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Men’s Soccer

Late goal pushes Irish past UConn

| Monday, September 4, 2017

Notre Dame improved its record to a perfect 3-0 on the season after a 1-0 road victory Saturday night over Connecticut on the road.

The lone goal of the game came during the 84th minute when senior forward Jeff Farina scored his team-leading fourth goal of the season. Sophomore midfielder Jack Casey recorded the assist on the goal. Graduate student goalie Chris Hubbard turned away two Huskie shots in the shutout.

Irish senior forward Jeff Farina heads the ball during Notre Dame’s 2-1 win over Cal Poly on Aug. 27 at Alumni Stadium.Ann Curtis | The Observer

Irish senior forward Jeff Farina heads the ball during Notre Dame’s 2-1 win over Cal Poly on Aug. 27 at Alumni Stadium.

The victory marked just the third time Notre Dame (3-0) has won at UConn (1-2) and the first such instance since 2006, when both teams were members of the Big East Conference.

Irish head coach Bobby Clark liked the way his team handled the hostile road atmosphere.

“I thought they played very well,” Clark said. “I thought they handled the game atmosphere well. It was a good crowd with just under 5,000 people in the stands, so almost a full house. They have a terrific atmosphere at their games. A lot of students and family there. It’s really just a great environment to play in and I thought our guys handled that well. They also handled the game itself well. UConn is a very talented team. I can certainly see them as a potential Final Four team with a lot of talent. I thought we handled everything very well.”

Clark said he liked the way his team seemed to control the play throughout a difficult game.

“There was a lot of positive things that happened to us,” Clark said. “One was how they handled the crowd atmosphere. Storrs, [Connecticut] is always a hostile environment to play in. The crowd is very loud, and I thought our guys handled that well. Another positive was also the way our guys played the game. We out-possessed them. For shots on goal, their goalie had three shots on goal, while ours had two. I thought we controlled most of the game, but they are a very dangerous team. They have very good players and I thought it was similar to an ACC game. This game had the same intensity, the same quality of soccer, it was very similar to a game we would play against an ACC opponent. It was excellent preparation for us.”

Clark said in addition to Farina, he liked the way his whole team played.

“Goals are only a part of what [Farina] has been doing well,” Clark said. “Jeff has been playing tremendous for us all around. Senior forward Jon [Gallagher] has also been playing tremendous for us as well. Those two worked their tails off for the entire 90 minutes. They were both superb, but I can say that for the whole team. The entire team worked really hard. We only used one sub late in the game when Jack Casey had to come out for his ankle. [Senior defender] Patrick Berneski was a vocal leader in the back. [Graduate student defender] Matt Habrowski couldn’t play because of an injury from the Cal Poly game. He was almost ready to play but wasn’t all the way there yet.”

The Irish will be back in action Friday when they travel to Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, to take on their first ACC opponent in Boston College.

Clark said his team will waste no time preparing for the Eagles.

“The preparation will start as soon as we get back to Notre Dame,” Clark said. “The boys that didn’t play will take part in the training session and the boys that did play will work out with our fitness coach and start the preparation of getting everything sorted out for next week’s game. So by this late afternoon, we’ll be getting ready for Boston College in Chestnut Hill, [Massachusetts,] next weekend.”

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