Sept. 15, 2015
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – A 47th minute goal from Xavier’s Jalen Brown was the ultimate difference on Tuesday, as the visiting Musketeers handed the University of Notre Dame men’s soccer team its first defeat of the 2015 season with a 1-0 decision at Alumni Stadium.
No. 2/3 Notre Dame (4-1-1) outshot Xavier (4-2-0) by a final count of 13-8 during the match, including a dominant 10-3 margin in the second half. It was the first regulation loss for the Irish since falling to eventual national champion Virginia in the NCAA Championship round of 16 on Nov. 30, 2014.
“This was always going to be a very difficult game, we were very aware of that,” Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark said. “We started slowly in the first half, and this is the first weekday game we’ve played with (the players) taking classes. In the second half I was pleased with the display, we fought very hard in the second half even though we conceded a goal. That was their only serious attempt in the second half.
“That was a positive, but obviously the result was not,” Clark added. “We have to move on, we don’t have a lot of time to nurse our wounds with a huge game on Friday. We have to put this one behind us.”
Xavier made the first offensive surge of the game in the fourth minute, as a pass inside found Matt Vasquenza to the right of the net. A right-footed blast carried into the side of the mesh and out of bounds.
Vasquenza made a great run in the ninth minute to get free up the left flank. The try from 15 yards by the Xavier forward drifted just wide of the far post.
Jon Gallagher got loose at the top of the box in the 17th minute for Notre Dame, blasting a try from 20 yards that deflected over the top of the Xavier goal. The Musketeers managed to safely clear the ensuing Evan Panken corner kick service.
A creative back heel pass in the 43rd minute from Panken found tri-captain Max Lachowecki in stride down the left side. Lachowecki sent a nice cross in front to Mark Gormley, whose shot from the top of the box was snagged by Xavier goalkeeper Dallas Jaye to close the opening half with the game still scoreless.
Jalen Brown scored the first opposing goal of the season against the Notre Dame defense in the 47th minute. A loose ball following a corner kick from Alex Ridsdale found its way through to Brown, who buried his own rebound from six yards for the 1-0 Xavier lead.
Panken nearly answered just over three minutes later, as a change in possession found the senior midfielder standing alone with a straight ahead look from 18 yards out. Jaye made a great diving save off the right footed shot drifting to his left to rob the Irish chance.
A testy flick on by Lachowecki from a pinpoint Panken feed in the 53rd minute clipped off a streaking Thomas Ueland out in front of the Xavier net. The deflection perfectly caromed to Jaye for an easy save.
The Irish began to apply more pressure 12 minutes into the second half, peppering the Xavier goal with two more tries on frame. Jaye was up to the task and a made a pair of saves during the flurry.
Gallagher added a promising try in the 84th minute, cutting up the center of the pitch to deflect a cross from Panken right at the Xavier goalkeeper Jaye.
Tri-captain Patrick Hodan swung around on a strong left-footed blast in the 87th minute that looked to be bending back under the crossbar, but the drive continued to carry over the top of the goal and out of play.
Notre Dame made one last charge at the Xavier net in the final 15 seconds of the match. A long throw-in from tri-captain Connor Klekota found its way out to Matt Habrowski, who sent a shot back into the six-yard box that was blocked by Jalen Brown. A ricochet off a clearance from Jalen Brown looked to hit Cory Brown directly in the hand in the restricted area, but no penalty kick was awarded as time expired.
“Coach (BJ) Craig said road bumps are to wake you up,” Clark said. “Hopefully this was a road bump and nothing more.”
Notre Dame next travels to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, to face No. 3 North Carolina in Atlantic Coast Conference play on Friday at 5 p.m. (ET). The match has the distinction of being the only scheduled regular season men’s soccer telecast on ESPNU in 2015.
“You’ve got to move on, that’s one of the nice things when playing a lot of games is that you don’t have time to feel sorry for yourself,” Clark said. “We’ve got to pick ourselves up and get out of here after classes on Thursday to play at 5:00 on Friday. It will be another good game, they are all good games. That’s the nice thing about it.”
Sept. 15, 2015
Xavier 1, No. 2/3 Notre Dame 0
Alumni Stadium (Notre Dame, Ind.)
Xavier 0 1 — 1
No. 2/3 Notre Dame 0 0 — 0
XU 1. Jalen Brown (-), 46:35.
Shots: ND 13 (3-10), XU 8 (5-3)
Shots on goal: ND 6 (1-5), XU 4 (2-2)
Saves: ND 3 (Chris Hubbard 3 in 90:00), XU 6 (Dallas Jaye 6 in 90:00)
Corner Kicks: ND 3 (1-2), XU 3 (1-2)
Fouls: ND 5, XU 9
Offsides: ND 0, XU 2
Yellow Card: Patrick Berneski (ND) 68:27
— Tony Jones, Athletics Communications Assistant