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Sunday, May 26, 2024
The Observer

Irish fall to Louisville in chaotic ACC quarterfinal

Irish senior forward Daniel Russo maneuvers the ball downfield in the Irish’s ACC Quarterfinal match against Louisville. Notre Dame fell 4-3.

Notre Dame men’s soccer lost a wild match Sunday night, falling 4-3 to Louisville at Alumni Stadium.

The Cardinals raced out in front early on, powered by substitute Sander Roed. The forward fired home an impressive volley from just outside the box to open the scoring in the 23rd minute.

Roed’s career day would continue after halftime. He tallied his second and third in quick succession in the 49th and 52nd minute respectively, giving Louisville a sizable 3-0 lead. Roed’s hat-trick would equal his previous career high for goals in a season in one night.

The Irish didn’t back down in the face of the deficit, though. Junior Kyle Genenbacher would finish off a chaotic sequence with a point blank finish in the 66th minute. Feeling the momentum, junior Bryce Boneau would bring the Irish within one moments later.

Boneau wasn’t done there, either. The junior midfielder, playing as a forward with the Irish chasing an equalizer, headed home a goal-line scramble with just three minutes to play. Entering the game with just one goal on the season, his second-half brace put the match on level footing late on. 

After the game, head coach Chad Riley applauded Boneau’s efforts in a unique role.

“Bryce can play any position on the field pretty well,” Riley said. “Wyatt Lewis is someone that can go into center midfield and do well, so we were just looking to try and make things happen. We knew Bryce could do it, and we knew Wyatt could do it, and it turns out they could.”

Boneau’s equalizer wasn’t the last action the thrilling quarterfinal would provide. The Cardinals would respond with verve, and just 66 seconds later would re-take the lead. Roed again played a key role, this time as creator and not scorer. His floated ball across the box found the head of Josh Jones, and the towering centerback powered Louisville back in front.

Notre Dame would get one more look at goal late on, but a goal-line scramble was successfully cleared away by the Cardinal backline. 

After the game, Coach Riley said the result could still be a good learning opportunity for his side ahead of NCAA tournament play.

“I think any time you lose it’s motivation,” Riley said. “You look at yourselves a little harder. You never want to do it but I think when it happens you’ve got to make it positive. So, got to look at ourselves. I think the conference tournament gives you a good reminder of the finality of tournament play, so I know the guys will be extra motivated.”

With no further ACC tournament games on the schedule, the Irish will now enjoy a week off ahead of the NCAA tournament selection show next Monday. Notre Dame figures to be in position for either a one or two seed, but their fate remains in the balance until next week.