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ND Men’s Soccer

Irish top Orange 1-0, improve to .500 on year

| Monday, October 12, 2020

An early goal and some tremendous saves propelled Notre Dame over the Syracuse Orange at Alumni Field this Sunday. Coming off a two-game losing streak, the Fighting Irish (2-2, 1-1 ACC) met the Orange (0-2, 0-2 ACC) for their first home conference game that would count toward postseason standings. 

Head coach Chad Riley was pleased about the team’s performance.

“I thought it was a good performance,” he said. “We knew it was going to be a difficult game from a physical and combative element. I thought the team did a great job standing up to that. The team did a great job shifting mindsets and doing what we needed to do.”

The Irish came out strong to start the match. An early goal in the sixth minute by junior forward Jack Lynn gave Notre Dame control of the game early. The goal was serviced off of a corner kick from freshman defender Paddy Burns, giving Lynn his second goal of the season. 

Burns, who made his first career start, also earned the first point of his collegiate career off of the assist.

Junya Kanemitsu | The Observer

Irish senior midfielder Aiden McFadden dribbles the ball during Notre Dame’s 4-2 win over Seattle on Sept. 6, 2019 at Alumni Stadium.

When asked about decisive players, Coach Riley complimented Lynn and the four starting defenders.

“The back four, along with [senior goalkeeper] Keqgan [McLaughlin] and [junior midfielder] Mohamed Omar, did a great job with the direct play from Syracuse all game,” said Riley. “That part of the team did really well.”

McLaughlin was certainly a deciding defensive factor, logging four saves on the game. A powerful shot from Syracuse junior midfielder Hilli Goldhar in the 43rd minute threatened the Irish lead, but McLaughlin’s save kept Notre Dame’s 1-0 lead intact.

The Irish defense managed to keep the Orange from making meaningful shots on goal in the second period to come away with a 1-0 win. The win keeps the Irish in the thick of the hunt for one of eight coveted spots in the ACC tournament later this season, four per conference division. 

Riley thinks this game helps put his team in a good spot to build on success.

“With a limited schedule, obviously every game takes a little bit greater importance, and it’s all about trying to build on all the good things,” he said. “I think we’re in a good spot now after being a little unfortunate. With that first win, it’s all about building on that performance going into Virginia Tech”

The Irish will look to build on this win on the road against Virginia Tech. Kickoff is slated for 11 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 18 in Blacksburg, VA.

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