Men’s Soccer: Irish rebuff Michigan
Isaac Lorton | Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Michigan came out strong Tuesday evening, hoping to catch the No. 2 Irish off guard, but senior midfielder and captain Harrison Shipp netted an early goal in the fourth minute to lead Notre Dame (3-0-2, 1-0-1) to a 3-0 victory.
Irish coach Bobby Clark said Notre Dame was able to take advantage of opportunities despite not playing its best against the Wolverines (1-2-2, 1-1-1).
“It was a funny game,” Clark said. “We got goals and we got chances, but it was perhaps our poorest playing display on the year so far. You have to give Michigan credit for that; they kept in the game even though they lost goals. I was a little disappointed in that, and I think the boys were too. But we dominated on chances and deserved the win.”
The Wolverines pushed the ball forward aggressively in the first two minutes and had a solid goal-scoring opportunity off of a cross from the right flank. The ball was tipped in the box and came to Michigan sophomore forward James Murphy, who put the ball on net, but Irish senior keeper Patrick Wall made a sprawling save to keep the score at zero-all.
Clark said Wall kept the Irish in the game with that save.
“If that goal goes in, it changes the whole situation,” Clark said. “He is a tremendous goal keeper, … and he proved that with his first save.”
On the ensuing Irish attack, the ball was sent forward in front of the 18-yard box, went off a Michigan defender and came to Shipp, who then made a cut and buried the ball in the lower left corner past Michigan junior keeper Adam Grinwis to give the Irish a 1-0 lead. Shipp said with the Irish not playing as well as they have been, he needed to come through and to capitalize on opportunities.
“I think tonight we weren’t exactly firing on all cylinders, at least compared to how we have been playing,” Shipp said. “I just wanted to step up and make a couple of big plays when we were having an off night. It is a sign of a good [Notre Dame] team to not play their best, and come away with a 3-0 win over a good team in Michigan.”
Sophomore midfielder Evan Panken added an insurance goal in the 25th minute of the first half for his second career goal and second on the season. Senior defender Luke Mishu carried the ball up the right flank on the attack to the end line. Mishu waited and then chipped the ball into the six-yard box. The cross went off of Grinwis’ hands to the head of Panken, who hit the ball into the open net. With the goal, Panken has now scored in back to back games. He netted his first career goal in the 3-0 victory over Syracuse on Friday.
“Panken is a hard-working guy that gets in and does a terrific job,” Clark said.
In the 42nd minute of the second half, senior forward Leon Brown came off of the bench to put away any hope of a Michigan comeback. Shipp, with the ball at midfield, placed a through-ball to Brown, who split two defenders and placed it calmly in the lower right corner to give the Irish a 3-0 lead. It was Brown’s fourth goal on the season, all of which have come off of the bench. Clark said that is what Brown does for the Irish.
“Brown has been coming on in the second half and scoring goals for us,” Clark said. “Long may it continue.”
With the win, Wall earned his third shutout to match his total shutouts from last season.
Wall made eight saves on 12 Wolverine shots, while Grinwis made five saves on 19 total shots. Overall, the Irish defense has given up only two goals on the year.
The Irish next play at Boston College on Saturday at 7 p.m.
Contact Isaac Lorton at email@example.com