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Men’s Soccer

No. 16 Notre Dame battles until draw at No. 4 Indiana

| Wednesday, September 18, 2019

In their first appearance at Bill Armstrong Stadium since losing 1-0 on their way to the College Cup, Notre Dame took on Indiana on Tuesday night in their first Top-20 matchup of the season. The Irish ultimately returned home with a 1-1 double-overtime draw, despite being out-shot 8-25 throughout the game.

Irish head coach Chad Riley said this matchup is always high quality and usually features some of the best teams in the country. He was generally pleased with his team’s performance in Bloomington, Indiana.

Junya Kanemitsu | The Observer

Irish sophomore defender Patrick Coleman dribbles with the ball during Notre Dame’s 4-2 loss to Clemson on Friday at Alumni Stadium.

“When we play them, it’s going to be a good game,” Riley said. “It’s always going to be a challenging game down here with the environment and the crowds that they get. I think overall it was a step forward in our in our season, I thought we did some things better than we did against Clemson. I still think we lacked a little sharpness in some parts of the game as well. But I think we’re still pushing to put our complete performance together, but I was really proud of the effort [and] the fight the team showed tonight against Indiana.”

Though Riley and his team were focused on this matchup, he admitted last December’s loss was still very present on their minds.

“You get here, it’s the first thought in my mind was with that game, and you’re disappointed because you didn’t get that one,” Riley said. “But I think I think it’s just a game that we know is going to test us every year. And whether we plan to play in the tournament or not, we’re always quite excited to compete against Indiana.”

Midway through the first half, the Hoosiers gave the Irish a scare off a corner kick when sophomore defender Jack Maher headed the ball to the far post. Senior goalkeeper Duncan Turnbull was unable to make the save, but fortunately for the Irish, graduate student forward Felicien Dumas cleared the ball near the goal line to keep the score even at 0-0.

Later in the half, Dumas streaked down the left sideline before senior forward John Rea picked up the ball and fed the ball to sophomore forward Mohamed Omar, who made it to the baseline before sneaking a pass to fellow classmate and forward Ben Giacobello who tapped the ball into the net.

“When we connect a couple passes we ended up creating quite decent looks at goal, and I think there’s a great movement where we connected,” Riley said. “And then Omar had a great run into the box. He showed a lot of composure to pick out Giacobello for his first collegiate goal, and it was a really good moment. We had a couple other moments like that in the first half where we lacked the quality in the final pass, but I think it was a well-taken goal and a great assist by Mohamed Omar.”

The Hoosiers returned from break ready to even the score. Five minutes into the second half, redshirt junior forward Ian Black took on the Notre Dame defense and threaded a shot between the back line. Turnbull made the save, deflecting the ball out of bounds.

The attack continued from the Hoosiers, and they eventually found the back of the net in the 66th minute behind the leg of freshman forward Herbert Endeley.

With each team trying to find a break throughout the middle of the game, Riley credited the natural level of competition for the changes in momentum between both teams.

“Over 90 minutes when two good teams are playing against one another, there’s going be these kind of ebbs and flows,” he said. “And I think we’ve been defending pretty well, and Duncan has been playing well. [Endeley] kind of squeaked one by. I think we just needed to maintain our composure and then [try] to find our moments again.”

In the final minutes of regulation, freshman forward Joshua Penn got a good look at goal, but Turnbull once again stepped up and kept the Irish hopes alive heading into overtime.

After the first overtime remained 1-1, the action continued into a second overtime period, with each team having chances to settle things once and for all. With just over six minutes remaining in the second overtime, from just outside the box graduate student forward Ian Aschieris landed a strong shot on goal from distance but Indiana redshirt senior Sean Caufield made a diving save to block the Notre Dame win.

“I thought Ian Aschieris had a really good look at goal,” Riley said. “… It was nice to see the guys really pushing to still win the game.”

Despite being greatly outnumbered in terms of shots, Riley isn’t too concerned about the state of his team’s offense, citing their emphasis on the defensive side of the ball as key to their strategy.

“I think it says a lot about stats, to be quite honest with you,” he said. “I think some … of their shots are generously called ‘shots.’ They go out for a throw-in there, they get blocked 20 yards, or they go 10 yards over the goal. We track shots on goal. I think we should have had more shots. But I think overall, defensively, we know to win championships, you’re going to have to be good defensively in moments, and your keepers have got to be on form as well. And I think for the most part, we put in a solid defensive performance against a good attacking game.”

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