NOTRE DAME, Ind. – No. 18 Notre Dame (10-5-2, 4-3-1 ACC) turned in a complete performance on both ends of the pitch in the 2-0 victory Clemson (7-9-1, 2-6-0 ACC) in the first round of the ACC Tournament on Wednesday evening at Alumni Stadium.
Senior forward Ian Aschieris bagged the first brace of his career, scoring goals in the second and 88th minute to give the Irish the 2-0 victory over the Tigers.
The Notre Dame defense was just as impressive as the attack, locking down the Clemson attack en route to its third straight clean sheet. The Irish backline allowed just one shot on target and junior goalkeeper Duncan Turnbull comfortably made the save.
With the victory the Irish advance to the quarterfinals, as they take on Louisville at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday, Nov. 4 in Louisville, Kentucky.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Irish stormed out of the gates with an early goal, as Aechieris headed home a cross from senior Sean Dedrick near post to put Notre Dame up 1-0 within two minutes.
The Irish continued to put on pressure throughout the first half, and in the 43rd minute they nearly doubled their lead. Freshman Jack Lynn made an incisive run into the box and shot into the legs of Clemson goalkeeper Jonny Sutherland. The rebound fell to senior Blake Townes, but his attempt was blocked off the line.
Clemson began to gain possession throughout the second half, but the Irish defense held firm and Notre Dame began to find chances off on the counter attack. One such chance came in the 71st minute, as Lynn fired off a shot from point-blank range that required an excellent save from Sutherland.
Notre Dame finally managed to put away the game in the 87th minute due to Aschieris’ second strike of the evening. Once again causing trouble on the counter, Lynn drove down the left side of the field before playing an inch perfect through ball to Aescheris. The experienced senior did not make a mistake, calmly slotting the ball off of the post and in to secure the Irish their second consecutive victory.
HEAD COACH CHAD RILEY’S TAKE
On the team’s performance…
“It was a mature performance tonight. Obviously, we got the goals we needed. We were maybe unlucky not get the second goal earlier, which would have made the challenge for Clemson a little bit steeper. We knew Clemson was a very good team, they are an NCAA-caliber team, so we were prepared for a tough game. We had good composure, created a lot of quality chances and were fortunate to put two away.”
On Ian Aschieris’ two-goal performance…
“I think this is Ian’s first real season. He’s had some injuries and guys that were ahead of him. Ian is going to score a lot of goals for us. With that said, I think it felt good for him to hit the back of the net because we know he has it in him. I think he did great with his chances tonight.”
STAT OF THE MATCH
The Irish have posted three consecutive clean sheets, spanning 290 minutes of play. Over the last two matches Notre Dame has allowed a combined one shot on target.
NOTES OF THE MATCH
- The Irish improve to 5-2-1 against Clemson in the all-time series, including a record of 2-0-0 when playing at Alumni Stadium.
- With the victory Notre Dame reached the 10-win mark for the season, extending its streak to seven seasons with double-digit victories.
- The Irish improve to 6-1 in ACC Tournament home matches, outscoring opponents by an aggregate of 15-3.
- Notre Dame recorded its seventh clean sheet of the season and has held the opposition to one or no goals in 13 of 17 matches.
- After holding Clemson to no goals in the first half, the Irish have now shut out the opposition in 16 of 17 first halves this season.
- The two-goal performance was the first multi-goal match of Aschieris’ career.
- Aschieris moves into third place on the team in goals for Notre Dame this season with five.
- Lynn and Dedrick each picked up an assist on the evening. Lynn now has three assists on the season and the assist was the first for Dedrick in 2018 and seventh in his career.
- Goalkeeper Duncan Turnbull improves to 5-0-1 on the season and recorded the fourth clean sheet of his career.
Notre Dame goes on the road for a matchup against Louisville in the ACC quarterfinals at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday, Nov. 4. The match will air live on ACC Network Extra via the WatchESPN app.