Nov. 24, 2013
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Even while playing in frigid temperatures, the Notre Dame offense stayed red-hot as the third-ranked Fighting Irish topped No. 19 Wisconsin, 4-0, Sunday evening in the second round of the NCAA Men's Soccer Championship at Alumni Stadium.
Senior forward Harrison Shipp, the ACC Offensive Player of the Year, scored twice and Vince Cicciarelli and Patrick Hodan also chipped in goals for the Fighting Irish. The four goals were a season-high total for the Irish and they matched the most ever for the program in an NCAA tournament game.
Notre Dame (13-1-6) will play host to ACC foe Wake Forest next Sunday in the NCAA Championship Round of 16. The match is slated for 7 p.m. (ET) at Alumni Stadium. The Irish topped the Demon Deacons, 3-1, on Nov. 2 in Winston Salem, N.C.
The Irish didn't waste much time on Sunday as Cicciarelli, a junior forward, scored in the seventh minute. The sequence began with a shot from midfielder Connor Klekota that was blocked and Cicciarelli gathered the ball and chipped it over Wisconsin goalkeeper Max Jentsch from 15 yards out for his sixth goal of the season. That was the fastest goal scored ever for Notre Dame in an NCAA tournament contest.
Shipp gave the Irish a 2-0 lead in the 22nd minute when he tucked a free kick inside the near post from 20 yards away. Notre Dame led 2-0 at halftime.
"I thought we opened the game very, very well," Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark said. "Then I thought we let it drift a little bit, but we still got two goals in the first half. Our second goal from Harry was a terrific goal. We got the third goal so quickly after halftime and I felt that put us in a really good position. Of course the fourth goal put the icing on the cake. It was a really good performance tonight."
The Irish converted on another free kick in the 55th minute. This time it was Hodan who struck the ball from near the right sideline and Cicciarelli was positioned in the box but let it go and it found the back of the net. It was Hodan's seventh goal of the campaign.
Shipp salted the game away in the 65th minute when he sent a shot to the far post from 16 yards out that beat Jentsch. The senior forward leads the Irish with 11 goals this season. Tonight was Shipp's second multiple-goal game of the season and the fourth of his career. The two-goal performance tied a Notre Dame record for goals in an NCAA tournament match. The last Irish player to accomplish the feat was Kurt Martin in a 3-2 setback at Virginia in the quarterfinals of the 2006 tournament.
"I think we did a good job early on of recognizing the way they (Wisconsin) were man-marking us, especially their two center backs," Shipp said. "We got that goal in the first 10 minutes and I think that really forced them to come out and play. It forced them to pressure higher up the field and it allowed big spaces in behind, which we took advantage of."
Notre Dame outshot Wisconsin 15-7, including 7-2 in shots on goal. The Badgers didn't register their first shot on goal until the 71st minute. The Irish also had a 3-2 edge in corner kicks.
Senior goalkeeper Patrick Wall made two saves for the Fighting Irish to pick up his ninth shutout of the season. Jentsch had two saves for Wisconsin (14-5-2) in 78:31 of play.
"Harry (Shipp) has been terrific for us, but I thought the whole team played well tonight," Clark said. "I felt the two central defenders (Grant Van De Casteele and Andrew O'Malley) were very good. Evan Panken is the unsung hero out there in the wide area. He pressures so well. It's also great having Nick Besler back because we played eight games without him when he broke his foot earlier in the season. Having him back is such a steadying influence on the team."
The Irish will be making their second straight appearance in the NCAA Round of 16 and the seventh overall in program history. Clark has led Notre Dame to the Round of 16 six times in his 13 seasons with the Fighting Irish.
Notre Dame's other four-goal performance in an NCAA tournament game was in a 4-1 second-round win over Milwaukee in 2003. Today's four-goal margin of victory was the largest ever for the Fighting Irish in an NCAA contest.
NCAA Championship Second Round
#19 Wisconsin (14-5-2) 0 0 - 0
Shots: UW 2-5 - 7, ND 5-10 - 15
-- Sean Carroll, Assistant Athletic Media Relations Director