November 20, 2016
IRISH FIGHTING ON
Late Gallagher goal gives Notre Dame victory
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- Atlantic Coast Conference Offensive Player of the Year Jon Gallagher’s 78th-minute goal gave Notre Dame a 1-0 win over Loyola in the second round of the NCAA Men’s Championship at Alumni Stadium Sunday night.
Gallagher scored his 13th goal of the season (fifth game-winner) off a feed from substitute Mark Gormley as the Fighting Irish (12-6-2) advanced to a third-round meeting with Louisville. Notre Dame outshot the Ramblers (14-4-1), 15-6.
"It was definitely a relief, because the longer the game went on the more excited Loyola was going to get,” Notre Dame coach Bobby Clark said. “One opportunity could decide the game at that time, when you haven't scored, and the game is winding down. They were a dangerous team and they're a good team, even though about four of their six shots were in the last 10 minutes. It was a happy relief and nice to see Jon getting another goal to put him up to 13, that's a great number. It was a nice assist by Mark Gormley, and it was nice that the two strikers combined to get a goal.
"We wanted to play the game in their half and we didn't do that, and that was one of the disappointments at that time in the game. It was difficult because they just knocked the ball up there and pressured, they took chances and left themselves open at the back. We had a couple of chances to break away and ice it, and exactly the same thing happened for Loyola in the first round. They were dominating their game with UIC and then they scored a goal to go one-up, and UIC pressed and pressed. UIC left themselves open in the back and that was when Loyola broke away and scored the second goal. That's what I would have liked for us to do, if we just kept a little more composure in the last five minutes, maybe we could have gotten a second goal. It's like when you pull the goalkeeper in hockey, they pushed extra players and were knocking the ball up. They had nothing to lose at that point in the game, so it made sense to get up the field. We held firm, and I think Brandon Aubrey was superb in that time. They were knocking balls in the air and Brandon's head was clearing things.
"Louisville beat us 1-0 (in September), so it's nice to go back and get another shot at them. We were undefeated going into that game at 9-0, so this is a chance to set the record straight. It will be a tough game, because they're a good team, and the boys are obviously very excited. The first game is always a difficult game in the tournament, and it may have been a little easier for Loyola because they've already had a game. But I was very pleased with how we played. Our pressing, our passing and speed of play, the enthusiasm to take the game to them, was fantastic. That followed on nicely from our last game here against Duke (ACC first round), and we played very well in that game. The last 10 minutes were quite nervous but it was still a very good performance."