PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — Notre Dame is breaking a four-year hiatus from the state soccer finals this weekend.

The perennial power Irish play in the 2A state tournament in Hoffman Estates for the first time since 2018. But Dillon Bare has been waiting longer.

“This has been a dream all my life,” said Dillon Bare, PND’s senior goal keeper. He’s the son of head coach Mike Bare, who is making his seventh appearance at state since he started coaching the Irish in 2007.

But it’s Mike Bare’s first trip to state with his son. Dillon used to sit in the stands as a boy and watch his father’s teams play.

“I’ve been around (the program) since I was four-years-old,” Dillon Bare said. “Coming into high school he told me he was going to win a state title with me. And that’s what we’re going to do this year.”

Dillon Bare has posted three consecutive shutouts in the postseason. The Irish has only allowed one postseason goal this year.

Notre Dame beat Aurora Marmon Academy, 1-0, at the Sterling super-sectional Tuesday night to earn a trip to the state semifinals on Friday.

“I ran straight towards him,” Mike Bare said of the postgame celebration with his son. “He’s worked so hard and come so far as a player, as a person. I’m just so proud of him. He’s come up big for us this postseason.”

The Irish (21-3-1) play Chicago Solario Academy ay 1 p.m. Friday in the state semifinals.