EAST LANSING, Mich. — The No. 21-ranked Fighting Irish picked up a midweek road win at Michigan State on Tuesday evening, shutting out the Spartans by a final score of 1-0 to improve to 4-2-1 on the season.
Michael Pellegrino scored the winning goal in the 80th minute, the first goal of his career.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Irish and Spartans played a scoreless opening 45 minutes of play to open the match. Notre Dame’s best chance in the first half came in the 18th minute, as Ian Aschieris played John Rea into space. The senior whipped a shot just wide of the far post.
Notre Dame began the second half on the front foot and had a golden opportunity in the 57th minute. The Irish had a counter and Tyler Shea found Jack Lynn in front of goal. The sophomore had his shot blocked with a last-ditch tackle to keep the Irish off the board.
Aiden McFadden nearly broke the seal in the 69th minute, unleashing a shot that was headed to the bottom far corner from the top of the box, but the Michigan State goalkeeper made a diving save to keep the match at 0-0.
All of the Irish pressure in the second half paid off in the 80th minute. Farina sent a long throw in to the box, forcing the Spartan keeper to come off his line and punch the ball. The clearance did not leave the box, as Pellegrino gathered and buried his shot into the bottom left corner to give the Irish the victory.
STAT OF THE MATCH
Pellegrino becomes the seventh Notre Dame player to score a goal this season.
HEAD COACH CHAD RILEY’S TAKE
On the team’s performance…
“I am proud of the group. We have had a challenging road swing so to come to Michigan State and get a victory was important for us. Mostly I am proud of the performance. I thought we built on some good performances from the last periods of the last game.
“I was proud of the way the guys handled it. Anytime you have good moments and don’t score goals it is easy to get negative but I was proud of the way they fought to stay positive and find the solution tonight.”
On keeping a clean sheet…
“It was great. Michigan State has one of the most exciting wingers in the college game and I thought we did a good job on him. They are very good on set pieces and we did a good job defending them. We have had some minor injuries that has made us reshuffle our backline a little bit so I am proud of the focus and collective effort to get a shutout.”
NOTES OF THE MATCH
- The Irish improve to 17-7-6 against Michigan State in the all-time series and have went 7-2-1 in the last 10 matchups.
- Notre Dame recorded its second clean sheet of the season.
- The Irish improve to 2-1-1 in road matches this season.
- Pellegrino’s goal is the first of his career.
- Farina dished out the second assist of the season and his career.
- Keagan McLaughlin recorded his second clean sheet of the season and career.
The Irish return home from a three-match road swing to host No. 3 Virginia in a rematch of last season’s NCAA Tournament round of 16 match. The match begins at 7 p.m. ET on Friday, Sept. 27 at Alumni Stadium. The contest will air on ACCNX.
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