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Men’s Soccer: Irish travel to Clemson

Kit Loughran | Friday, October 4, 2013

The No. 2 Irish hit the road to take on Clemson in Clemson, S.C., on Saturday at 7 p.m.

Notre Dame (5-0-3, 2-0-2 ACC) enters the game after a 2-0 win over in-state rival Indiana on Wednesday night at Alumni Stadium.

The Irish defeated the Tigers (7-1-1, 2-1-1) last season with a 2-1 victory at the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic in Bloomington, Ind., to win the tournament title. This time, Notre Dame travels to Clemson to take on the Tigers at Historic Riggs Field.

Irish coach Bobby Clark said the team is ready to return to Clemson.

“Clemson always draws a big crowd, and it’s a beautiful field,” Clark said. “We are ready to get back there and play them again.”

Clark said this is a huge ACC conference game for the Irish. 

“A lot of conference ramifications will spill out of this game,” Clark said.

Senior forward Harrison Shipp said the Irish are definitely anticipating a challenging matchup with the Tigers.

“We played Clemson last year, but it was a really close, competitive game, and the game this weekend is going to be a tough battle as well,” he said.

Shipp said the Irish are ready and excited to get back on the field after Wednesday’s victory over the Hoosiers.

“I think we are excited to play again coming off a big win against Indiana,” Shipp said. “We haven’t had a big win yet on the road, so we are excited to clinch that on-the-road win in the ACC.”

Clark said he likes the quick turnaround between games.

“The nice thing about our schedule is you don’t have very long to rest on something because you have to move on from one big game to the next immediately,” he said.

Shipp said the Irish attack isfinally beginning to really sync together, especially after the Indiana game.

“In the last couple games, we’ve really started to click offensively,” Shipp said. “[Sophomore] Patrick Hodan has been a huge impact in the midfield and [junior forward] Vince Cicciarelli just scored his first career goal.

“Hopefully we are getting to the point where we don’t just stop at two goals and instead shut teams out 3-0,” Shipp said.

Clark said the thing that he likes about his squad is that goals can come from every position on the field, and he’s hoping to see that happen against Clemson.

“A lot of people can score goals and there’s not one particular person,” Clark said. “Almost everyone one of our players could be a potential goal player, and I think that’s a nice thing about this squad.”

The Irish are learning to adapt to playing different teams in the ACC, Shipp said, and Clemson is no different story.

“We are getting used to playing against different styles throughout the ACC,” Shipp said. “They all try different ways to play us because we are currently ranked higher.”

Clark said he is confident in the team’s ability against the Tigers.

“If we play properly, we can match up pretty well with any team in the country,” Clark said. “I feel very comfortable saying that.

“If we don’t give in to our opponent, then we will be very, very, very difficult to beat,” Clark said. “If we do our part well, we will be fine against Clemson.”

Clark said the team is definitely getting into the game-mode mindset as kickoff approaches.

“I think at the moment we are ready and getting focused,” Clark said. “We have Indiana behind us and will refocus by game time on Saturday to be ready to play.”

The Irish take on Clemson at Riggs Field in Clemson, S.C. on Saturday at 7 p.m.

Contact Kit Loughran at kloughr1@nd.edu