Notre Dame Beats Wake Forest in NCAA Championship
Dec. 1, 2013
By Steven Wright, Wake Forest Athletic Communications (@WakeMSoccer)
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - No. 14-seed Wake Forest scored the game's first goal off the foot of Michael Gamble, but No. 3-seed Notre Dame scored twice in each half to defeat the Demon Deacons 4-2 on Sunday night at Alumni Stadium in the Third Round of the 2013 NCAA Championship.
Wake Forest ends the year with a 10-6-5 overall record, while Notre Dame will advance to the NCAA Quarterfinals to face No. 11-seed Michigan State.
Gamble scored his goal on an assist from Sean Okoli and then assisted later in the game on a goal by Tolani Ibikunle. Gamble finished the year with four goals and four assists. The goal was Ibikunle's second of the year, while the assist for Okoli was his third of the season.
The Demon Deacons were able to strike relatively quickly when Gamble put one past Notre Dame keeper Patrick Wall at the 11:27 mark of the first half. Okoli created a turnover deep in the attacking third, took a few dribbles and crossed the ball to Gamble in the box. Gamble's shot went in near the right post.
Notre Dame answered right back, though, and Patrick Hodan tied the game at 1-1 less than two minutes later at the 13:19 mark. The Irish then took at 2-1 lead into halftime on an own goal in the 42nd minute.
Just over seven minutes into the second half, Okoli and Gamble nearly connected for the second time of the game. After Hunter Bandy played Okoli through on the right side, Okoli crossed the ball to Gamble toward the near post, and his volley to the far post missed by just inches.
Wake Forest found the equalizer and made the game 2-2 in the 62nd minute. Gamble served a corner kick into the middle of the box. The only two players around the ball were Ibikunle and Okoli, and Ibikunle headed it home.
The game stayed tied for just over eight minutes before Evan Panken scored in the 70th minute. Harrison Shipp then gave the Fighting Irish a two-goal lead at 4-2 just 3:25 after Panken scored.
The Deacs generated chances down the stretch and outshot the Irish 14-9 for the game, including 9-6 in the second half, but Notre Dame was able to hold on for the victory and advance to the next round.
For Wake Forest, this was the team's first trip to the NCAA Third Round since going to four straight College Cups from 2006-09.