Dame (4-3-1, 1-1-0 ACC) turned in its best attacking performance of the season on Tuesday evening in a weather-shortened 4-1 victory over previously undefeated No. 22 Xavier. The four goals are the most the team has bagged in a match during the 2018 season.
Notre Dame scored twice in each half, receiving goals from sophomore Aiden McFadden (27th minute), senior Thomas Ueland (31st minute), freshman Jack Lynn (51st minute) and senior Patrick Berneski (66th minute). The game was called due to lightning in the surrounding area in the 72nd minute, giving the Irish the victory.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Notre Dame got off the mark in the match in familiar fashion, coming from a set piece. Dumas sent in a free kick that took a touch off a Xavier defender in the box, falling to McFadden, who buried the finish at the far post to give the Irish the lead in the 27th minute.
Less than four minutes later Notre Dame doubled its advantage, as Ueland and Blake Townes played a one-two passing combination into the box, hitting Ueland in stride. The senior placed a clinical finish inside the far post with his right foot to put the Irish up 2-0. The Irish took the two-goal lead into the half and extended their streak of not allowing a first-half goal in 2018 to eight matches.
Notre Dame carried its momentum into the second half, promptly extending the lead to three goals. Lynn received a pass from junior Jack Casey and made a run into the box, while chipping the ball over a Xavier defender before running onto it and firing his shot past the goalkeeper.
The Musketeers pulled one back in the 59th minute, as a cross whipped into the box was headed into the net to cut the Irish lead to two at 3-1. As the lightning strikes drew nearer putting the final in jeopardy the Irish added one last score to put an exclamation mark on the dominant performance. Notre Dame earned their sixth corner of the evening and Dumas connected with Berneski, who nodded in his team-best fifth goal of the season from six yards out to deliver the Irish the 4-1 win.
The match was called in the 72nd minute, as the storms closed in on Alumni stadium, giving the Irish their fourth victory of the 2018 campaign.
STAT OF THE MATCH
The four goals scored were the most Notre Dame has scored in a match this season, despite it being shortened by nearly 18 minutes. The four goals marked the most the Irish have scored against a ranked opponent since defeating No. 6 Indiana by a score of 4-0 on Oct. 4, 2016.
HEAD COACH CHAD RILEY’S TAKE
On the team’s performance…
“I think we were a little sluggish for the first 10 to 15 minutes, not bad, but a little sluggish. After that we got going and the goal from McFadden gave us a lift. Ueland and MacLeod did a great job when they came on and gave a spark to the team and Ueland scored that important second goal before halftime. We then played with good composure for the rest of the half.
NOTES OF THE MATCH
- The Irish improve to 12-3-0 against the Musketeers in the all-time series.
- Notre Dame is now 3-3-0 against ranked opponents during the 2018 season.
- The Irish have not allowed a goal in the first half of play in any match this season, spanning 360 minutes.
- The four goals are the most Notre Dame has scored in a match this season.
- Junior goalkeeper Duncan Turnbull recorded the first win of his career in the first start of his career on Tuesday.
- Berneski scored his team-high fifth goal of the season and seventh of his Notre Dame tenure.
- Ueland, Lynn and McFadden each have two goals during the 2018 campaign.
- With two assists, Dumas now has a team-high six on the year and 14 in his career.
The Irish return to Alumni Stadium pitch for an ACC matchup against Boston College at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 28. The match will be streamed live on ACC Network Extra via the WatchESPN app.