Oct. 4, 2016
by Tony Jones
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Three goals in the first half sprung the University of Notre Dame men's soccer team to a commanding advantage against in-state rival Indiana on Tuesday night. An insurance tally in the second half and a bolted back door on the defensive end led the Irish to a 4-0 shutout of the No. 6 Hoosiers in front of 1,811 fans at Alumni Stadium.
No. 1/2 Notre Dame (9-1-0) won its second straight matchup against Indiana (6-1-4), knocking the Hoosiers from the ranks of the remaining unbeaten teams in Division I soccer. The four-goal margin of victory was the largest ever in an Irish win over Indiana in a series that dates back to 1978.
Jon Gallagher continued his torrid offensive pace with a two-goal, one-assist performance after entering the contest as the leading scorer in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). Gallagher assisted on the winning Notre Dame goal early in the first half before scoring in the 23rd and 24th minutes to establish a career-high of 10 goals through 10 starts thus far this season.
Oliver Harris found his first Notre Dame goal to springboard the Notre Dame offense in the 13th minute of the match. Gallagher started the sequence with a great shot that was turned aside by Indiana goalkeeper Colin Webb. Gallagher re-gathered possession and sent a through ball up the right flank to Blake Townes. Townes feathered a great pass out front to Harris, who drilled a header into the right corner for the 1-0 Irish lead at 12:42.
Gallagher completely took over the first half nearly 10 minutes later. A loose ball settled onto the junior striker’s foot nearly 20 yards from the Indiana frame, and a right-footed blast from the top of the box deflected off a Hoosier defender and over the reach of Webb into the upper 90 in the right corner at 22:16. Gallagher’s ninth goal of the season made it 2-0 Notre Dame.
As Indiana attempted to clear the zone less than two minutes later, Townes jumped the Hoosier lob pass and lunged an artful through ball up the right side to a breaking Gallagher. Gallagher finished Townes’ second assist and banked a wide angled try into the mesh for his second goal in 1:33, giving Notre Dame a commanding 3-0 advantage at 23:49.
Brandon Aubrey completed the offensive onslaught with an expertly played set piece for the Notre Dame attack in the 71st minute. From the far flag, Evan Panken dropped a perfect corner kick in at the right post, where Aubrey connected on a forceful header past Webb to cap the Irish scoring at 4-0 at 70:21.
Notre Dame resumes ACC play on Saturday with a home showdown against No. 11 Wake Forest at Alumni Stadium. The 7 p.m. (ET) conference match will air live on ACC Network Extra.
Season and single game tickets for the 2016 Notre Dame men's soccer season remain on sale. Visit und.com/BuyTickets or call the Murnane Family Ticket Office at 574-631-7356 for more information or to purchase tickets.
Play of the Game
Jon Gallagher set the tone for what became a dominant Notre Dame first half with the Irish in the lead 1-0. A rocket right-footed try from outside the Indiana box caromed off a Hoosier defender and into the upper 90 in the 23rd minute for Gallagher’s first of two goals that put Notre Dame in control of the match.
Following a testy corner in from the left flag in the 51st minute that nearly found Indiana forward Richard Ballard alone next to the Notre Dame goal, Irish goalkeeper Chris Hubbard stood his ground. Hubbard sprawled to his left and prevented Ballard from finishing a back heel flick to preserve his sixth shutout of 2016.
Coach Bobby Clark
On the team’s four-goal performance…
“This is always a really hard game (against Indiana), and it was a hard game. The goals came and fell for us but it was still a hard game until the fourth goal went in. Once the fourth goal went in I felt in a good place. Some days goals come easy for you and tonight was one of those nights where it all fell into place. I thought Indiana opened better than us the first 10 minutes, and once we got the goal in the 13th minute we settled. It was a good game going back and forward and we got another goal fairly quickly in the 23rd minute, and that really settled us. After that we were in good shape. It hasn’t changed my opinion of Indiana, they’re a very good team.”
Keys to offensive success against a stout Indiana defense…
“I thought they had a hard time handling Jon Gallagher, his speed. The quality of balls that were played to him also were good, and he was great. The goal where he held off, the third overall and his second of the game, was a well-taken goal. From our team there were a lot of good performances, but it was a difficult game. It was one of those hard 4-0 games. You can have easy 1-0 games and hard 4-0 games, and that was one of the hard 4-0 games.”
Building off the Indiana victory…
“They’re a good team, but it will be a huge game against No. 11 Wake Forest on Saturday. We played two tremendous games there, won one, lost one there last year at their place. I’d love to get a big crowd, when we played there at both games last year there were over 5,000 people. There’s no football in town, let’s get the students out, this will be a huge game for us. Let’s have a great turnout Saturday night, it will be a great time to come out and see two very good teams.”
Junior Forward Jon Gallagher
On what he saw from the Indiana defense on his two goals...
“I saw space, and if you give a striker space he’s going to shoot. That’s what I tried to do, and fortunately enough I got two in the back of the net tonight.”
How special has a 10-goal, 10-game stretch been to open the season…
“It’s been very special for the team. I try to put in my shift and give everything that I can for the team. I worked really hard in the offseason and so did the entire squad, and it’s paying off so far. We switch focus to Saturday now and try to keep rolling.”
Note of the Game
Indiana had surrendered only five goals in over 986 minutes of play during its 6-0-4 start this season. Notre Dame broke through for four goals alone against the Hoosier back line in only 70:21 on Tuesday.
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.