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ND Men’s Soccer

Notre Dame men’s soccer ties Duke 1-1, prepares for clash with North Carolina

| Friday, October 29, 2021

Notre Dame men’s soccer shared the spoils with Duke on senior night, drawing their regular season home finale 1-1.

It was Duke who took the lead early on at Alumni Stadium, with sophomore forward Thorleifur Ulfarsson finding the back of the net with a strike in the eighth minute. But the Irish recovered and battled back into the game as the half wore on, most notably with a couple of decent chances coming off Jack Lynn headers, but the Irish were still without a goal when the halftime whistle blew.

But it was an entirely new ballgame in the second half. Just three minutes into the second frame freshman Kyle Genenbacher managed to get his body in front of a clearance by Duke goalkeeper Eliot Hamill, which bounced to forward Matthew Roou. And while Roou was unable to get a shot off on goal, he did hold the ball up well enough for Tyler Shea, who put his foot through Roou’s layoff and powered a shot through both a Duke defender and Hamill for an impressive goal. 

With the score level, chances would come for both teams as each looked for the winner in what may become an important matchup in terms of ACC tournament seeding. Freshman Eno Nto would send a header across the face of goal in the 75th minute that would just barely stay clear of the goal line, and a few minutes later Dawson McCartney would create a good angle for himself off a long throw routine, but his shot was cleared just before it could reach the goal. Duke had chances to win as well, including a Ulfarsson free kick from about 30 yards out that Irish goalkeeper Bryan Dowd had to punch away.

But ultimately — even after a McCartney effort that slowly rolled into the post with two minutes left — regular time and the two ensuing extra times ended scoreless.

The draw sends Notre Dame into their final regular season match of the season on the road against North Carolina in a good spot. They don’t control their own destiny for a regular season ACC title, but they can win the title with a win and a win by Clemson over Louisville. 

For that scenario to happen, though, Notre Dame will of course have to take care of business against the Tar Heels, who are no easy opponent in their own right. Santiago Herrera leads the line in Chapel Hill, having scored four goals and added two assists on the season. Cameron Fisher and Tega Ikoba should feature next to him, each with 12 and 11 points to their name in 2021 respectively. 

Notre Dame men’s soccer will hit the road to take on the Tar Heels Friday at 4:30 p.m. ET in Chapel Hill. The match will be broadcast on ESPNU. And, should the Irish win, Clemson will be taking on Louisville Friday at 7 p.m. As mentioned earlier in the article, wins by both the Irish and Tigers would ensure that the regular season ACC title would come home to South Bend for the first time since 2014.

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