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Survive And Advance: Part One

Nov 25, 2013, 10:08 AM EDT

Nick Besler (PHOTO/Joe Raymond) Nick Besler (PHOTO/Joe Raymond)

The Notre Dame men’s soccer team took to the pitch on a bitterly cold night against the Wisconsin Badgers in the second round of the NCAA Championship on Sunday at Alumni Stadium in Notre Dame, Ind., and came away with a 4-0 victory to continue their quest for the program’s first NCAA title.

It didn’t take long for the Irish to find the back of the net as Vince Cicciarelli settled the ball at the top of the “18″ and chipped it over the Badgers ‘keeper to put the Irish out front in the eighth minute. Cicciarelli’s goal was the fastest Irish goal in NCAA Championship play in the history of the program, breaking the previous record set back in 1993.

 

 

Notre Dame continued to control play over the next segment of the first half before the Badgers were called for a foul about 20 yards out. “The Magician,” Harrison Shipp lined up the free kick and put the strike on net, slipping by the Wisconsin goalkeeper to put Notre Dame up 2-0.

 

 

Having just rescinded a 3-1 lead in the final eight minutes of their previous match, the Irish didn’t want to let this one slip away. As Notre Dame headed into the warmth of the locker room for halftime, they knew they needed to put together another solid 45-minutes of soccer to move on to the next round of the NCAA Championship.

Pressuring the Badgers at every turn, the Irish found themselves with another set-piece situation in the 55th minute. Patrick Hodan struck the ball towards the back post and bounced inside the six-yard box, sneaking inside the left post off the bounce.

 

 

Just under ten-minutes later, in the 65th minute, the Irish found themselves on the attack once again. Corralling the ball on the left flank, Shipp took three touches to his left before cutting right and striking the ball towards the back-right post. On the replay it looks as if Cicciarelli redirects the Shipp strike into the back of the net, yet Shipp was credited with the tally.

 

 

As the clock struck zero, the Irish moved on to the next round of the NCAA Championship. The round-of-16 match against Wake Forest will take place next Sunday, December 1, at Alumni Stadium in Notre Dame, Ind.

In their previous meeting, the Irish defeated the Demon Deacons, 3-1, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

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