Tony Jones | August 22, 2017
A bevy of shots early for the University of Notre Dame men’s soccer team finally found the mark in the 2017 exhibition finale on Monday night. Goals from tri-captain Jon Gallagher, John Rea and Ian Aschieris vaulted the No. 10 Irish to a 3-0 win over Valparaiso during the annual Grassroot Soccer game on a picturesque evening at Alumni Stadium.
After applying the pressure early, Notre Dame broke through for the first goal of the night in the 15th minute. Kyle Dedrick gathered in possession to the left of the Valparaiso goal and flung a perfect drop pass out front to Gallagher. Gallagher buried the feed with his left foot inside the right post for the 1-0 lead at 14:28.
Stellar saves the remainder of the half from Valparaiso goalkeeper Nacho Miras, including the denial of a handful of great looks from Gallagher on the step, sent the game to the break with Notre Dame in front 1-0.
Notre Dame began re-asserting control of the game with strong play from the young attackers Rea and Aschieris, both of whom entered in the 60th minute to team up alongside freshmen wing players Aiden McFadden and Paul Rothrock. The next Irish goal belonged to Rea, who headed a great pass by Felicien Dumas from the left flank into the back of the net at the right post for the 2-0 Notre Dame edge at 76:34.
Aschieris finished off the day’s scoring in the 83rd minute. A nice give-and-go pass from Rea in traffic cleared Aschieris toward the Valparaiso frame deep in the Crusader defensive third. Aschieris delivered on the feed and drove the ball across the goal into the left netting for the final Notre Dame tally at 82:20.
Notre Dame officially kicks off the 2017 regular season on Friday during the first day of the Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament at Alumni Stadium. The Irish face San Diego at 7:30 p.m. (ET) on Friday, following the conclusion of Indiana and Cal Poly at 5 p.m.