September 16, 2012
Finley goal lead ND over Michigan
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – A golden goal from senior forward Ryan Finley in the second overtime period gave No. 3 Notre Dame a 1-0 victory over Michigan on Sunday afternoon at a sunny U-M Soccer Stadium. The win improved the Fighting Irish to 7-0 this season.
The game-winner came in the 104th minute as senior midfielder Dillon Powers sent a free kick into the box and Finley headed it into the back of the net for his team-leading fifth goal of the season.
“For me, these are the wins that make your season,” said Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark. “We came into their place and found a way to win. It was a great ball by Dillon Powers and Ryan Finley made a great run getting in front of his marker and headed it home. It was a great goal.”
Notre Dame outshot Michigan 19-12 , including a 14-8 advantage in the second half and overtime. Junior goalkeeper Patrick Wall made two saves for the Irish to pick up his first career shutout. Wall has a 3-0 record this season. Michigan’s Adam Grinwis had eight stops on the day.
Fighting Irish forward Alex Priede put the first shot on frame in the match, but his attempt in the fourth minute was saved by Grinwis.
Michigan (2-4-0) placed its first shot on goal in the 28th minute and Wall was there for the save on James Murphy’s attempt from distance. A Michigan free kick in the 30th minute sailed into the box and a close-range header from T.J. Roehn went just wide of the near post.
Fighting Irish midfielder Danny O’Leary had his low-blast from 17 yards out on the right side saved by Grinwis in the 39th minute. The Wolverine attack had a flurry of action in front of the Irish goal in the 40th minute yet to no avail as Wall and the Notre Dame defense cleared the ball away from the goal mouth.
“I thought we started out slow in the first half,” commented Clark. “It looked very much like the second game in a two-game weekend. We talked at halftime about upping the tempo and I thought we were very, very good in the second half. We should have gotten something out of it early in the half, but their goalkeeper had eight saves today. Full credit to Michigan today, they hung in there and looked very dangerous on set pieces.”
Freshman midfielder Patrick Hodan entered the match at the beginning of the second half for the Irish and made his presence felt early with a shot on goal from 16 yards away that was stopped by Grinwis. A Powers free kick from just outside the 18-yard box in the 54th minute was punched out of bounds by Grinwis. Powers had a similar free kick attempt in the 61st minute and the Michigan goalkeeper punched that away as well.
The Irish threatened again in the 71st minute when right back Luke Mishu made a run into the 18-yard box, received a nice feed from Hodan and struck a low-shot on frame that was saved. In the 81st minute, Michigan’s Fabio Pereira sent a shot wide of the far post from 16 yards away.
Wall came up with a huge save in the 87th minute when he stopped a Latif Alashe shot that occurred from within the 18-yard box.
Michigan had the game’s only two shots in the first 10-minute overtime period. Alashe placed a header just high of the crossbar in the final minutes of the first extra session.
Notre Dame left back Max Lachowecki blasted a shot on frame that was saved by Grinwis in the beginning stages of the second overtime period. Finley’s game winner came minutes later.
The Notre Dame defense has not allowed a goal in the last 234:52 of action. The Irish have registered four shutouts this season.
This is the best start for the Fighting Irish in the 12 seasons of the Clark era. Notre Dame’s last 7-0 start came in 1987 when that Irish squad opened 9-0. It’s the longest win streak for Notre Dame since a seven-game streak in 2006.
The Fighting Irish open Big East play on Saturday at Louisville at 7 p.m. (ET) .