SYRACUSE, N.Y. – No. 12 Notre Dame (3-0-1, 1-0-0 ACC) opened the ACC schedule with an impressive 3-2 road victory over Syracuse (2-2-0, 1-0-0 ACC) on Friday evening to remain unbeaten on the season.
All five goals were scored in the final 45 minutes of play and the Irish never trailed in the winning effort. The three Irish goals were superb, as the senior trio of Patrick Berneski, Thomas Ueland and Felicien Dumas each found the back of the net.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Neither side was able to take control of the match early, as both teams had a feeling out period to open the fixture. Both teams managed to place two shots on target over the opening 45 minutes but neither found the opening goal, as the contest was scoreless heading into the halftime break.
The Irish attack came to life in the second half, powered once again by Berneski. After earning the team’s first corner of the evening, Dumas whipped the cross in and found the head of Berneski with three defenders around him at the near post. The senior produced a clinical finish, firing the header past the Syracuse keeper to give the Irish a one-goal lead.
Six minutes later the Irish doubled their lead off a wonder strike from Ueland. Syracuse managed to clear a Notre Dame free kick just outside the box, finding the feet of Ueland. The senior put his left foot through the ball, sending a screamer from outside the box just under the bar and over the outstretched hand of the Syracuse goalkeeper to put Notre Dame in front 2-0 in the 59th minute.
The hosts managed to pull a goal back in the 66th minute after being handed a penalty kick. Mohamed Omar was called for a hand ball in the box after going in for a 50-50 challenge that had the ball pop up and hit his arm. Syracuse converted from the spot to make the score 2-1.
The Irish responded, scoring their third goal of the half just 10 minutes later to restore their two-goal advantage at 3-1. Notre Dame earned a free kick in a dangerous position and Dumas stepped over to take the chance. The full back hit an absolutely perfect strike, bending the ball into the top right corner of the frame in the 76th minute to score his first goal of the season.
The Orange refused to go quietly, sending throngs of attackers forward trying to get back into the match and salvage a draw. Syracuse was able to score its second goal of the night in the 84th minute to make it a one-goal game at 3-2. However, the Irish defense saw the game out and Notre Dame claimed the road victory in the ACC opener by a final of 3-2.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Dumas played a role in two of Notre Dame’s three goals. The senior had the assist from the corner on the first goal of the match and then scored the incredible free kick to finish with three points. Dumas also put in a solid shift on the backline over the 90 minutes of play to help the Irish record the victory.
STAT OF THE MATCH
Through 370 minutes of play this season the Irish have not trailed in any match. Berneski scored the opening goal in the 53rd minute on Friday and Syracuse was never able to draw level with the Irish for the remainder of the evening.
HEAD COACH CHAD RILEY’S TAKE
On the win…
“I am proud of the group tonight, that was a gritty win. Syracuse is a quality team and really challenged us tonight. I am proud of our resolve. You have to be able to come on the road in a tough environment and grind out a result and we did that.”
NOTES OF THE MATCH
- The Irish improve to 14-3-2 in the all-time series with Syracuse.
- Notre Dame remains unbeaten when playing at Syracuse, improving to 8-0-1.
- The Irish remain unbeaten in ACC openers in program history, posting a record of 4-0-1.
- For the fourth straight season Notre Dame starts the campaign without a loss through its first four matches.
- The Irish have scored three goals in two of their four outings in 2018.
- Notre Dame has scored the opening goal in all four matches in 2018 and has not trailed in any game this season.
- Six different players have combined to score Notre Dame’s eight goals through four matches.
- The goal from Ueland was the first of his season and the ninth of his career.
- Dumas finished with an assist and a goal, giving him a team-high three assists in 2018 and one goal. The senior has 12 assists and four goals in his tenure with the Irish.
- Berneski has scored a header in every match this season, totaling four goals. The senior now has six goals in his career.
After playing the last three matches on the road, the Irish return home to Alumni Stadium for an intrastate showdown against No. 4 Indiana at 7 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Sept. 11.