Aug. 31, 2007
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - A `golden goal' from senior midfielder Alex Yoshinaga (San Diego, Calif./Granite Hills) in the 94th minute gave No. 9 Notre Dame a 2-1 victory over top-ranked UCLA on Friday evening during the first day of the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic at Bill Armstrong Stadium. The match was the season opener for both squads. Senior forward Joseph Lapira (Lake Charles, La./Saint Louis Catholic) netted Notre Dame's first goal of the evening.
It appeared that the Fighting Irish were headed to victory during regulation, but a goal from UCLA's Chance Myers knotted the game with 38 seconds remaining in the contest. Mike Zaher collected the assist on the play.
Notre Dame rebounded nicely during the first sudden-death overtime period. With just over three minutes elapsed in overtime, freshman Jeb Brovsky (Lakewood, Colo./Green Mountain) played the ball to Yoshinaga and he played it back to Brovsky, who dished it to Lapira and he found Yoshinaga for the game winner.
"We were dealt a cruel blow with 38 seconds remaining," said Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark. "But instead of losing momentum in overtime, I felt we upped the momentum. I felt we had several chances to finish them off during the game and we finally did."
The Irish registered their first shot of the match with 23:08 left in the first half when Kurt Martin (McAllen, Texas/Memorial) blasted the ball from just inside the box and it was deflected over the crossbar by the Bruin goalkeeper, Brian Perk. Less than a minute later, Justin Morrow (Cleveland, Ohio/St. Ignatius) had another good chance for Notre Dame as he sent a shot just wide to the left. Lapira then put the Irish on top, 1-0, as he collected a pass from Yoshinaga and put it into the back of the net during the 24th minute.
"I thought the first half was superb for us," stated Clark. "This is as well as we've controlled a big game like this. The second half got tighter. But I thought we did an excellent job at not letting them penetrate. We kept them in front of us."
Notre Dame senior goalkeeper Chris Cahill (Louisville, Ky./DeSales) made four saves on the night, while Perk stopped two Irish shots. The Irish out shot the Bruins 13-8. Senior defender Ryan Miller (Barrington, Ill./Barrington) led the Irish with three shots. Miller pressured the Bruin defense during the second half and created a couple chances that nearly upped the Notre Dame advantage.
Heading into tonight's match, Notre Dame had been 0-5-0 against a team ranked No. 1 at the time of the match since 1990. The Irish are now 20-8-3 all-time in season openers, including a 5-1-1 mark in the Bobby Clark era.
The Fighting Irish will battle No. 7 Maryland on Sunday (Sept. 2) at 11:30 a.m. (ET) during the second and final day of the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic.
To stay up to date on the 2007 Notre Dame men's soccer season, please log on to und.com or call the official Notre Dame athletics hotline at (574) 631-3000.
Shots: UCLA 3-5-0 - 8, ND 6-6-1 - 13