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Irish advance to NCAA quarters with win over Wake Forest

ND SOCCER MONITOR
ND SOCCER MONITOR(WNDU)
Published: Nov. 28, 2021 at 9:55 PM EST
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- The No. 4-seed Fighting Irish turned in a clinical performance, both in the final third and defensive third, in a 2-0 win over Wake Forest to advance to the NCAA quarterfinals for the fifth time in program history.

Notre Dame’s clean sheet marked its sixth straight match without allowing a goal, all coming in either ACC Championship or NCAA Championship play. Also, Wake Forest entered the evening with multiple goals in 11 straight matches before the Irish shut the Demon Deacons out.

In the attack Mo Omar and Matthew Roou scored for the Irish in the NCAA Round of 16 matchup with the Demon Deacons.

The Irish will take on No. 5 Pitt for the third time this season with a spot in the College Cup on the line on Saturday, Dec. 4 at Alumni Stadium. Tickets for the game are just $5 and all students get in free with a student ID.

HOW IT HAPPENED

The Irish struck first for the 16th time this season to jump out to a 1-0 lead in the 19th minute. Tyler Shea found Omar in space on the edge of the box and the senior midfielder chopped the ball to get it onto his left foot and curled a low shot off the far post and in for his fourth goal of the season.

Notre Dame then got stuck in defensively in the final third, allowing just one shot on target from the high-powered Demon Deacon attack over the first 45 minutes of play to go into the break with a 1-0 lead.

Just over 11 minutes into the second half the Irish struck again. Ethan O’Brien played a ball out to Ben Giacobello on the right wing and the senior sent a perfect ball into the box that was met by Roou, who nodded the ball past the keeper to double the lead at 2-0.

The Irish back line played remarkably the rest of the way, absorbing pressure and blocking attempt after attempt from Wake Forest. Philip Quinton was masterful in heading out crosses and balls played into the box to help the Irish hold the visitors to no shots on target in the final half of play.

McFARLAND FAMILY MEN’S HEAD SOCCER COACH CHAD RILEY’S TAKE

On the performance…

“I thought it was a great performance. We knew Wake was coming in off two great wins off a great season and they are obviously one of the top teams in the country so we knew they were really going to challenge us. I was really proud of our response and our performance overall.”

On Omar’s goal…

“Unbelievable finish. It’s one of the things we are always trying to get our center midfielders to shoot a little bit more from around the box and it had power and placement and was an unbelievable finish.”

On allowing just one shot on target…

“I thought they got into our final third a little quicker than we would like at times but once they got there we looked very solid and were doing the nitty gritty details that just don’t allow people to get shots.”

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