Crosses and kicks: ACC weekly soccer notes

NCSU Sports Information,

NCSU Sports Information,

Kip Coons, TSN Correspondent

RALEIGH, N.C. – One day after its season ended, N.C. State announced Thursday that it would not renew the contract of men’s soccer head coach Kelly Findley.

“We appreciate Kelly’s efforts for our program and student-athletes over the past six years,” Raymond Harrison, senior associate athletic director and the supervisor for soccer, said in a release.

“We wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”

Findley posted a 45-51-13 mark in six seasons, 9-33-9 record in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC).

The Wolfpack, 5-12 this season, did not earn an NCAA tournament bid during Findley’s tenure.

Harrison will lead a national search for a new head coach. Associate head coach David Costa will handle the day-to-day operations of the program in the interim.

Findley, a former assistant coach at Charlotte, was head coach at Butler for five years, compiling a 59-25-15 record and two Horizon League championships before taking over at N.C. State in 2011.

Notre Dame 3, Duke 2 (OT)

Tenth-seeded Duke saw its season end Thursday with an overtime loss in the first round of the ACC men’s tournament at South Bend, Ind.

Jon Gallagher’s golden goal with 55 seconds left in overtime sent the seventh-seeded Irish past the Blue Devils after the match was postponed one day because of thunderstorms.

The Blue Devils (7-8-2) twice battled back from one-goal deficits against the 16th-ranked Irish (11-5-2), who ended a five-game winless streak and avenged a 2-1 double-overtime loss at Duke two weeks ago.

Junior defender Carter Manley of Duke equalized in the 23rd minute when he rocketed home a volley from 25 yards for his first goal of the season.

In the 74th, junior forward Cameron Moseley headed in his sixth goal off a corner kick to make it 2-2 three minutes after the Irish had regained the lead on Jeffrey Farina’s first goal of the season.

But Gallagher, a junior from Dundalk, Ireland, scored his 12th goal in the waning moments of overtime after a flick header across the goalmouth by Jack Casey found him open from 6 yards.

Dennis Aubrey opened the scoring with his eighth goal for the Irish, who will play at second-seeded Wake Forest (12-2-3) in a 1 p.m. quarterfinal Sunday.

Virginia 1, N.C. State 0

Pablo Aguilar scored his sixth goal of the season and second consecutive game-winner as sixth-seeded Virginia shut out 11th seed N.C. State at Charlottesville, Va.

The Cavaliers (10-2-5), unbeaten in their last 10 games, will travel to third-seeded Louisville (11-4-2) for Sunday’s quarterfinal.

The Cardinals were the last team to defeat UVa, rolling to a 6-1 home victory on Sept. 24.

UVa has allowed only two goals over that 10-game span of seven wins and three ties, holding opponents scoreless for the last 498 minutes.

N.C. State (5-12-0) outshot UVa 13-8, but UVa goalkeeper Jeff Caldwell had to make only two saves in recording his ninth shutout of the season.

Aguilar, a redshirt junior, struck in the 82nd minute when his pass down the left flank found Sheldon Sullivan, who crossed it into the penalty area.

Wolfpack goalkeeper Alex McCauley dived to deflect the ball away, but it fell right to Aguilar, who fired a shot from 20 yards into the right corner of the net.

UNC men will host BC

Top-seeded North Carolina (11-2-3) will host eighth-seeded Boston College (7-7-3) at Fetzer Field in a 1 p.m. quarterfinal Sunday.

The Eagles advanced past ninth-seeded Virginia Tech on penalty kicks 4-3 Thursday night after the teams tied 2-2 through double overtime.

It will be the second meeting of UNC and BC this season.

The Tar Heels rolled to a 5-0 victory on Sept. 23 when sophomore forward Nils Bruening scored four goals, one shy of the single-game school record.

Zeiko Lewis had both goals for BC, including the tying goal in the 86th minute, 78 seconds after Alessandro Mion had scored his second goal for the Hokies (10-4-4).

Younes Boudadi converted the clinching penalty kick in the fifth round for BC, before Rory Slevin hit the crossbar with the Hokies’ final attempt of the shootout.

Sunday’s fourth quarterfinal will send fifth-seeded Syracuse (11-3-3) to fourth-seeded Clemson (11-2-4).

The Orange blanked visiting Pittsburgh 4-0 on Thursday behind two goals each from Chris Nanco and Jonathan Hagman.

UNC women prep for ACC semifinal

Fourth-seeded UNC (12-3-3) will have a rematch with top-seeded Notre Dame (13-2-4) in the semifinals of the ACC women’s soccer tournament at 5:30 p.m.

