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Men’s Soccer

Notre Dame tops Indiana, draws Maryland in Bloomington

| Monday, August 31, 2015

Freshman midfielder Thomas Ueland buried the game winner Sunday afternoon with just over a minute left in double overtime as the Irish downed No. 14 Indiana in No. 4 Notre Dame’s second of a pair of games at the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic, stunning the 4,226 in attendance.

The Irish (1-0-1) almost went the distance in both matches in Bloomington, Indiana, this weekend, pushing No. 13 Maryland to a 0-0 draw before nearly 109 full minutes of scoreless play against the Hoosiers (1-1-0) before Ueland registered his first career collegiate goal to break the stalemate.

Irish senior defender Evan Panken controls the ball during Notre Dame’s 1-0 loss to Kentucky at Alumni Stadium on Sept. 8. The fourth-ranked Irish beat Indiana on Sunday with a 109th-minute goal.Emmet Farnan | The Observer

Irish senior defender Evan Paken controls the ball during Notre Dame’s 1-0 loss to Kentucky at Alumni Stadium on Sept. 8. The fourth-ranked Irish beat Indiana on Sunday with a 109th-minute goal.

Though Maryland (1-0-1) leveraged an impressive 22 shots to Notre Dame’s 10, the Irish defense and midfield limited the Terrapins to long balls and outside shots, with only four of their 22 attempts finding their way to junior goalkeeper Chris Hubbard.

The Irish leveraged a similar defensive performance in their second game of the weekend, with only two of Indiana’s 14 attempted shots meeting Hubbard’s gloves.

Irish head coach Bobby Clark lauded Hubbard’s weekend performance, noting his poise despite long stretches between shots on goal.

“[Hubbard] didn’t have a lot of saves to make,” Clark said.  “Lots of cross balls, but he only had to make a couple of saves the whole game. He looked very composed. I felt very comfortable.”

Pacing and conditioning were also huge aspects in the weekend’s matches — a fact which Clark said he felt played to his team’s strengths.

“I thought the team did very well in both games,” Clark said. “In the second halves and in both overtimes we were the team that was wanting to win the game and taking the game to them.”

Clark expressed some concern over the way in which the Irish started their matches, particularly the second contest against the host Hoosiers, but said he felt, considering the competition and the environment, his team did well to persevere and increase their pressure as the clock ticked onward.

“I thought that the first half it was the opposite — we didn’t defend very well, we were under a little bit of pressure,” Clark said. “It wasn’t an easy situation. Indiana’s a good team — they’re a team that pressures you very hard and very well. And there’s over four thousand people there, so it’s not an easy place to open a game at with the crowd cheering them on. I’m actually quite proud — most of the shots were from downtown. We didn’t actually give them many chances.”

In fact, only one of Indiana’s attempts stood out to Clark as any indication of a lapse in the Irish defensive scheme. Ironically enough, the instance did not even amount to a shot on goal in the final stats.

“One of their shots went off the post,” Clark said. “I felt they exposed us there, but the goal post bailed us out.”

When asked about the key to the Irish’s heroic victory, Clark had a simple explanation for his team’s success.

“Indiana tired,” Clark said. “They couldn’t press us the way they wanted to press us. They took a lot of shots, but most of them were from downtown. We played very well.”

The Irish squad returned to campus Sunday evening to prepare for the coming school week as well as a long stretch of home stands — the team’s next fixture away from Alumni Stadium is not until November. Its home opener will take place this coming Friday at 7:30 p.m. as the team hosts South Florida at Alumni Stadium.

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