#8 Irish Fall In Double Overtime To #3 North Carolina, 1-0

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – No. 8 Notre Dame (3-3-1, 1-1-0 ACC) suffered an overtime defeat at the hands of No. 3 North Carolina (6-1-0, 2-0-0) on Friday evening at Alumni Stadium.

The Irish were done in by a goal from Giovanni Montesdeoca in the 106th minute that allowed the Tar Heels to escape with the victory..

The first half saw few chances for either team, but the best opportunity came in the 23rd minute for the Tar Heels, as junior Mauricio Pineda saw his shot from 18 yards out curl narrowly wide of the far post.

UNC had the majority of the possession throughout the second half, but the Fighting Irish began to claw their way back into the match by the end of regulation. This momentum carried into the first overtime period, as the Irish had multiple shouts for a penalty and spent the better part of the first extra session in the attacking third.

The game came to a wild conclusion in the 106th minute as Jelani Pieters put Montesdeoca through on goal with a perfectly weighted through ball. The Dallas native kept his composure and deftly chipped the ball past Notre Dame keeper Ryan Krutz to seal the victory for the Tar Heels.

The Irish have of not allowed a goal in the first half of play in any match this season, spanning 315 minutes of play.

On the team’s performance…
“Somehow we have lost three games and we have only trailed for around 90 seconds in the season so that’s tough. I think when it happens like that, as a coach, you can’t help but feel for the team. I think we are getting tougher. The guys left it all out there but didn’t get the result. There are always things to improve but I couldn’t be prouder of our team.”

On the team creating chances in the first overtime session…
“I thought we were great in the first overtime. I thought we had great moments in the game. I think UNC is a very solid contender this year and they do a great job. Near the end of the game I feel like we were playing very well. In the first overtime we created a lot of chances and we just have to take one of them.”

On the three-match stretch against top-five opponents…
“I think we have learned a lot about our team and improved. It can be hard to see it when the results don’t back up that improvement but I know we are a tough group and that we are right there. Sometimes when you are very close it is easy to stop progressing but these results shouldn’t lessen the belief in our team but should strengthen it.”
The Irish are back in action at Alumni Stadium at 7 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Sept. 25, as they take on Xavier. The match will be streamed live on ACC Network Extra via the WatchESPN app.

For a behind the scenes look at the Notre Dame men’s soccer program follow the Irish on Twitter (@NDMenSoccer), Instagram (@ndmensoccer) and Facebook (/NDMenSoccer).