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Men’s Soccer

No. 1 Notre Dame tops Bowling Green behind Ueland’s season-first goal

| Wednesday, September 20, 2017

No. 1 Notre Dame came out ahead in a close contest against Bowling Green (5-3-0) on Tuesday night at Alumni Stadium.

The Irish (6-0-0) opened the scoring in the 21st minute of the game when senior forward Jon Gallagher buried a centering pass from sophomore midfielder Jack Casey right in front of the Falcons’ goal to score his fifth goal of the season and give the Irish a 1-0 lead. Senior midfielder Blake Townes also recorded an assist on the goal.

Irish senior forward Jon Gallagher and an opponent chase the ball during Notre Dame’s 2-1 win over Bowling Green on Tuesday at Alumni Stadium. Gallagher scored the first goal in the game.Annie Smierciak | The Observer

Irish senior forward Jon Gallagher and an opponent chase the ball during Notre Dame’s 2-1 win over Bowling Green on Tuesday at Alumni Stadium. Gallagher scored the first goal in the game.

The Falcons (5-3-0) tied the score early in the second half when sophomore forward Chris Brennan buried a hard shot in the 51st minute. Senior forward Keaton Reynolds recorded an assist on the goal.

Bowling Green had a number of quality scoring chances during the next 20 minutes but was unable to capitalize. Then, in the 77th minute, junior forward Thomas Ueland buried a senior forward Jeff Farina feed to score his first goal of the season and give the Irish the late lead. The Irish defense shut out the Falcons in the final 13 minutes to seal the victory.

Notre Dame recorded 18 shots during the game, compared to Bowling Green’s seven. The Irish also outnumbered the Falcons on corner kicks, with 13 to their four.

Gallagher recorded a team-high seven shots during the game and Farina recorded four shots, while junior defender Sean Dedrick and senior forward Kyle Dedrick recorded a shot each. Ueland finished with two shots on goal.

Irish graduate student goaltender Chris Hubbard recorded one save in the first half, while Bowling Green goalie Anthony Mwembia made four saves.

Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark said he was proud of the way his team responded after facing some adversity.

“We had to be relentlessly patient,” Clark said. “We knew that they are a very well organized team, a very difficult team to break down. And we knew we had to be patient, we had to keep plugging away hard and I was really proud of the way our team performed there. We lost what I would say is a bad goal. We weren’t happy with the way we lost that goal. We fell asleep for a moment, and that obviously gave them a bit of energy there but I thought our guys just kept fighting away. I just looked at the shot count and I thought we dominated a lot of the game but they were very hard to break down. They had a good goalkeeper and they had a lot of people behind the ball. But I was very pleased with how we responded. That was very easily a game you could have let slip away if the guys lost their composure or lost their focus or got annoyed with each other or themselves. That was a game you could have easily thrown away, but I thought we stayed very positive and was very happy with the performance.”

Clark said he liked the way his team started the game.

“We opened the game very well,” Clark said. “We got Jon Gallagher’s goal and then we hit the post, we got a couple of other things that didn’t go our way. It would have been nice if we would’ve went into halftime with a two goal lead, but that wasn’t to happen. Then of course we lost a goal just five minutes into the second half, so that made it a little more difficult. But that was a good test for us, and it was great we came through the test and I give us an ‘A’ for coming through that test I was pretty happy.”

Clark said the goal his team gave up at the beginning of the second half will be a learning lesson that his team will use to get better.

“It was a long kick out, and then we went up to win the ball and they get it and we didn’t cover,” Clark said. “That’s a cardinal sin, but the guys know that. We don’t point fingers, everyone knows how it could have been avoided but that’s OK. You move on and you learn a lesson from it and hopefully that doesn’t happen again this season.”

Notre Dame will be back in action on Friday when it travels to Blacksburg, Virginia, for a conference road match against Virginia Tech. Kick off will be at 7 p.m.

Clark said his team will get some much needed rest before Friday’s game.

“The first thing we have to do is get our legs under us again,” Clark said. “I think it is regeneration. We won’t do very much between now and the next game because it’s coming up pretty fast on Friday, so really just getting them back and their legs back and they’ll be ready come Friday.”

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