Irish fall to 0-4 in ACC with loss to Wolfpack
Observer Sports Staff | Monday, October 7, 2019
The Notre Dame men’s soccer team dropped an ACC contest 2-0 to NC State on Friday in Raleigh, North Carolina.
The loss is the latest installment in a period of inconsistent play for the Irish (5-4-1, 0-4-0 ACC), who are just 2-4-1 in their last seven games since starting the season 3-0-0. The team was coming off a 1-0 win over DePaul at home Tuesday but could not string two wins together as the Wolfpack (6-2-1, 3-1-0) scored once in each half to secure the victory.
The first big chance of the game was an NC State breakaway, but Notre Dame senior goalkeeper Duncan Turnbull made one of his four saves on the night to preserve the stalemate. The Irish had a chance to take an early lead just under 20 minutes into the match, but Wolfpack redshirt senior goalkeeper Vincent Durand saved Irish graduate student defender Felicien Dumas’ header.
NC State sophomore forward Kuda Muskwe broke the tie in the 35th minute as he beat Turnbull on the far post to open the scoring. The Irish nearly tied the match just before halftime when sophomore midfielder Mohamed Omar got on the end of a cross sent in by Dumas, but his shot sailed just wide of the post.
NC State capitalized on a costly Notre Dame mistake less than 10 minutes into the second half to double their lead. After a Notre Dame turnover at the edge of their box, Wolfpack sophomore defender Pepe Garcia put a shot past Turnbull to make the score 2-0 in favor of the hosts after 54 minutes. Both Wolfpack goals were assisted by senior forward Tyler Gabarra, who came off the bench as a substitute to make a big impact on the match.
The Irish sent numbers forward the rest of the game in an attempt to close the gap, but the NC State defense kept Notre Dame off the scoreboard as Durand only had to make two saves the entire evening. The Irish were outshot by the Wolfpack by a margin of 13 to eight, and NC State also took six corner kicks to Notre Dame’s four.
With the loss, Notre Dame dropped to 5-4-1 overall, and they remain in last place in the ACC Coastal at 0-4-0. They are the only ACC team with all losses in conference play. The Irish are no longer ranked in the Top 25 after starting the year in the No. 9 spot in the preseason rankings.
Notre Dame is at home for the next two games, a good sign for the Irish, who have had more success on their home turf this season. Notre Dame is 3-2-0 at home so far, but just 2-2-1 on the road.
The Irish host non-conference opponent Purdue Fort Wayne on Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. in a matchup of Indiana schools. They then have a quick turnaround before hosting ACC Coastal opponent and the No. 18 team in the country, Duke, Friday.
The win helped NC State improve to 6-2-1 overall and 3-1-0 in the ACC. The Wolfpack’s victory continued their dominance at home this season, where they are 5-1-0. It is NC State’s second win a row after an impressive 2-1 upset win at No. 24 Louisville, who was ranked No. 17 at the time. The Wolfpack are tied for first place in the ACC Atlantic with the No. 3 team in the country, Wake Forest. NC State will host the Demon Deacons on Friday in a showdown for first place in the Atlantic, but first they will host East Tennessee State on Tuesday in a non-conference matchup.