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ND Men’s Soccer

Notre Dame men’s soccer downs Louisville in shootout, heads to ACC semi-final

| Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Last night Notre Dame men’s soccer advanced to the ACC tournament semi-finals, defeating fourth seeded Louisville 3-0 on penalty kicks after a 0-0 draw in regular time.

The match came down to spot kicks following a tense, goalless affair that went the full one hundred and ten minutes. Notre Dame generally had the better of the possession, but a truly great chance for the Irish to find the back of the net never emerged against a stout Cardinals defense. 

Come time for penalty kicks, however, the Irish excelled. Senior striker Jack Lynn stepped up first for Notre Dame, and the teams’ leading goalscorer (as well as principle penalty taker) was calm and collected from twelve yards out, powering his shot past Cardinals goalkeeper Detre Bell with authority. The Irish dominance continued even after Louisville stepped up for their first kick, thanks to sophomore goalkeeper Bryan Dowd. Pedro Fonseca, who took and missed a penalty against Notre Dame last season, stepped up; his shot was promptly denied by Dowd.

Sophomore fullback Paddy Burns was the Irish’ next kicker, and he would extend the Irish lead with a cool finish. Then the nightmare continued for Louisville, as Sander Roed stepped up for the Cardinals but missed the goal entirely, blazing his shot wide of the post. Senior midfielder Dawson McCartney, who scored a penalty for Notre Dame’s only goal against North Carolina State in the first round, would make the Irish three for three on the night from the spot with his kick. Bell surprisingly stepped up to take the do-or-die kick for Louisville, who needed to score to stay alive. But Dowd once again rose to the occasion, standing tall against Bell’s long runup and powerful kick, making the decisive save to send the Irish to the semi-finals.  

“If you watch you can see the smile on my face before the kick, I was confident,” said Dowd about his match winning saves on Fonseca and Bell. “My coaches were telling me how to be prepared, and I just knew we were going to win. Confidence in all the guys is at an all time high right now.”

Notre Dame will now head to Pittsburgh, PA for the the ACC tournament semi-finals. Though the Irish will be the lowest seeded team remaining in the tournament and will have to square off with the top seeded Pittsburgh Panthers, there’s little reason for the team to be without confidence. The Irish took on Pitt earlier in the season and took down the top 10 Panthers in a thriller of a Friday night soccer match behind a double overtime golden goal by Dawson McCartney. They’ll look to recreate that magic this week when the two teams square off again for a shot at the ACC final.

Notre Dame men’s soccer will take on the Pittsburgh Panthers this Wednesday at Ambrose Urbanic Field. The match will kickoff at 5pm and will be broadcasted on the ACC Network.

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