Men's Soccer

Irish, Mexico U-20s Battle To 1-1 Draw

April 27, 2018

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NOTRE DAME, Ind. – In front of a near-capacity and energized crowd of 3,270 spectators at Alumni Stadium, the University of Notre Dame men’s soccer team collided with the Mexico Under-20 National Team in exhibition action on Friday night. A Blake Townes goal in the 54th minute accounted for the Irish scoring during a 1-1 draw that capped the final Notre Dame match of the 2018 spring season.

Notre Dame extended its record to 8-3-2 (.692) against the Mexico Under-17, Under-18 and Under-20 national teams in spring exhibition clashes since 2005. Mexico finished the game with a 10-7 edge in total shot attempts, while Notre Dame held the advantage in corner kicks by a 4-2 margin. Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, delivered a pregame address to the Alumni Stadium crowd ahead of the 13th annual Notre Dame-Mexico match.

How It Happened

Notre Dame controlled the pace early in the match, managing the first corner kick of the contest in the fifth minute. Felicien Dumas registered the first shot of the night for either side in the seventh minute, but the try traveled high and over the Mexico goal.

Aiden McFadden gained possession for Notre Dame in the Mexico end in the 15th minute, but his shot traveled just wide of frame. A corner kick off the foot of McFadden in the 17th minute was punched away from the Mexico goal and cleared out of danger.

With Mexico looking to threaten in the 26th minute, Notre Dame goalkeeper Ryan Krutz stood tall to keep the game scoreless. Krutz turned aside the first shot attempt on frame for either team and kept the Mexico offense at bay.

On a shot toward net off the foot of Dumas in the 37th minute, Paul Rothrock met the ball with his head and steered it at the Mexico goal. A terrific save for Mexico kept the game at a 0-0 tie heading into halftime.

Mexico emerged from the break with three quick shot attempts in the first eight minutes of the second half, but came away from each chance empty. Krutz denied the final try of the salvo with a save in the 53rd minute.

Blake Townes broke the scoreless deadlock in the 54th minute. Receiving a pass from Thomas Ueland, Townes fought through the Mexican defense and delivered a goal at 53:54 to give Notre Dame a 1-0 lead.

Mexico continued knocking at the door and ultimately found the equalizer at 71:36 to tie the game at 1-1. As play flipped back down the field, Sean MacLeod got loose on the Notre Dame offensive attack but his shot was blocked aside.

Krutz made his third and final save of the game in the 78th minute, keeping Mexico from inching ahead in the waning moments of the contest. Ian Aschieris had the final Notre Dame scoring chance of the evening in the 88th minute, but a big save from the Mexico goalkeeper left the game’s final score line leveled at 1-1.


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