Aug 25, 2012, 11:30 PM EDT
Notre Dame 1 – Duke 0
Beautiful evening, big crowd and an even bigger result! There must have been close to 3,000 fans in Alumni Stadium. The stands were full and the fans were spread over the grass mounds and students were singing and chanting behind the goals. James Belshaw in the Duke goal hails from England and was being constantly bombarded with the Stars and Stripes. It was just a great atmosphere.
Having said that, the first half was a cagey affair with both teams probing, although it would be fair to say that Notre Dame looked more likely to get on the scoreboard. The second half was a completely different situation. Right from the kick-off, Notre Dame took control, even though it took until the 76th minute before Notre Dame got the break through. The second half was pretty much total domination, with the Irish outshooting the Blue Devils by 12 – 1 in this period, with Belshaw, in the Duke goal, having 7 saves in total with Will Walsh, in the Irish goal, not having a save registered.
The all-important goal was scored after some really creative passing in the penalty box by Dillon Powers and Harry Shipp with the final shot coming from Ryan Finley. I am sure this was a very special goal for Ryan, as he played his first two years of college soccer for Duke before transferring to Notre Dame.
Well, a very good start, but now we must follow it up, when we head to Bloomington, Ind. and play in the IU Classic where we will take on San Diego State and Clemson on a Friday/Sunday schedule.
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