Irish regular season comes to a close with 3-0 loss to No. 3 UNC
Observer Sports Staff | Monday, October 30, 2017
No. 16 Notre Dame dropped a 3-0 decision to conference-foe and No. 3 North Carolina in its regular season finale Friday night at the WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, North Carolina.
The game was the first the Irish (9-5-2, 3-3-2) played in a week’s span since their previously scheduled game against Michigan State on Tuesday in East Lansing was cancelled due to rainy weather conditions.
The game got off to a slow start during the first 24 minutes as the only shot on goal during that span was a shot by North Carolina’s Lucas del Rosario in the 13th minute.
In the 25th minute, senior forward Jeff Farina got Notre Dame’s first scoring opportunity, but his header shot went wide of the goal. North Carolina (14-2-1, 6-1-1) scored nine minutes later when Jelani Pieters header ended up in the back of the net to give the Tar Heels a 1-0 lead.
North Carolina would go on to record the next three shots on goal during the next 21 minutes of play. The Irish went into halftime trailing 1-0.
Notre Dame recorded one shot on goal during the first half while North Carolina recorded six shots. The Irish had one corner kick while the Tar Heels recorded four. Notre Dame had six fouls called on them during the opening 45 minutes while North Carolina had two called on them.
North Carolina looked to extent their lead during the first two minutes of the second half, but Notre Dame graduate student goaltender Chris Hubbard denied a shot from North Carolina’s David October.
The next shot on goal didn’t come until the 72nd minute, when North Carolina’s Jack Skahan buried a shot into the back of the Notre Dame net to give the Tar Heels a 2-0 lead.
The Tar Heels scored another goal just two minutes later when Alan Winn scored his ninth goal of the season to extend North Carolina’s lead to 3-0.
Senior forward Jon Gallagher tried to put the Irish on the board during the 76th minute, but his shot went high. Senior midfielder Blake Townes also had a chance to give Notre Dame’s their first goal during the 87th minute, but the ball sailed wide of the goal. North Carolina hung on to secure the 3-0 victory.
Notre Dame finished with a total of three shots on goal during the game, while North Carolina recorded nine. The Irish recorded one corner kick during the game while the Tar Heels recorded six. The only save recorded by either team during the game was by Hubbard, who denied a North Carolina shot during the 46th minute. Notre Dame recorded nine fouls during the game while North Carolina recorded three.
Notre Dame finishes regular season play with a 9-5-2 overall record and a 3-3-2 record against ACC conference opponents to finish in fourth place in the ACC Coastal Division.
The Irish’s pursuit of a conference championship will begin Wednesday at 7 p.m. when they host Pittsburgh in the first round of the ACC tournament at Alumni Stadium. The Panthers come into the game with an 8-9-0 overall record and a 2-6-0 record in conference play.