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Virginia wipes out two-goal deficit, advances in PK shootout over Notre Dame
GERMANTOWN, Md. (theACC.org) – Virginia and Notre Dame were fit to be tied on Friday night, but only the Cavaliers were fit to advance to the title game of the 2013 Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s Soccer Championship.
After rallying from a 3-1 deficit against the nation’s top-ranked team in the final five minutes of regulation, Virginia prevailed by a 4-3 count in a penalty-kick shootout to slip past the Fighting Irish in their semifinal match at the Maryland Soccerplex.
Virginia, seeded sixth in the tournament field but ranked 10th nationally, will face the winner of the second semifinal between top-seeded Maryland and fourth-seeded Clemson in Sunday’s 2 p.m. championship match.
The shootout followed a 3-3 tie at the end of two 10-minute overtime periods, after the Cavaliers (10-4-5) had wiped out a 3-1 deficit in the final five minutes of regulation.
“In my 18 years (of coaching), I think that was one of the best fight-backs that I’ve had,” Virginia’s George Gelnovatch said.
Virginia goalkeeper Calle Brown made two big saves during the penalty kick phase to set the table for teammate Marcus Salandy-Defour, who knocked home the decisive PK past diving Notre Dame keeper Patrick Wall.
The finish capped a night of heroics for Salandy-Defour, who had a goal and an assist just 1:57 apart in the fading minutes of regulation to rally Virginia from what seemed certain defeat.
“We had to keep going, keep fighting,” Salandy-Defour said. “And that’s what we do. When we are behind, we never get down on ourselves.”
Notre Dame (13-1-6), seeded second in the tournament field, is still assured of a high seed when next Monday’s NCAA Championship pairings are announced. But in the meantime, the Fighting Irish were left to ponder the “what-ifs” of another frustrating match against Virginia. The Cavaliers had defeated Notre Dame in their four previous meetings, including a 2-0 win in this season’s regular-season meeting at South Bend on Oct. 26.
“I will just say it was a great avenue for college soccer and in particular ACC soccer,” said Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark.” It was a really good game. I thought we controlled long patches of the first half. Full ups to UVa. They had a fantastic fight-back and made for a really entertaining game. I want to congratulate both teams for a really good game here tonight. Obviously, we are disappointed we didn’t progress, but we wish UVa all the best.”
For most of the way on Friday night, it appeared the pendulum had finally swung in Notre Dame’s favor.
ACC Offensive Player of the Year Harrison Shipp put the Fighting Irish on the board in the 25th minute when he took a pass on a breakaway from Connor Kiekota and drilled home his ninth goal of the season from eight yards out. Shipp extended his scoring streak to five games.
Notre Dame made it 2-0 with just 55 seconds remaining in the opening half, when freshman midfielder Brandon Aubrey came up with a turnover and fed Patrick Hodan, who found an open net on the dribble and connected on a five-yard attempt.
Shipp missed a prime chance to make it a 3-0 nearly eight minutes into the second half. Virginia was called for a hand ball and Notre Dame was awarded the penalty kick, but Shipp’s low liner caromed off the left post.
Virginia was awarded a penalty kick after Notre Dame was called for a foul with 33:51 to play in the match. The Cavaliers cashed in on the PK behind sophomore Todd Wharton, who delivered his fourth goal of the year to cut the deficit to 2-1.
Wharton’s score was the first goal allowed in 376:33 by the Fighting Irish, who had posted three straight shutouts since their 3-1 win at Wake Forest on Nov. 2.
With 14:40 to play, charging Virginia forward Marcus Salandy-Defour got an open look from just inside the box, but his attempt sailed high and Notre Dame still clung to the lead.
The Fighting Irish scored their lone second-half goal with just under 10 minutes remaining, as Andrew O’Malley played the rebound off a Hodan shot into the net from five yards out for a 3-1 edge.
But it wasn’t over. In the 85th minute, Salandy-Defour took Riggs Lennon’s pass and made good on the running, 18-yard shot in traffic to bring Virginia back to within a goal at 3-2.
Less than two minutes later, Salandy-Delfour found freshman Nicko Corriveau with a pass on the right side. Corriveau drove in his first career goal from 10 yards out to knot the score at 3-3 and set up overtime.
Friday night’s match was the highest scoring ACC semifinal since Duke’s 4-2 win over Maryland in 2005.
