BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – No. 24 Notre Dame (2-0-1) capped off an excellent weekend of play on Sunday afternoon at Jerry Yeagley Field, picking up its second win over a ranked opponent in three days after defeating No. 22 Dartmouth by a final score of 2-0 to win the tournament. The Irish edged the host No. 6 Indiana for the title through goal differential.
Seniors Ian Aschieris and Patrick Berneski scored the goals for the Irish, while senior Felicien Dumas created both chances, picking up two assists.
The victory was notable for Notre Dame head coach Chad Riley, as he picked up a win over the program he led for the previous five seasons.
HOW IT HAPPENED
For the second time in as many outings the Irish were on the front foot to open the match. Notre Dame’s opening goal came in the 14th minute after 33-pass sequence. Freshman Mohamed Omar picked a perfectly weighted pass to Sean MacLeod, who found Dumas in space on the left. The senior whipped in a cross and connected with Aschieris, who sent a thundering header past the Dartmouth keeper to give the Irish the early lead.
— ND Men’s Soccer (@NDMenSoccer) September 3, 2018
The Irish controlled the run of play for the majority of the rest of the first half. Notre Dame created a few half chances but were unable to put another attempt on frame and took a 1-0 lead into the halftime intermission.
The first really good chance of the second half came in the 59th minute. The Irish had a spell of possession in the final third that resulted in a shot from Thomas Ueland that was blocked after the senior dribbled by a defender and an attempt from Aiden McFadden off a nice layoff from just outside the box that the sophomore blasted high over the bar.
Notre Dame created a flurry of opportunities in the 73rd and 74th minutes. MacLeod collected a pass in the area and spun around and drilled a shot towards the goal, forcing a save. Moments later, Dumas headed a ball toward the top of the frame but the Dartmouth keeper tipped the attempt over the bar.
After plenty of chances, the Irish finally got the second goal it was searching for to put the game away in the 79th minute. The goal came off a set piece, as Dumas sent a free kick to the far post to find Berneski for a free header, which the senior clinically buried to give the Irish the victory. Berneski has now scored a set-piece headers in each of the first three games this season.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Dumas created havoc all game along the left flank, making countless overlapping runs and successfully taking on defenders in the attacking third. The senior picked up assists on both Irish goals, moving his tally to three assists in three matches and 11 in his career. Dumas was also great in the defensive half, as he helped keep the Big Green to zero shots on goal for the match.
“I thought overall he had a great weekend on both sides of the ball,” said Riley. “Last year was his first year playing fullback and I have seen so much growth through preseason. He has found a great balance between defending and attacking. Both games he had to redirect play and he did a great job winning his aerial challenges.”
Felicien Dumas had 2 assists and helped the Irish keep a clean sheet from his outside back position, earning the senior Man of the Match!
— ND Men’s Soccer (@NDMenSoccer) September 2, 2018
STAT OF THE MATCH
The Irish defense showed its class in the shutout over Dartmouth, as the unit did not allow the Big Green to record a single shot on target over the 90 minutes. Notre Dame has given up just one goal in 290 minutes of action this season, and has not allowed a single goal in open play.
HEAD COACH CHAD RILEY’S TAKE
“I thought the match was really good. It’s tough for Dartmouth because they have a shorter preseason as they only have one exhibition. They came in and made it very difficult for us. I think they lost some important pieces but they are going to be a very good team moving forward and I see a bright future for them this season.”
On the early goal setting the tone for the match…
“You always want to get a goal whenever you can but an early goal certainly breaks the ice. They came back and created a good chance but our defense stood up to it. Felicien (Dumas) was a terror all night down the left and created some good chances that I think on another day we capitalize.”
On the defense through the first three matches…
“I think the defense is always the base of any good team. Any team that wants to win anything has to be difficult to beat and I think we are working towards being a very good defensive team.”
The Irish placed four student-athletes on the all-tournament team, as Berneski, Dumas, Blake Townes and Tommy McCabe earned the honors. After scoring two goals in two games and helping the team record two cleans sheets, Berneski took home Most Outstanding Defensive Player of the Tournament honors.
NOTES OF THE MATCH
- The Irish improve to 3-1-0 in the all-time series with Dartmouth.
- For the seventh straight season Notre Dame starts the season without a loss through its first three games of the campaign.
- The Irish have allowed just one goal through three matches this season and have now accomplished the feat in each of their last four seasons.
- Notre Dame has scored the opening goal in all three matches in 2018 and has not trailed in any game this season.
- The Irish defense did not allow a single shot on frame in the victory.
- Four different players have combined to score Notre Dame’s six goals through three matches.
- The goal from Aschieris was the first of his career.
- With two assists, Dumas now has three assists on the season and 11 in his four-year tenure with the Irish.
- Berneski has scored a header in every match this season, totaling three goals. The senior now has five goals in his career.
The Irish open ACC play on the road at Syracuse at 7 p.m. ET on Friday, Sept. 7.