Syracuse and Notre Dame posted shutouts at the championship's top two seeds to advance to the ACC Men's Soccer Final. The 2015 ACC champion will be crowned on Sunday, Nov. 15 as the team teams meet for a 1 p.m. contest in Notre Dame, Ind.
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – A 60th minute goal from freshman Thomas Ueland powered the University of Notre Dame men's soccer team to a 1-0 win over No. 1 Wake Forest in the semifinal round of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Championship on Wednesday night before 5,009 fans at Spry Stadium.
Wednesday’s triumph for the Irish was their first victory over a national No. 1 team since Notre Dame downed top ranked UCLA 2-1 in overtime on Aug. 31, 2007 in Bloomington, Indiana. The crowd in excess of 5,000 fans was the largest to ever see a Wake Forest postseason soccer match.
“It was a fantastic atmosphere for college soccer, just like it was here a few weeks ago,” Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark said. “It was two very good teams, a competitive game, and a very skillful game. It was always going to be a one-goal game, fortunately we came out on top this time. Congratulations to everybody. That was two games we played here with fantastic fans. 5,000 people there on a Wednesday night game was fantastic, great atmosphere.
“We held well in the last 10 minutes, but there was a period in the second half where I thought we had good control,” Clark added. “After we scored the goal we had a nice control over the game, and having said that I was quite happy to hear the final whistle blow.”
Notre Dame’s perseverance paid off in the 60th minute. A failed Wake Forest clearance in the box was nudged along by Hodan. A subsequent deflection off a Demon Deacon defender found its way to Ueland, who buried a kick from eight yards out into the bottom left of the net for his fourth goal of the year and a 1-0 Irish advantage.
CLEMSON, S.C. – No. 13/-- Syracuse will make its first appearance in the ACC Men’s Soccer Tournament final after upsetting No. 2 Clemson, 2-0, at Riggs Field in the semifinals. Junior Ben Polk (Banbury, UK) recorded both goals for the Orange as it registered its second win against a top-five ranked team in a span of four days.
“I’m very proud (of the team),” said Syracuse head coach Ian McIntyre. “We’ve got the utmost respect for this Clemson team. It’s an elite team so we needed something special tonight and we had a very special first goal. Then we showed an attitude and a willingness to put bodies and everything on the line to keep Clemson off the scoresheet. They have so many exciting attacking players. But I’m very proud and to continue this playoff run for a little longer is really fun.”
The offenses pressed forward to start the game as the team’s combined for four corner kicks in the first five minutes, but neither team could get off a shot. The Orange (12-5-3) took the lead in the 21st minute when junior Louis Cross (Lancashire, England) played a free kick to Polk just out the box with his back to the goal. Polk settled the ball, turned and fired a shot into the back of the net to give Syracuse a 1-0 advantage.
Syracuse extended its lead in the 58th minute. Junior Chris Nanco (Brampton, Ontario) took a shot from the left side that was stopped by Clemson goalkeeper Andrew Tarbell. The ball went off Tarbell to Rhynhart on the right side. He played it back into the box to Polk, who found the back of the net for the second time for his team-leading ninth goal of the season.