Notre Dame men’s soccer prepares for ACC Tournament
Liam Coolican | Tuesday, November 5, 2019
Notre Dame men’s soccer is preparing for the start of the ACC tournament Tuesday. This is a pivotal tournament for the Irish (9-6-1, 3-5 ACC), as they are in good position to make the NCAA tournament, one or two wins would ensure a spot when the Men’s Soccer Committee makes their final selections. Notre Dame, which finished eighth in the ACC, earned the chance to host the first game of the tournament. They will take on No. 9 seed Boston College on Tuesday at 2 p.m. at Alumni Stadium.
The Irish are coming off back-to-back quality wins. They earned a signature win on the road at No. 2 Wake Forest on Oct. 26 and beat Pittsburgh on Friday on Senior Night to close out the regular season. Notre Dame senior goalkeeper Duncan Turnbull earned ACC Defensive Player of the Week honors for his performance against Wake Forest, and this week, it was graduate student defender Felicien Dumas who took home the same honors for his all-around game against Pittsburgh. It was Dumas’ second Defensive Player of the Week award this season.
Notre Dame has made at least the ACC quarterfinals every year since joining the ACC in 2013, and it boasts a 6-1 record in games it has hosted in that time. Last season, as the No. 5 seed, Notre Dame lost in the quarterfinals to eventual conference champion Louisville.
Notre Dame did not face Boston College during the regular season, but the Irish came away with a 1-0 victory at home last year against the Eagles. The Irish also lead the all-time season series 9-4-1. Notre Dame has had many different players step up in its last few games, and the team hopes to continue that. Sophomore forward Jack Lynn has been on a strong run recently, scoring in three of the last five matchups to bring his team-leading total to nine on the season. Dumas is second with three goals, but 10 different players have scored for the Irish this season. The depth will be important, because heading into the ACC tournament and potentially the NCAA tournament, they will potentially play quite a few games over the next month.
The winner of this matchup will have to travel to Clemson to face the No. 1 seed, No. 4 in the nation Tigers in the quarterfinals. Clemson is undefeated at home and only has one loss on the season, finishing with a 14-1-1 record, including 6-1-1 in ACC play. Clemson beat Notre Dame at home in their first conference matchup Sept. 13. The Irish were in the matchup for most of the game, but ended up falling 4-2. Notre Dame is seeking to return the ACC tournament finals for the first time since 2015. The Irish haven’t won the ACC tournament in their six seasons in the conference.