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Late goals bring down the Blue Devils

Vicky Jacobsen | Monday, September 30, 2013

The No. 4 Irish put on a show in front of a full house at Alumni Stadium on Friday night, scoring two goals in the final two minutes to break a 1-1 stalemate and give Notre Dame a well-earned victory over Duke.

“They know they did well in the second half, and I was so happy that they did play well in the second half because we had a fantastic crowd here, a great atmosphere,” Irish coach Bobby Clark said, referencing the maximum capacity crowd of 3,007. “That’s the best in my 13 years I’ve ever heard the students going, and what a difference it makes to our players. It keeps them going right through the end.”

The score had been knotted at 1-1 for nearly 40 minutes when Irish sophomore midfielder Patrick Hodan sank what proved to be the winning goal into the top left corner of the net from 22 yards out.

“I thought we did a really good job in the second half re-pressing and keeping the ball in their half,” Hodan said. “And we were able to swing the ball side to side, and it swung to my side and we were able to open up space and then score.”

The goal was Hodan’s first on the season.

“It’s great for Patrick Hodan, because Patrick, he’s such a good goal-scorer, and he’s just had bad luck this season,” Clark said. “And [it was] a beautiful goal, too, a lovely, controlled covering shot. Fantastic goal.”

Hodan’s goal ensured the outcome of the match on the stat sheet. The Irish (4-0-3, 2-0-2 ACC) dominated the Blue Devils (4-3-2, 0-3-1) in shots, launching 17 to Duke’s six. The Blue Devils failed to take a single shot in the first half, and spent much of the game playing defense in their own half of the field.

Although the Irish had several promising opportunities in the first half, including a shot from senior forward Harrison Shipp that careened off the crossbar 20 minutes into the game, the Irish didn’t get on the board until junior defender Max Lachowecki scored in the first minute of the second half. Lachowecki was the recipient of a cross from a fellow fullback, senior Luke Mishu, and headed the ball into the net.

“I’d been trying to get up into the attack the whole time, and at halftime one of the coaches told me, we’d been getting our right back up, so why don’t you try the same thing?” Lachowecki said. “And luckily me and Mishu practice crossing, all the time, and luckily he got in this time, right back to left back and cut out the middle man. And [sophomore midfielder] Evan Panken was standing right in front of me, I told him to leave it and I kind of blacked out and I looked up and it was in the net.”

Lachowecki said he called his own shot at halftime, telling his teammates he would score and celebrate with a “rock band.”

“Evan said he’d do the drums. I rocked the mic, I had the corner flag, and then somebody else had the guitar,” Lachowecki said. “[Senior defender] Grant [Van De Casteele] said he was going to play the flute. I don’t even know if [the fans] noticed it, but I certainly hope they did. It was awesome having them here.”

The celebration was short lived. Duke junior defender Jack Coleman tied the game with a cross that snuck in the right corner of the goal four minutes later.

While the Irish had to wait until the closing minutes to get a winner, Lachowecki said he was sure Notre Dame would get a chance to regain the lead.

“As the game went on they didn’t really get any great chances, so I knew if we kept limiting their chances we’d get the bulk of them and hopefully one would eventually go in, so I wasn’t too nervous,” Lachowecki said. “If it takes ’til the last two minutes, that’s what you’ve got to do.”

Just a minute after Hodan put the Irish back in the lead, Shipp gave Notre Dame an insurance goal on a penalty kick. Instead of blasting the ball into the net, Shipp tricked Duke goalkeeper Alex Long into diving to the ground, where he had no chance of grabbing the ball Shipp had lofted over his head.

“He went as if to hit it, and he just put a wee chip, and the goalie dived,” Clark said. “I think only Harry, only the little wizard would try that.”

Shipp even had his own teammates fooled.

“I had no idea [he would try that],” Lachowecki said. “And I’m not in the least surprised, he tries cheeky stuff like that all the time. But it looked like the ball was in the air forever. And then it hit the back of the net, so he got some style points there.”

Shipp and his teammates, who are still undefeated, will try to keep the magic alive at home against Indiana on Wednesday. The game begins at 7 p.m. at Alumni Stadium.

Contact Vicky Jacobsen at [email protected]