August 31, 2012
Finley leads Notre Dame to 3-2 win over SD State
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – A two-goal effort from senior forward Ryan Finley helped propel No. 15 Notre Dame to a 3-2 victory over San Diego State on Friday evening in the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic at a warm and muggy Bill Armstrong Stadium.
|Ryan Finley scored two goals in Notre Dame's 3-2 win over San Diego State on Friday.
Photo courtesy of Notre Dame Sports Information
Junior forward Harrison Shipp contributed one goal and two assists for the Fighting Irish (2-0-0). Finley has three goals in the first two matches of the season, while Shipp has one goal and three assists.
The Irish pressured early and put three shots on frame in the first eight minutes of the match. Forward Danny O’Leary had two of the attempts, which were saved by Aztec goalkeeper Blake Hylen. Fighting Irish midfielder Nick Besler unleashed a shot from 30 yards out that was saved by a diving Hylen, who had seven saves in the contest.
Shipp put the Irish up 1-0 in the 26th minute with a shot into the lower right of the net from 20 yards away. The junior checked into the match less than three minutes before scoring his first goal of the season.
San Diego State (0-1-0) produced the equalizer in the 38th minute when forward Jordan Ongaro headed home a goal from eight yards out. Robbie Freise assisted on the score, which was the first shot on goal of the game for the Aztecs.
“We opened the game extremely well,” said Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark. “I think we had six shots before they registered a shot. We got a goal, but instead of that goal energizing us, I felt it energized them. We lost control for the rest of the half. In the second half, we had a golden spell for about 25 minutes where I thought we were very, very good. We connected passes well during that time.”
Finley gave Notre Dame a 2-1 lead in the 61st minute. The senior forward received a thru ball from Shipp, made a run up the middle and beat Hylen, who came off his line, with a shot into the lower right corner of the goal.
A header from San Diego State’s Travis Nicklaw hit the crossbar in the 67th minute.
Finley nearly scored in the 73rd minute when he sent a rocket on frame that was knocked away by Hylen and his follow-up shot sailed high of the net. Irish right back Luke Mishu had a shot saved in the 79th minute. Mishu had two shots on goal in the contest.
Notre Dame senior goalkeeper Will Walsh saved an attempt from Kevin Bick in the 81st minute. That was Walsh’s lone save of the night.
Finley’s second goal came in the 82nd minute to give the Irish a 3-1 advantage. Shipp was near the top of the 18-yard box and played the ball to Finley, who blasted it into the upper netting.
The Aztecs sliced the Fighting Irish lead back to one in the 85th minute on a Casey Meuser goal. Blake Wise passed the ball to Meuser and he headed it home.
Finley put yet another shot on goal in the 86th minute, but Hylen came up with the save. Finley had a game-high seven shots, including four on frame. The Irish out shot the Aztecs 15-9, which included a 10-3 margin in shots on goal. San Diego State held a 5-3 edge incorner kicks.
“Ryan Finley and Harry Shipp combine so well,” said Clark. “They just make little things out of nothing. Ryan times his runs so well and quickly that I think oftentimes the linesman think he’s offsides. Harry is a little magician out there.”
Notre Dame is off to a 2-0 start for the first time since the 2004 campaign. The Irish began that season with a 3-0 mark.
The Fighting Irish will face Clemson on Sunday in the second and final day of the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic. The match is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. (ET) at Bill Armstrong Stadium.