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Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024
The Observer

Irish host Boston College in important ACC match

After a dominating performance against the Kalamazoo Hornets Tuesday night, the Irish are getting ready for an ACC matchup against Boston College Friday in South Bend. 

Notre Dame comes into the game with an overall record of 4-3-1, going just 1-2 in conference play so far this year. After losing to North Carolina and Syracuse, this game is all but a must-win for the team. While the Irish have had a less than perfect start to the season, recent successes show that there is more to this team than its record.

The eight goals by the Irish Tuesday night were scored by eight different players, including three freshmen and two sophomores. The young players showing they have the skills to step up and make big plays for Notre Dame will be critical for the rest of this season as they look to prove that last year’s NCAA tournament run was no accident.

Junior defender Paddy Burns currently leads the team with four goals scored this season (a total of eight points), while freshman midfielder KK Baffour has two goals (and a total of seven points). Junior forward Daniel Russo and sophomore forward Matthew Roou have each also scored two goals for the Irish this season.

Boston College will arrive in Alumni Stadium with a record of 2-3-3. The Eagles are 0-3-0 in conference play, with losses to No. 1 Clemson, No. 7 Duke and No. 25 Louisville. Their last game, against the Blue Devils, shows how much they are struggling to create offense. The game ended with the Eagles scoring no goals, taking only six shots with only one on target. And they only had one corner kick as well. However, they did rack up 10 fouls and three yellow cards.

Stefan Sigurdarson leads Boston College with six goals scored on the season. He is definitely a player the Irish defenders should keep their eyes on. In fact, Siguardrson is currently tied for ninth in the country for goals scored. No other Boston College player has scored more than a single goal this season.

The Irish lead in the series against Boston College 10-4-2 all time. The last time these two teams met was in the first round of the NCAA tournament in 2019. Notre Dame won the game in double overtime.

As the Irish look to the rest of the season, there are some tough games out in front of them. Matches against Duke, Pitt and non-conference rival Michigan jump off the page. The NCAA Division I Men's Soccer Committee will announce the bracket in about six weeks. They aren’t that far out of the rankings. In fact, No. 25 Akron has a record of 4-2-2, which is only slightly better than Notre Dame’s.

If Notre Dame wants to be among the 48 participants, they need to stay competitive going forward.

Contact Annika Herko at