Sep 1, 2013
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Senior forward Leon Brown entered Sunday's game versus SMU with two career goals and he matched that total less than 20 minutes into the contest as the No. 7 Notre Dame men's soccer team bested the Mustangs 2-1 in the second and final day of the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic at Bill Armstrong Stadium.
UCLA's 1-0 overtime win over No. 1 Indiana in Sunday's second match gave Notre Dame its second straight adidas/IU Credit Union Classic title. The Irish and Bruins both finished 1-0-1, but Notre Dame won on the tiebreaker of goals scored. It is the third IU Classic title for the Irish in 14 all-time appearances. Notre Dame also won in 1993.
After squandering scoring opportunities during Friday's 0-0 draw against No. 9 UCLA in the tournament opener, it didn't take the Irish offense long to strike on Sunday. Brown scored in the fifth minute when he received a pass from Alex Priede and put his shot into the back of the net from 25 yards out.
"We played very well in the first half and could have been up by more," Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark said. "Leon (Brown) scored two very good goals, but we also missed some chances. His first goal was set up by a nice run from Alex Priede. Patrick Hodan sent him a nice cross that he one-touched for the second goal."
The second tally came in the 20th minute when Hodan sent a low cross into the box and Brown deposited the ball from eight yards away. Notre Dame (1-0-1) outshot SMU 9-1 in the first half and led 2-0 at intermission.
"We just have to be a little more focused in the final third of the field," Brown said. "Sometimes we lose our focus in that part of the field and we don't finish well when that happens. We had good chances that we didn't finish against UCLA on Friday and again today, but those are things we can fix in practice. It was good to start the season with a win and a tie against two good teams."
SMU's Brenden Lee sliced the Irish lead to one in the 71st minute after he took a pass from Will Smith and scored from outside the left side of the box.
"SMU came out revitalized in the second half and pressured us hard," Clark said. "When they scored the goal there was no real panic on our side. We regained a grip of the game at that point, which was a positive. We weren't as crisp in the early part of the second half, but once they scored we realized we had to figure things out and we did."
Notre Dame held a 20-10 advantage in shots for the match, including a 5-4 edge in shots on goal. Senior goalkeeper Patrick Wall made three saves to improve his career record to 10-1-1. Jaime Ibarra also had three saves for SMU (0-2-0). The Fighting Irish earned six corner kicks, while the Mustangs attempted four.
"It could have been a fantastic weekend for us if we got two wins because we were in position to win both games, but we'll take a win and a tie against two very good teams," Clark said. "Now we have a week to prepare for what will be a very difficult match against North Carolina."
Notre Dame will open its home schedule - and inaugural Atlantic Coast Conference slate - next Sunday versus No. 4 North Carolina. The contest is slated for noon (ET) and can be seen live on ESPNU.
adidas/IU Credit Union Classic
SMU (0-2-0) 0 1 - 1
Shots: SMU 1-9 - 10, ND 9-11 - 20
2013 adidas/IU Credit Union Classic Final Standings
* - Won tournament on a tiebreaker