NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Clemson men’s soccer team suffered a 2-0 loss to No. 18 Notre Dame in the first round of the ACC Tournament on Wednesday night at Alumni Stadium. With the loss, Clemson concluded the 2018 season with a 7-9-1 overall record, while Notre Dame improved to 10-5-2 overall.
The Fighting Irish opened the scoring early on a low Ian Aschieris header at the near post that slipped past a diving Jonny Sutherland, giving Notre Dame a 1-0 advantage just under two minutes into the matchup. Clemson’s first shot came in the 15th minute, when Adrian Nuñez fired one from the top of the box, but Irish keeper Duncan Turnbull was there for the save. Nuñez and Sindri Björnsson took the other two Tiger shots in the first half, but both were blocked. On the other end of the field, Sutherland made five saves after allowing the initial goal to keep the Irish lead at one score heading into the break.
The second half featured balanced play, with each team getting one shot off each in the first 25 minutes, and then Sutherland made his season-high sixth save of the night on a Jack Lynn shot with just under 20 minutes remaining in the matchup. Clemson’s best opportunity of the evening came in the form of a Quinn McNeill shot from the top of the box in the 76th minute, but it went just wide. The Irish were not done scoring, however, as the 88th minute saw Aschieris net his second goal of the night, sealing the Notre Dame win.
“In order to beat a team as good as Notre Dame, you have to be at your best for 90 minutes,” said head coach Mike Noonan. “We were far from that tonight, and that is my responsibility. I thought we gave a good effort for ourselves in the second half, but it was far too little tonight. In light of all that, I saw growth through a disappointing season, and I am confident we will put the pieces together in the very near future.”