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Courtesy: Duke Photography
Top-Ranked Irish Edge Blue Devils, 1-0
Monday 11/12/2013  -  Duke Sports Information
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NOTRE DAME, Ind.—Notre Dame’s Patrick Hodan broke through in the 59th minute off of a free kick as Duke dropped a hard-fought 1-0 game to the top-ranked Fighting Irish in the ACC Men’s Soccer Tournament Quarterfinals. The loss was the first for the Blue Devils since Oct. 1.

Duke falls to 8-5-6 overall and will await to hear its fate for a NCAA Tournament bid announced Nov. 18 at 12 p.m. at ncaa.com. The second-seeded Irish move on to the ACC Tournament semifinals with a 12-1-5 overall record and will play Virginia for a chance to vie for an ACC title.

The first half featured little action as neither team was able to generate any offense. Both defenses did well to keep the ball in front of them and prevent any good looks at the net. Duke had the better of play in the early minutes, but was unable to make a final connection pass in the offensive third.

As play continued in the opening 45 minutes, the Irish started to get into a rhythm and controlled possession. Despite having the edge in play, Notre Dame was unable to figure out Duke’s stalwart defense with just three shots and only one good look at the senior Will Donovan cleared away.

Much like the regular season matchup between Duke and Notre Dame, the Irish came out firing in the second half in search of the game’s first goal. The Irish broke through in the 59th minute after drawing another foul on Duke from 30 yards out.

A designed set piece found Notre Dame top scorer Harrison Shipp on the left side of the field. Shipp knocked the ball into the penalty area on the far post where Hodan put it past Alex Long for the 1-0 lead. The goal was Hodan’s fifth of the year and ended Duke’s shutout streak at 253:20.

Notre Dame continued to build on that momentum and had a pair of good looks with just under 20 minutes to play stopped by Long. The redshirt senior goalkeeper came up with another save a few minutes later to keep Duke within one. Long finished the night with six saves to bring his season total to 77.

As the minutes ticked down, Duke pressed forward into Notre Dame’s defensive third in search of the equalizer. The best chance of the night came with just over 12 minutes to play as Sean Davis took a chance from long range. Notre Dame goalie Patrick Wall gobbled up the skipping shot and the Irish defense remained strong to post its eighth shutout of the year and extend the shutout streak to 315:25.

Overall, Notre Dame held a 16-3 edge in shots and a 5-2 advantage in corner kicks. Duke was whistled for 21 fouls compared to the Irish’s nine.

The NCAA Tournament field of 48 will be announced live on NCAA.com Nov. 18 at 12 p.m. Tune in then to see if Duke qualifies for the NCAA postseason tournament.

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