Senior midfielder Michael Thomas evened the match on a penalty kick in the 77th minute.

No. 10 Fighting Irish Tie No. 3 Wake Forest, 1-1, At IU Classic

Sept. 4, 2009

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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – A converted penalty kick from Notre Dame senior midfielder Michael Thomas (Olathe, Kan./St. Thomas Aquinas) knotted the match in the 77th minute and 10th-ranked Notre Dame would go on to tie No. 3 Wake Forest in men’s soccer action on Friday evening at Bill Armstrong Stadium. The match was part of the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic.

The penalty kick was a result of senior forward Bright Dike (Edmond, Okla./Edmond North) being taken down inside the 18-yard box.

“The penalty kick was well deserved because (Bright) Dike was through and was brought down,” said Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark. “Michael (Thomas) stepped up and took the penalty kick. Even right through the overtime I thought we had the mentality to want to win the game. For this early in the season I felt it was a good performance by us.”

The Fighting Irish (1-0-1) had the first good chance of the night when Thomas drilled a shot straight on goal that was saved by a diving Akira Fitzgerald. A rebound shot by Justin Morrow (Cleveland, Ohio/St. Ignatius) was sent just wide from the left side with 38:05 showing on the clock in the first half.

Wake Forest (1-0-1) threatened at the 33:35 mark but the Irish cleared out the loose ball from in front of the net. The Demon Deacons capitalized less than a minute later as Corben Bone sent the ball into Luke Norman, who headed the ball into the right side of the netting to make it 1-0 in favor of Wake Forest in the 13th minute.

Notre Dame threatened again with 22:27 left in the opening stanza when Sean McGrath (Indianapolis, Ind./Pike) sent a cross to Dike on the right side and the senior forward headed the ball just wide of the goal.

A diving save from Notre Dame senior goalkeeper Andrew Quinn (Silver Spring, Md./DeMatha) was needed on a shot from Justin Lichtfuss with just over 11 minutes left in the first half to keep the deficit at one. Quinn made another diving stop four minutes later to negate a Demon Deacon shot. Wake Forest threatened in the closing minutes of the first half on a corner kick, yet the Irish cleared the ball away from the mouth of the goal. The Demon Deacons led 1-0 at halftime.

Irish sophomore midfielder Adam Mena (Holland, Mich./West Ottawa) had a good look in the opening stages of the second half, but sent a shot wide from the right side. On the other end of the pitch, Quinn came up with another key save as he dove to his left to send away a shot from Norman in the 58th minute.

The Irish pressured again with just under 24 minutes remaining in the second half as Morrow attacked from the left side and sent a pass over to Jeb Brovsky (Lakewood, Colo./Green Mountain) who got a touch on the ball but sent it over the crossbar.

Notre Dame nearly grabbed the lead with just under 10 minutes left in regulation as a Brovsky shot from close range off another Morrow cross was saved by Fitzgerald.

The Fighting Irish controlled possession in the first 10-minute overtime period. Neither team had a shot in the first extra session.

The Irish pressured the Demon Deacons a couple times in the second overtime, but to no avail. Morrow had a run from the left side and blasted a shot wide to the right with just over a minute left. Both teams had one shot in the second overtime.

Notre Dame out shot Wake Forest 16-13 on the night and that included a decisive 10-5 Irish advantage in the second half. Quinn made five saves, while Fitzgerald had four stops. The Demon Deacons edged the Irish in corner kicks, 8-6. Both teams committed 11 fouls, yet Wake Forest was not whistled for a violation in the first half, while Notre Dame was called for six.

“We went down against a top team in the first half, but we then out shot them 10-5 in the second half and that was key,” added Clark. “I thought the team showed a lot of character. I felt that we opened well and their goal came against the run of play. I thought we really took the game to them in the second half. It was a good team performance for us. There weren’t a lot of negatives to take away from the game. They (Wake Forest) were a very good team and had some chances as well. It was a very good advertisement for college soccer.”

Tonight marked the third meeting between Notre Dame and Wake Forest in the past five seasons and all three encounters have gone to overtime. The Demon Deacons had won the previous battles.

The Fighting Irish will face top-ranked St. John’s on Sunday, Sept. 6 at 11:30 a.m. (ET) during the second and final day of the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic. The match against the Red Storm is a non-conference game and will not count towards the BIG EAST standings.

St. John’s faced Indiana on Friday during the second game of the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic.

adidas/IU Credit Union Classic
Bill Armstrong Stadium • Bloomington, Ind.
Sept. 4, 2009

#3 Wake Forest (1-0-1) 1 0 0 0 – 1
#10 Notre Dame (1-0-1) 0 1 0 0 – 1

WF: Luke Norman (Corben Bone) 12:04; ND: Michael Thomas (penalty kick) 76:37

Shots: WF 7-5-0-1 – 13, ND 5-10-0-1 – 16
Corner Kicks: WF 6-2-0-0 – 8, ND 3-1-1-1 – 6
Saves: WF 4 (Akira Fitzgerald 4); ND 5 (Andrew Quinn 5)
Fouls: WF 11, ND 11
Offsides: WF 4, ND 5