Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
Monday, Feb. 26, 2024
The Observer

Irish upset Huskies, Big Green in weekend trip to Bloomington

The Notre Dame men’s soccer team entered the weekend ranked No. 24 in the United Soccer Coaches poll, falling seven spots after playing to a tie against Saint Louis last week.

The Irish were tasked with the challenge of taking on two higher-ranked squads this weekend in Bloomington: the No. 18 Connecticut Huskies and the No. 22 Dartmouth Big Green.

Notre Dame (3-0-1) lined up against UConn (3-1-1) on Friday night, and the Irish squad dominated in a 3-0 victory, their first shutout under new head coach Chad Riley.

The Irish were held scoreless through the first 30 minutes of the match despite controlling the possession game. Fifth-year midfielder Blake Townes tallied the first goal of the match for the Irish on a breakaway following a Huskies turnover in the 32nd minute. The goal was Townes’s first of the season.

The Huskies put a shot on goal just before halftime, but senior goalkeeper Ryan Krutz made the save to maintain the shutout. Notre Dame recorded six shots to UConn’s one in the first half, but the Irish held a slim 1-0 lead at halftime.

Notre Dame continued to control the match in the second half of play. Sophomore Aiden McFadden extended the Irish lead to 2-0 in the 60th minute after senior Sean MacLeod sent a cross into the six-yard box. McFadden, a West Chester, Pennsylvania, native, took advantage of his first career start by recording his first goal for the Irish.

Observer File Photo
Irish fifth-year Patrick Berneski controls the ball during Notre Dame's 3-1 victory over Michigan on Oct. 10 at Alumni Stadium.

The Irish continued to pour it on in the second half when fifth-year Patrick Berneski headed in the third goal of the match in the 67th minute. Junior Tommy McCabe launched a corner kick into the six-yard box where it met the head of Berneski and ricocheted across the goal line. Berneski, who started 19 matches for the Irish a season ago, has recorded two goals in the first two games this year.

The Irish recorded four more shots in the second half while the Huskies managed only two, neither of which were on goal. Notre Dame maintained a clean sheet, clinching their fourth-consecutive win against UConn in the upset victory.

Riley led Notre Dame against his former Dartmouth squad Sunday night. The Big Green (0-2) limped into the match after a 3-0 thrashing at the hands of No. 6 Indiana on Friday night. The Irish, fresh off a blowout victory of their own, continued to build on their momentum early against the Big Green.

Senior Ian Aschieris started the scoring for the Irish, heading the ball across the goal line in the 14th minute for his first goal of the season. The goal was assisted by fellow senior Felicien Dumas, last season’s team leader in assists.

The Irish and the Big Green matched scoring chances in the first half, each registering four shots in the frame, but none of the Dartmouth shots were on goal. Notre Dame also had four corner kicks in the first half, compared to Dartmouth’s one.

The Irish continued to dominate the possession game in the second half, collecting another seven shots against the Big Green. In the 79th minute, Berneski launched another header for a goal to give the Irish a 2-0 lead. Dumas collected the assist, his second of the game, by flicking a free kick to Berneski from outside the box.

Irish goalkeeper Ryan Krutz did not face a single shot on goal against the Big Green, earning his second clean sheet for the weekend. Riley leading Notre Dame to a 2-0 victory over his former program on Sunday wrapped up a perfect weekend for the Irish, in which they swept two ranked opponents. The Irish will next travel to Syracuse to play the Orange on Sept. 7 starting at 7 p.m.