The No. 2 Irish pulled out a 2-1 overtime victory at No. 13 Clemson on Saturday, on the back of senior captain and forward Harrison Shipp's two goal effort.
"I thought it was a very tough game," Irish coach Bobby Clark said. "[The Tigers] are a good team. We played the first half pretty well, they came out aggressive in the second half and obviously Harry Shipp did pretty well."
The Tigers (7-2-1, 2-2-1 ACC) took Notre Dame (6-0-3, 3-0-2) to its fourth overtime of the season by netting a goal with only three minutes left in the game. On a corner in the 88th minute, Tigers graduate student midfielder Thomas McNamara sent in a low cross to junior midfielder AraAmirkhanian, who one-timed the shot through an array of Irish defenders and past Irish senior goalkeeper Patrick Wall to even the score at 1-1. The past three overtimes for the Irish had ended in ties.
"The previous overtimes, we fought hard and dominated, but we couldn't get the goal," Clark said. "Against Clemson there was this determination and drive for the win. They really wanted this game. And we got a little luck as well. I always tell the guys, 'The harder you work the luckier you get,' so I think we worked very hard for this one."
Shipp netted the golden-goal game winner just two minutes into overtime to clinch the Irish victory. Clark said he was proud of how the Irish dug deep to overcome overtime, the momentum shift and the 3,700 fans clad in Clemson orange.
"I was so pleased with how they handled that," Clark said. We talked briefly before overtime. We could either hold for a point away from home or we can go for it. And there was no question, the intention was to go out and win. And then there was another beautiful goal from Shipp."
Shipp got the ball on a turnover in the attacking third, turned around and put the ball past Clemson redshirt freshman goalkeeper Andrew Tarbell. Clark said he cannot speak enough of how important Shipp has been this season.
"He is a special player," Clark said. "He has been very, very good this season and all four years. But this season as a senior, in the leadership role, he has been a great role model for everyone."
With the two goals, Shipp kept his career-high seven-game point streak alive. Shipp currently leads the Irish with five goals and five assists for 15 total points. The streak began with Notre Dame's 1-1 draw with North Carolina back on Sept. 8.
Against Clemson, the Irish took the early lead in the 21st minute of the first half, on Shipp's first goal. Shipp dribbled past the Clemson defense and Tarbell to put away an empty-net goal and put the Irish up 1-0.
The Tigers outshot Notre Dame 6-4 in the first half and 15-7 for the game. It was the first time an opponent outshot Notre Dame this season. Clark said the Irish seemed to go on the defensive in the second half, trying to hold onto the one-goal lead. Unfortunately the Tigers got the late goal.
"I don't know if the shot total was indicative of the first half," Clark said. "In the second half, they came out hard and pressed us ... The game was played in our half ... I'm not sure if that was because we tried to hold the game or what. We sat too far back after the lead, but we didn't buckle though."
The Irish will resume play against another ranked ACC opponent in No. 8 Maryland, as they host the Terrapins at Alumni Stadium on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
Contact Isaac Lorton at firstname.lastname@example.org