Nov. 15, 2013
GERMANTOWN, Md. - Two Virginia goals in the final six minutes of regulation sent Friday's Atlantic Coast Conference Men's Soccer Championship semifinal match against Notre Dame to overtime and the Cavaliers would prevail in penalty kicks, 4-3, following the 3-3 draw at the Maryland SoccerPlex.
The back and forth match featured several shifts in momentum. No. 1 Notre Dame (12-1-6) went up 3-1 in the 81st minute on an Andrew O'Malley goal and No. 10 Virginia used goals in the 85th and 87th minutes to take the momentum back and force the extra sessions.
"I will just say it was a great advertisement for college soccer and in particular ACC soccer," Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark said. "It was a really good game. I thought we controlled long stretches of the first half. Full marks to UVA - they had a fantastic fight back and made for a really entertaining game. I want to congratulate both teams for a really good game here tonight. Obviously, we are disappointed we didn't progress, but we wish UVA all the best."
The Fighting Irish scored first in the 21st minute as midfielder Connor Klekota played a long pass ahead to forward Harrison Shipp, who got behind the last two Virginia defenders and put the ball over Cavalier goalkeeper Calle Brown from just inside the penalty box. It was the ninth goal of the season for Shipp, the ACC Offensive Player of the Year.
Notre Dame controlled possession in the first half and outshot Virginia 7-3 in the stanza. The Cavaliers did not register a shot on goal in the opening half, while the Irish had three.
Virginia's first shot came in the 25th minute when Darius Madison sent a header high of the crossbar. Klekota had a shot from distance go just wide of the left post in the 27th minute.
The Fighting Irish went up 2-0 in the 45th minute when Patrick Hodan scored from close range off a feed from freshman Brandon Aubrey. It was the sixth goal of the season for Hodan, a sophomore midfielder. Notre Dame led 2-0 at halftime.
"I think in the first half, when we got the ball, we swung it around the back and got it to the midfield and were able to turn and play our wide guys who were coming into the middle and get our outside backs involved," Shipp said. "In the second half, we stopped connecting that first pass from the backs to the midfield which didn't allow our outside backs to get as high. In the first half, our outside backs were getting past their outside midfielders to the point where we could attack and play from there. In the second half, we just struggled to connect that first pass which didn't allow us to play in their half until the overtimes when we actually started playing in their half again."
In the 53rd minute, Irish midfielder Robby Gallegos had a shot deflected by Brown and the ball worked its way over to Notre Dame left back Max Lachowecki who had his shot hit the hand of a Cavalier defender and the Irish were awarded a penalty kick. Shipp's attempt from spot deflected off the left post.
Virginia (10-4-5) had a penalty kick of its own in the 57th minute when Marcus Salandy-Defour was knocked down in the box and Todd Wharton converted the attempt to make it a one-goal contest. That tally snapped Notre Dame's season-long scoreless streak, which had reached 376:33 in length. The Irish had scored nine consecutive goals up to that point.
The Cavaliers threatened again in the 72nd minute when a pass was played ahead to Salandy-Defour, but Irish goalkeeper Patrick Wall came off his line to snatch the ball near the edge of the penalty box to preserve the lead.
The Irish regained their two-goal advantage in the 81st minute when Hodan drilled a free kick on frame that was knocked away by Brown and O'Malley deposited the rebound. It was the second goal of the season for O'Malley, a central defender.
The Cavaliers didn't go away and sliced the Irish lead back to one in the 85th minute with a Salandy-Defour goal. Virginia notched the equalizer two minutes later when Nicko Corriveau buried a close-range shot into the upper netting. Virginia outshot Notre Dame 11-5 in the second half and 15-13 for the match. Both teams had one shot during overtime. Wall finished with three saves for the Irish, while Brown had four stops for the Cavaliers. Virginia had seven corner kicks and Notre Dame had six.
"It was a really nice atmosphere here at the SoccerPlex," Clark said. "Their players were ready too because they certainly came out of the blocks in the second half. For me, I was really proud because we lost a break in the game and I was proud of how we got our game back together. I thought we had a few chances to win and it wasn't to be. Penalty kicks were the decider."
Notre Dame was the No. 2 seed in the tournament, while Virginia is the sixth seed. The Cavaliers topped the Irish, 2-0, on Oct. 26 at Alumni Stadium. That is the only loss of the season for Notre Dame.
Junior midfielder Nick Besler, a first team all-ACC pick, returned to the Irish lineup tonight after missing the last eight matches with an injury. Besler started and played 69 minutes in the central midfield.
The NCAA Championship field will be announced Monday. Check NCAA.com for the full 48-team bracket.
ACC Championship Semifinals
November 15, 2013
Maryland SoccerPlex Germantown, Md.
#10 Virginia (10-4-5) 0 3 0 0 - 3
#1 Notre Dame (12-1-6) 2 1 0 0 - 3
Virginia won penalty kick shootout, 4-3
Scoring: ND: Harrison Shipp (Connor Klekota) 20:39; ND: Patrick Hodan (Brandon Aubrey) 44:05; UVA: Todd Wharton (penalty kick) 56:08; ND: Andrew O'Malley (Patrick Hodan) 80:14; UVA: Marcus Salandy-Defour (Riggs Lennon) 84:16; UVA: Nicko Corriveau (Marcus Salandy-Defour) 86:19
Shots: UVA 3-11-1-0 - 15, ND 7-5-1-0 - 13
Corner Kicks: UVA 1-2-1-3 - 7, ND 4-2-0-0 - 6
Goalkeepers: UVA: Calle Brown - 4 SV, 3 GA, 110:00, T
ND: Patrick Wall - 3 SV, 3 GA, 110:00, T
Fouls: UVA 19, ND 13
Offsides: UVA 3, ND 3