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There was no visible look of dismay or discouragement among players after St. Louis University allowed a goal 72 seconds into its season-opening soccer game against No. 9 Notre Dame on Saturday night.

Shock might have been more like it. The Billikens hit reset in front of a crowd of 5,942 at Hermann Stadium and pulled even by halftime.

They again didn’t break after two quick Notre Dame goals in the second half. But a late flurry of activity in front of the Irish goal could not produce a score, and Notre Dame escaped with a 3-2 win.

Jack Lynn and Aiden McFadden scored two minutes apart in the second half after a near-miss by SLU, which couldn’t recover from the quick one-two punch.

“There were some moments I was happy with — the response after going down a goal and the response after going down two,” SLU coach Kevin Kalish said. “There are definitely things we can build on. I just felt like we fatigued a bit and lost our discipline and focus during that 20-minute stretch in the second half.”

Sophomore John Klein scored in the 80th minute to get the Billikens within a goal.

SLU earned a tie in last season’s meeting between the teams at Notre Dame, when Anthony Brown scored in the final 30 seconds of regulation. This time the Irish were able to break down SLU’s defense to pull away and then hold on.

SLU had a chance to take the lead on a free kick midway through the second half, when Chase Niece headed a well-played ball. However, Notre Dame goalkeeper Duncan Turnbull made the save.

Notre Dame quickly took the ball in transition and Lynn received a pass wide open in the box and ripped it past SLU goalkeeper Patrick Schulte to make it 2-1 in the 65{sup}th{/sup} minute.

Moments later, Lynn found McFadden wide open with a pass in front of Schulte and he scored to quiet the crowd.

“I don’t know if it was fatigue induced or our inability to stay disciplined through the entire 90 minutes,” Kalish said. “But our concentration level dropped, and they hit us twice in transition. That’s what good teams do.”

Kalish started a lineup with four freshmen, including Schulte, who will leave Sunday to join the U.S. under-20 team for training and a pair of games. Simon Becher, a transfer from Holy Cross and preseason first-team all-Atlantic 10 selection, did not play due to an injury.

Both sides were still trying to get a feel for the game when Notre Dame was awarded a free kick slightly left of center less than two minutes after kickoff. Schulte made a diving save of the shot by Felicien Dumas, but Mohammad Abualnadi had a free path to the rebound and easily found the back of the net.

“It was our learning moment by carelessly fouling in our end and we didn’t deal with the re-start on the rebound,” Kalish said. “It was a moment we had to respond to, and we played our way back into the game.”

As the first half unfolded, the Billikens controlled possession for a good portion but struggled to generate scoring opportunities.

One of the best came when freshman Stefan Stojanovic found himself one-on-one in the box against Notre Dame’s Abualnadi. But when he got off a shot, Abualnadi was able to get a piece and deflect it out of bounds wide of the goal.

Moments later, senior Devin Boyce had some room to maneuver with the ball to the left of goalie Duncan Turnbull, but eventually was stripped of the ball before he could create an opportunity.

Before SLU scored, the only shot on goal it had managed in the first half was a header in traffic by Boyce. But the ball was corralled by Turnbull.