Notre Dame suffers fourth consecutive loss at home against Spartans
Joe Everett | Wednesday, October 26, 2016
On a cold Tuesday night inside Alumni Stadium, No. 12 Notre Dame couldn’t find its way back into the win column, falling to No. 13 Michigan State 1-0.
Tuesday’s defeat marked the fourth straight loss for the Irish (10-5-1, 3-3-1 ACC), who came into Alumni Stadium looking to finally enjoy some home-field advantage following a string of road games. Instead, they were handed their first home loss of the season by the Spartans (12-3-1), who have won seven of their last nine matches. Irish head coach Bobby Clark summed up the night.
“It was definitely a disappointing result,” Clark said. “We have to get ahold of this thing pretty quick – that’s four games in a row that we’ve now lost. I don’t think that’s ever happened during my time here at Notre Dame, so that’s certainly disappointing.”
Both sides generated few, if any, genuine scoring chances in the first half, with Notre Dame taking three shots on goal to Michigan State’s two. Slick conditions and low temperatures helped each defense slow the offensive progress for much of the game. However, Michigan State finally found a chance and capitalized on a goal from freshman substitute Michael Beckett in the 74th minute. It was Beckett’s first goal of the season, as his 10-yard shot sailed past sophomore backup goalkeeper Ryan Krutz, who entered the game in the 59th minute to replace senior keeper Chris Hubbard, who sustained an injury in a collision with a Michigan State player. The Irish were unable to generate much offense afterwards, as Clark noted the Spartans’ ball pressure threw the Irish off their groove.
“I thought we were solid in the first half, but to be fair I thought Michigan State came out and pressured us, knocked us a little bit out of our comfort zone in the beginning of the second half,” Clark said. “There wasn’t a lot in the game one way or the other – they got a chance and they took it.”
The Irish haven’t won since October 11, a 2-0 victory at Michigan. In the period since, they have lost at No. 17 Virginia, Northwestern and Duke, and now to Michigan State at home. Although the Irish have been highly competitive in each loss — as seen in their out-shooting Virginia 17-4 — they have not found a way to come away with wins. Clark said the team needs to fix that with North Carolina and the ACC Championships coming up next, but also emphasized that there is still time for the team to improve and grow.
“There’s a long way to go, and we’ve got to realize that. I know [this losing streak] is not from want of effort,” Clark said. “Michigan State … they’re a good team … but it’s a team that, especially at home, we should be looking to take a little more out of it.”
The Irish will next take the field this Friday when they host No. 3 North Carolina to wrap up the regular season. The game will start at 7 p.m. at Alumni Stadium.