“I certainly challenged them at halftime, and the responses were good,” Virginia’s Gelnovatch said. “The way we played them in the second half is the way we played them from the start last time. We were just a little funky to start with (tonight).
“That’s a good team. We were fortunate enough to get ourselves going in the second half and finish with advancement.”
Virginia Coach George Gelnovatch
Virginia GK Calle Brown
Virginia F Marcus Salandy-Defour
Coach George Gelnovatch: “In my 18 years I think that was one of the best fight backs that I’ve had. I certainly challenged them at half time and the responses were good. The way we played them in the second half is the way we played them from the start last time. We were just a little funky to start with. That’s a good team. We were fortunate enough to get ourselves going in the second half and finish with advancement.”
On the last 10 minutes…
Gelnovatch: “It was pretty loud in the locker room at halftime, there were some challenges. By the of the end of the half they started coming around. By the time they hit the field they were pretty animated.”
On being able to read the penalties…
GK Calle Brown: “I usually just anticipate and dive to one side. Usually guessing, but sometimes reading the player’s hit.”
Gelnovatch: “We’ve been practicing just like every other team does. The byproduct is goal keepers get the training too. He’s probably taking 500 penalties.”
F Marcus Salandy-Defour: “Definitely so, my teammates were behind me and they told me to keep going. And at halftime coach said man let’s go. We had to keep going, keep fighting. And that’s what we do. When we are behind we never get down on ourselves.”
Notre Dame Coach Bobby Clark
Notre Dame F Harrison Shipp
Head Coach Bobby Clark: “I will just say it was a great avenue for college soccer and in particular ACC soccer. It was a really good game. I thought we controlled long patches of the first half. Full ups to UVA – they had a fantastic fight back and made for a really entertaining game. I want to congratulate both teams for a really good game here tonight. Obviously, we are disappointed we didn’t progress, but we wish UVA all the best.”
On Notre Dame’s quick start after losing Oct. 26 to Virginia….
Clark: “I think we were ready to play regardless. I think we try to be that way every game. It was a really nice atmosphere here at the SoccerPlex. Their players were ready too because certainly came out of the blocks in the second half. For me, I was really proud because we lost a break in the game and I was proud of how we got our game back together. I thought we had a few chances to win and it wasn’t to be. Penalty kicks was the decider.”
Senior Forward Harrison Shipp: “I think in the first half, when we got the ball, we swung it around the back and got it to the midfield and were able to turn and play our wide guys who were coming into the middle and get our outside backs involved. In the second half, we stopped connecting that first pass from the backs to the midfield which didn’t allow our outside backs to get as high. In the first half, our outside backs were getting past their outside midfielders to the point where we could attack and play from there. In the second half, we just struggled to connect that first pass which didn’t allow us to play in their half until the overtimes when we actually started playing in their half again.”
On Junior Midfielder Nick Beasler
Clark: “Besler came back – he had missed eight games after he broke his foot against Maryland earlier in the year. He’s a key player and first-team ACC player. We lost him and he was a very settling influence on our team.”
Shipp: “He plays very simple and moves the ball side to side so I think when he was in there, it felt a little calmer through the midfield, playing those passes, facing up.”
On the message between regulation and overtime…
Shipp: “Once they got that third goal and tied it, their pressure settled down a bit. They stopped pressing us high which allowed us to get back in the game. They played in overtime more like they played in the first half, which allowed us to keep the ball and run the game.”
Clark: “It was a great game though. It was played in a good spirit. It was close in shots and saves. I think a tie was a fair result overall, but kudos to them for fighting back. There were a couple of times there where we thought the game was over.”
On lessons to take into the NCAA Tournament…
Clark: “Last year we won the BIG EAST Tournament and lost in the third round. We were the number one seed when we lost to Indiana and we didn’t play particularly well. Hopefully, this year we’ll get a little bit more rest. We have a couple of guys beaten up. Leon Brown pulled his hamstring and Beasler just coming back, I don’t think he could have played another game. We certainly didn’t try to lose in penalty kicks. We tried to win. But when you look at the big picture, it might be a blessing in disguise.”
On penalty kicks…
Shipp: “We hadn’t practiced penalty kicks but we had complete confidence in the five guys that shot. The guys that shot seemed confidence. If I was picking, I’d pick those two guys again who missed.”