Irish continue hot start to season with a pair of wins
Observer Sports Staff | Monday, September 9, 2019
No. 11 Notre Dame’s hot start to the 2019 season continued with a pair of wins this weekend. The Irish won 4-2 over Seattle University on Friday night, followed up by a 1-0 victory over the Denver Pioneers on Sunday night.
The Irish saw goals from four different players over the weekend, with sophomore forward Jack Lynn leading the offensive charge with a goal in each game. Junior goalkeeper Keagan Mclaughlin made his first start of the year in net for the Irish and made one save en route to a shutout.
Notre Dame’s offense continued to roll as they torched the Seattle defense with four goals from four different players. Lynn finished near-post in the seventh minute to give the Irish the early advantage. Notre Dame threatened to score several more times in the half, while minimizing the Redhawks to seven shots, six of which veered off-target. Senior goalkeeper Duncan Turnbull easily handled his only challenge of the first half, making a save off of a Seattle corner-kick in the fourth minute.
After maintaining the most narrow of advantages into the break, the Irish would essentially ice the game with a pair of goals early in the second half. Just two minutes in, graduate student defender Felicien Dumas took a free kick and sent a low drive whistling past Seattle keeper Akili Kasim into the left corner. Fourteen minutes later video replay helped out the Irish, as sophomore midfielder Mohamed Omar pushed the lead to 3-0 when VAR deemed his shot out of a goal-line scrum just barely cleared the goal line.
Seattle did get on the board twice in the second half. However its two goals sandwiched junior midfielder Aiden McFadden’s blast in the 66th minute, ensuring the Redhawks would never draw closer than two goals. Turnbull made one more save as the Irish closed out a relatively comfortable 4-2 victory to improve to 2-0 on the year. The game was a physical battle, with five yellow cards being issued overall, two of those going to the Irish. Turnbull finished with two saves.
Sunday’s home matchup against Denver, who reached the second round of the NCAA tournament last year, was a highly anticipated tilt. However, the Pioneers have struggled out of the gate, slogging their way to an 0-2-1 start.
Their struggles continued in South Bend, as they managed just a single shot on target during Sunday’s contest. While the Denver defense gave the Irish a stiffer test, its lack of offensive opportunities made things tough. Lynn found the back of the net in the 37th minute, which gave the Irish all they needed. Denver could not put a shot on target in the second half, testing Mclaughlin minimally in his first start of the year. It was more of the same for the Pioneers, who have scored just twice in four games.
Meanwhile the Irish, who have scored seven times in their first two victories, got just one goal but tossed their first shutout of the year after allowing two goals apiece in the two games prior. They improve to 3-0 ahead of a showdown with No. 19 Clemson at home on Friday.