Men’s Soccer: Irish move into first with win
Isaac Lorton | Sunday, November 3, 2013
In front of a packed Spry Stadium for senior night in Winston-Salem N.C., the No. 2 Irish toppled No. 12 Wake Forest with a 3-1 win Saturday in front of 3,991 people.
With their first conference loss of the season, the Demon Deacons (8-4-5, 5-1-4 ACC) fell to third place while Notre Dame (9-1-5, 6-1-3) moved into a tie with Maryland for the top spot in the ACC.
“It was one of those ‘If we win we go top, but if we lose we don’t have a shot’ kind of thing,” Irish coach Bobby Clark said. “Come out with a 3-1 win, that is a big win for us.”
The Irish have played six conference road games this season, and with the win over Wake Forest, they remain undefeated with a 5-0-1 record.
“We have done superbly well on the road,” Clark said. “It was our toughest match yet, and we rose to the occasion.”
The scoring began late in the first half in the 36th minute and proceeded quickly from there. Irish sophomore midfielder Evan Panken collected a failed clearance off of a corner kick and ripped a shot over the head of Wake Forest redshirt freshman goalkeeper Alec Ferrell, off the crossbar and into the net to put the Irish up 1-0.
At 39:35, Irish junior defender Max Lachowecki fouled freshman midfielder Ian Hark in the box. Lachowecki received a yellow card and the Demon Deacons received a penalty kick. Senior midfielder Luca Gimenez converted from the spot to tie the game at 1-1.
Only 40 seconds later, Irish senior midfielder Harrison Shipp slotted a pass through the Wake Forest defense to junior forward Vince Cicciarelli, who placed the ball near post past Ferrell to give the Irish the 2-1 advantage heading into the break.
“Cicciarelli was dangerous on the break on the night,” Clark said. “[The Demon Deacons] found it difficult to handle him. Of course [Irish senior forward] Harry [Shipp] and [junior midfielder] Robby Gallegos were putting some great balls forward. It was a very good performance [for Cicciarelli].”
Wake Forest pressed in the second half, but to no avail.
“It was great defending by the team,” Clark said. “The team defended superbly well as a unit. [Wake Forest] came out with a big push at the beginning of the second half, but we did a great job stopping it.”
Irish senior goalkeeper Patrick Wall played a big part in Notre Dame’s defensive success, Clark said. Wall had seven saves on the night while facing 18 shots, 13 of which came in the second half, from the Demon Deacons. Ferrell had two saves Saturday.
“Pat Wall has been perfect on the year,” Clark said. “He made some great saves in the second half and gave us the chance to win.”
In the 68th minute, Irish sophomore midfielder Connor Klekota scored his first career goal from right outside of the penalty box to give the Irish the 3-1 lead and shut down the Wake Forest surge.
The Irish closed out the game and held a man advantage for the final 16 minutes, as Demon Deacons senior midfielder Jared Watts received a red card at 74:04 in the match.
“Now put ourselves in a position, if we beat Pittsburgh, to win the [ACC],” Clark said. “It would be an amazing feat to win the ACC, arguably one of the best leagues in the nation, in our first year.”
The Irish next face non-conference foe No. 22 Michigan State in East Lansing at 3 p.m. on Tuesday.
Contact Isaac Lorton at email@example.com