Fifth-ranked Clemson lost a heartbreaker Friday as No. 9 Notre Dame left Historic Riggs Field with a 2-1 victory.
At the 88:02 mark the Irish’s Jon Gallagher’s cross found the head of Jeff Farina for what turned out to be the game-winner.
Although the score was in the favor of Notre Dame, the score did not tell the story of the match. The Tigers outshot the Fighting Irish 19-8 overall and were on the attack for a far larger portion of the match.
“What I take out of the game is that we improved from last week,” Clemson head coach Mike Noonan said. “We were much better on the field this week and we worked hard throughout the week and it paid off. If we continue to do that the rest of the season we’re going to have a really good team.”
After a scoreless first half, Notre Dame opened up the scoring early in the second. At 46:50, Gallagher received a through ball leading to a shot and goal from eight yards out. It was Gallagher’s eighth goal of the year.
Shortly after, Clemson (8-3-0, 2-3-0 ACC) was able to equalize the Gallagher goal.
At 49:49, thanks to a good set up from Patrick Bunk-Anderson, Jason Wright sent in a low cross that found the foot of Alex Hemmingsen for the goal, his first of the season for the Tigers. That tied the match at 1-1.
At 87:40 the Tigers conceded a corner, and moments later Gallagher’s cross found the head of Farina to give the Fighting Irish the lead, and ultimately the match.
“It was really the quality of the final ball,” Noonan said. “Both boxes, that’s where it all happens, right? They converted their chances and we didn’t.
“I just thought that we had opportunity after opportunity and I just thought the ball would find the back of the net. Some games are like that though. I am just at a loss for words. I feel bad for the team. Sometimes you play well and lose.”
With Clemson’s next outing on Tuesday, they will have short preparation for the upcoming match.
“The guys worked really hard tonight so we’re going to give them some rest time tomorrow,” Noonan said. “We’ll come back on Sunday and be ready to work and prepare for the upcoming game.”
The Tiger’s next game will be Tuesday at Historic Riggs Field. This will be Clemson’s second to last home game of the regular season. The match is scheduled to start at 7 p.m.