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Men’s Soccer

Irish return from road matchup against No. 6 Virginia with a scoreless draw

| Wednesday, October 24, 2018

No. 23 Notre Dame played to a scoreless draw against No. 6 Virginia in a 110-minute battle in Charlottesville, Virginia. The Irish (8-5-2, 3-3-1 ACC) were outshot by the Cavaliers (9-2-3, 3-2-2) 15-8, but it was Notre Dame that was closest to breaking the deadlock, before ultimately settling for the draw.

The game started slowly after both teams were unable to come up with any quality opportunities on goal. The Irish had a shot to score in the seventh minute of the game when sophomore midfielder Aiden McFadden attempted a shot from the right side of the box to the left side of the goal. His ball, however, soared well over the bar.

Anna Mason | The Observer
Irish freshman midfielder Mohamed Omar prepares to receive a pass during Notre Dame’s 4-1 win over Xavier at home on Sept. 25.

The Irish looked as though they finally found the back of the net in the 60th minute when a shot from the edge of the box by senior forward Thomas Ueland was saved and rebounded to fellow senior forward Ian Aschieris. Aschieris scored the goal as the defense stood stunned, but the sideline referee waved the goal off on an offside call. The play stirred some controversy, as replays of the incident appeared to show Aschieris onside. Nevertheless, the game remained tied.

Nine minutes later, freshman forward Jack Lynn subbed into the game for Aschieris and connected a header off a corner. His ball went into the middle of the box, but was blocked by a Cavalier defender.

Virginia would continue to push in the final minutes of regulation as sophomore forward Irakoze Donasiyano got past two Irish defenders and took a long-distance shot which was caught by junior Irish goalkeeper Duncan Turnbull in the 84th minute.

Head coach Chad Riley praised Turnbull’s four-save performance.

“I thought he’s been excellent in the games he’s played in. He had another good performance [tonight] especially on set pieces, I thought he was strong on their corners,” Riley said.

A corner in the 89th minute by Virginia almost put an end to the game as Turnbull was unable to get the cross out of the box. The Cavaliers managed to get a header on goal, but Irish captain and fifth-year defender Patrick Berneski, headed the ball off the goal line.

Despite two quick offensive starts to each overtime period, the Irish were unable to deliver a game-winner. After 20 extra minutes, referee Michael Lavergne blew the whistle and both teams went home with a draw. Riley said despite not coming away with three points, his team had a good performance and acknowledged the frustration from being denied a goal by an erroneous offside call.

“I think overall, for me it was a good performance without the result,” Riley said. “We had a goal called back that by all accounts seemed onside, that was frustrating. We created the better chances in the game, UVA had maybe one dangerous moment, but the rest were shots from distance. We created some good chances that we quite couldn’t finish and crosses that we quite couldn’t connect on.”

“Overall, the first half is always going to be a little cagey at this point in the year. In the second half, we maybe chose more times to press a little bit higher and we were effective with that, but overall, it was a good, solid 90 minutes plus overtime,” Riley said.

The Irish managed to hold Cavalier star forward Daryl Dike to no goals after scoring five goals in October. The freshman was tough to play against but, Riley acknowledged that his two center backs kept Dike in check.

“I think we did a good job — he had maybe one shot on target. I think it’s just something [in which] you always have to know where he is and really try to not let him get turned and running. Our two center backs did a great job with that,” Riley said.

With the draw, the Irish denied Virginia the opportunity to take sole possession of second place in the Coastal division of the ACC, after division-leader North Carolina beat Duke on the road. The Irish now turn their attention to an away game at Pitt, the last ACC regular season game before the ACC Championship, as they hope to finish above .500 in the conference.

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