Notre Dame men's soccer: Irish reach quarters

Staff reports
ND Insider

SOUTH BEND -- After going back and forth during the first half against Wake Forest, the Notre Dame men’s soccer team took control with a pair of second-half goals and held on for a 4-2 victory at home Sunday in the third round of the NCAA Tournament.

The No. 3 Irish (14-1-6) will play host to Michigan State at 7 p.m. Saturday in the quarterfinals. They previously defeated the Spartans, 2-0, on Nov. 5 in East Lansing, Mich.

Wake Forest (10-6-5) struck first when Michael Gamble took a cross from Sean Okoli and scored from close range in the 12th minute.

The Irish responded less than two minutes later as a short corner kick was played to Patrick Hodan, who dribbled his way into the penalty box and drilled home a low-angle shot for his eighth tally of the season.

Notre Dame claimed a 2-1 lead in the 42nd minute when Evan Panken worked his way near the left end line and struck a cross that was deflected in by Demon Deacon defender Tolani Ibikunle for an own goal.

The No. 14 Demon Deacons produced the equalizer in the 62nd minute when Ibikunle headed in a corner kick from Gamble.

It then was Notre Dame’s turn to up the offensive pressure and it paid off in the 70th minute. The scoring sequence began when an Irish corner kick was batted around and finally cleared out to central defender Andrew O’Malley, who gathered the ball and found Panken on the left side of the pitch and the sophomore midfielder deposited the ball to make it 3-2.

Notre Dame’s fourth tally came in the 74th minute as left back Max Lachowecki played a cross to Harrison Shipp and the senior forward registered his team-leading 12th goal of the season.

Patrick Wall had four saves for the Irish, who were outshot, 14-9, and trailed in corner kicks, 7-3.