Aug. 27, 2017
by Tony Jones
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - On a scintillating offensive weekend to begin his senior season, Jeff Farina remained the catalyst for the University of Notre Dame men's soccer team. Farina tallied two goals, including the game-winner in the 101st minute, to lift the No. 10 Irish past Cal Poly 2-1 in double overtime on Sunday to win the 2017 Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament at Alumni Stadium.
Notre Dame (2-0-0) claimed the tournament victory via tiebreaker against Indiana after the Hoosiers defeated San Diego 1-0 in overtime earlier in the day. With both clubs owning a plus-three margin in goal differential after two tournament wins, Notre Dame was given the top finish in the event for the eighth time after besting Indiana in the aggregate goal count, 4-3.
Notre Dame struck quickly on the offensive in the eighth minute. Kyle Dedrick sprung the attack before Felicien Dumas embarked on a long run down the left sideline and threaded a picture-perfect pass toward Farina near the left post. Farina connected on a lunging header into the back of the net for the 1-0 Notre Dame lead at 7:08.
Irish goalkeeper Chris Hubbard stood tall in net for the duration of the opening half, robbing Cal Poly's (0-2-0) Kaba Alkebulan on the doorstep in the 35th minute to maintain the one-goal advantage.
Jon Gallagher established a Notre Dame single-game record with 14 total shot attempts on the afternoon, including seven that found goal. The tournament's most outstanding goalkeeper Simon Boehme was up to the task each time against the Irish tri-captain, turning aside one of his 12 total saves of the day in the 58th minute.
A hit off crossbar by Farina in the 60th minute and a ring off the post by Matt Habrowski in the 62nd minute kept Notre Dame only ahead by one goal. Jack Casey then nearly extended the lead with a brilliant back heel deflection with his left foot in front of the net in the 75th minute, but Boehme made an incredible save to punch the ball over the bar.
Cal Poly found an equalizer in the 83rd minute. Hubbard made a sprawling save to his left on a well-taken shot by Jared Pressley, but Jose Rivera was on the scene to finish the spillage for his first goal of the year at 82:35 and square the game at 1-1.
Notre Dame controlled the run of play through the remainder of regulation and the first overtime period, but the match remained 1-1 heading to the second 10-minute allotment of extra time. Habrowski helped end it in the opening minute of double overtime with a feed to Farina in front, and the Notre Dame striker buried his second of the game and third goal of the tournament at 100:51 to send Alumni Stadium into a frenzy.
Notre Dame returns to nonconference action on Sept. 2 at Connecticut. Kickoff at Morrone Stadium in Storrs, Connecticut, is set that night for 7 p.m. (ET).
2017 Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament Awards
Most Outstanding Offensive Player: Jeff Farina, F, ND
Co-Most Outstanding Defensive Players: Felicien Dumas, D, ND/Andrew Gutman, D, IU
Most Outstanding Goalkeeper: Simon Boehme, GK, Cal Poly
Jeff Farina, F, ND
Felicien Dumas, D, ND
Blake Townes, M, ND
Jon Gallagher, F, ND
Andrew Gutman, D, IU
Rece Buckmaster, M, IU
Grant Lillard, D, IU
Simon Boehme, GK, Cal Poly
Christian Enriquez, M, Cal Poly
Josiah Benjamin, D, San Diego
Gustav Brandt, M, San Diego
Play of the Game
Kyle Dedrick broke Felicien Dumas up the left wing in space in the eighth minute and set the wheels in motion for the opening Notre Dame goal. Dumas collected his fourth point of the weekend by lacing a strike to Jeff Farina at the near post, and Farina met ball with head for the 1-0 Notre Dame lead at 7:08.
Following Cal Poly's equalizing goal in the 83rd minute, Notre Dame outshot the Mustangs 8-1 for the remainder of the game before Farina's goal ended the contest in the 101st minute.
Notre Dame Head Coach Bobby Clark
On the tournament performance of senior forward Jeff Farina...
"He's been fantastic, he was fantastic all preseason. When we lost him last year (at Louisville) was when we lost our first game, and then we struggled just to put things together. It's great having the big man back, and it's hard to take him off the field for any length of time. To be fair, he and Jon Gallagher are a tremendous tandem, both are fantastic. Now the goal is to get the younger boys Ian Aschieris and John Rea up to it with great examples in front of them."
On other key performers...
"There were a lot of great performances today. I thought Blake Townes was very good for the whole weekend. Matt Habrowski, just such a leader. Patrick Berneski and Matt did very well. It's great to have Chris Hubbard back (in goal), he didn't have much to do but he's just steady. Both fullbacks, Sean Dedrick and Felicien Dumas, get forward and were really extra attackers, so it was a good weekend. We've just carried on from what we did in the preseason. It was also lovely weather and I'd like to give the grounds crew... as a passing team, full marks to them for getting the field ready. This is the best shape this field has ever been in, and for four games in three days it still held together nicely. It was fantastic."
On how the offense fared during the tournament...
"They make chances. When a goalkeeper has 12 saves that's a lot of saves, plus the two goals, so we're getting offense and making opportunities. We had four goals and I think we could have had more, but as long as we have one more than the opposition I'll settle for that. There's a long season ahead, but I'm very happy coming off this. There are a few things we can learn, but now UConn is the next team up. That's where our focus is next."
Note of the Game
Notre Dame became the first team in the history of the Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament to win the event in three consecutive seasons (2015-17). Only Indiana (2006-07) can join the current Irish run with back-to-back tournament victories at any point since 2002.
Tony Jones, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2012 and coordinates all media efforts for the Notre Dame softball and men's soccer programs. A native of Jamestown, New York, Jones is a 2011 graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and prior to arriving at Notre Dame held positions at the University of Louisiana Monroe and with the National Football League's Buffalo Bills.