Friday in MUSC Health Stadium in Charleston, S.C.

The winner will play either sixth-seeded Florida State (13-2-3) or second-seeded Clemson (13-3-3), who will meet at 8 p.m. Friday.

The semifinal matches can be seen on ACC Network Extra, and Sunday’s noon championship game will be broadcast on ESPNU.

Notre Dame edged visiting UNC 1-0 in their regular-season meeting Oct. 14.

The Irish scored on a 19-yard free kick by freshman forward Jennifer Westendorf in the 57th minute. Notre Dame outshot UNC 18-14 on a busy night for both goalkeepers.

UNC’s Lindsey Harris made eight saves, and Notre Dame’s Kaela Little had five.

Since the loss to the Irish, the Tar Heels have gone on a four-game winning streak, reeling off victories at Pittsburgh and Syracuse and home wins over top-10 powers Florida State and Virginia.

Harris has surrendered only one goal in that four-game span.

Freshman forward Madison Schultz and senior defender Hanna Gardner of UNC earned ACC offensive and defensive player of the week honors for their work last week.

Schultz scored her first two goals of the season, netting the game-winners in the 1-0 defeat of FSU and 3-0 win over UVa.

Gardner led the defensive effort as UNC allowed a combined seven shots on goal in the two shutouts.

The Tar Heels will face a defensive juggernaut in Notre Dame, however.

The Irish own a five-game unbeaten streak, including four victories, and haven’t yielded a goal since Alexis Shaffer scored on a penalty kick to give Virginia a 1-0 victory on Oct. 9 – a span of 500 minutes and 10 seconds.

In fact, Notre Dame, which has conceded only seven goals all year, has given up only one in the run of play over the past 10 games.

UNC hasn’t advanced past the semifinals of the ACC tournament since beating Florida State 3-0 for the 2009 title.

Notre Dame is making its second semifinal appearance in its four-year ACC history.

All-ACC awards

Duke senior forward Christina Gibbons was named the Defensive Player of the Year, and UNC forward Bridgette Andrzejewski was honored as Freshman of the Year by vote of the ACC women’s coaches Thursday.

Virginia senior Alexis Shaffer of Cary, a former Green Hope High standout, became the first honoree to claim both Offensive Player of the Year and Midfielder of the Year, and Clemson’s Eddie Radwanski earned Coach of the Year.

Joining Gibbons, Andrzejewski, and Shaffer on the 11-player All-ACC first team was senior forward Toni Payne of Duke.

Junior forward Imani Dorsey of Duke and junior midfielder Megan Buckingham of UNC made the second team.

Third-team honorees included Duke freshman midfielder Ella Stevens, N.C. State freshman midfielder Tziarra King, and Clemson senior defender Claire Wagner of Cary (Panther Creek High).

Andrzejewski, King, Stevens, and forward Kia Rankin of N.C. State made the All-Freshman team.

Academic All-District honors

Eleven soccer players from ACC schools in the Triangle have been named to the Academic All-District III first team by the College Sports Information Directors of America.

The athletes are eligible for CoSIDA’s Academic All-America teams, which will be announced later this month.

Six of the athletes are from Duke, four from North Carolina, and one from N.C. State.

Four of Duke’s honorees play for its women’s team.

They are senior defenders Christina Gibbons and Lizzy Raben, junior defender Schuyler DeBree, and junior forward Imani Dorsey.

Gibbons has a 3.90 grade-point average in visual media studies. Raben has a 3.81 GPA in political science.

DeBree and Dorsey have 3.86 and 3.73 GPAs, respectively, in environmental science and policy.

The Duke men’s team was represented by junior midfielder Cody Brinkman and graduate student Ryan Thompson.

Brinkman holds a 3.83 GPA in electrical and computer engineering, while Thompson, who will graduate in May with a master’s degree in management studies from the Fuqua School of Business, has an overall GPA of 3.77.

Three of the four UNC players honored are on the men’s team: junior midfielder David October, sophomore defender Alex Comsia and sophomore forward Nils Bruening.

October, a third-team Academic All-American last year, has a 3.81 GPA in business administration.

Bruening has a 3.92 GPA as a pre-business major, and Comsia has a 3.98 GPA as an undeclared major.

Senior defender Hanna Gardner from the UNC women’s team has a 3.31 GPA in biology and environmental sciences.

Sophomore midfielder Julius Duchscherer was N.C. State’s lone honoree.

The Wolfpack’s leading scorer (eight goals, two assists) has a perfect 4.00 GPA in business administration.