Sept. 26, 2012
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - A goal from senior central defender Grant Van De Casteele in the 71st minute proved to be the game winner as the No. 8 Notre Dame men's soccer team topped No. 10 Indiana, 1-0, on Wednesday night at Bill Armstrong Stadium.
The scoring sequence began when senior midfielder Dillon Powers sent a corner kick into the box and Van De Casteele headed home his first goal of the season.
Notre Dame (8-1-0) had nine shots on goal in the match compared to just one for Indiana. Both teams had eight corner kicks.
"It's good anytime you go to Indiana and come away with a win," said Irish head coach Bobby Clark. "We were very good in the first half and should have had at least a couple goals. Full marks to Indiana, they came out hard and pressured us in the second half and made it a lot more difficult. It was a good game. Indiana is a very good team and they'll be one of the better teams we play all year."
Fighting Irish left back Max Lachowecki had the game's first shot in the sixth minute. He fired the ball on frame from 10 yards out on the left side and Indiana goalkeeper Luis Soffner made the save. The Irish threatened again in the 11th minute as Powers sent a corner kick into the six-yard box and a Nick Besler header was saved by Soffner.
Indiana (6-2-1) had its first chance of the match occur in the 18th minute as an Eriq Zavaleta free kick was deflected just wide of the far post. The Hoosiers' Kyle Sparks had a touch from close range in the 34th minute, yet placed the ball over the crossbar.
Lachowecki had another attempt saved in the 43rd minute. The match was scoreless at halftime. Notre Dame had four shots on goal in the opening stanza, while Indiana had none.
Notre Dame's first good look of the second half came in the 58th minute as Van De Casteele weaved his way through the Hoosier defense with the ball and fed forward Ryan Finley who had his attempt from 16 yards out saved by Soffner. Finley put another shot on frame in the 70th minute and a diving save from Soffner negated the chance.
The Irish broke through on Van De Casteele's tally, which was the first second-half goal allowed by Indiana this season.
Indiana's first shot on goal of the match did not come until the 86th minute when a Femi Hollinger-Janzen header was punched out by Irish goalkeeper Patrick Wall. Wall, a junior, improved his record to 4-0 this season with his second clean sheet of the campaign. It was the fifth shutout of the season for Notre Dame.
Finley nearly scored on a close-range shot in the final minute of the match, but Soffner made his eighth and final save of the evening.
Junior Connor Miller started at center back for the Fighting Irish. It was the first game action of his Notre Dame career.
"This was quite the place for Connor Miller to make his debut and I thought he grew into the game nicely. He and Grant (Van De Casteele) were very solid in the back," added Clark. "(Senior midfielder) Bob Novak also had a fantastic game. He did really well."
The Fighting Irish have won their last two matches versus the Hoosiers in Bloomington. Notre Dame now has its first-ever three-game unbeaten streak against Indiana.
Notre Dame returns to BIG EAST action on Saturday at No. 2 Connecticut. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. (ET) at Morrone Stadium in Storrs, Conn.
Bill Armstrong Stadium Bloomington, Ind.
#8 Notre Dame (8-1-0) 0 1 - 1
Shots: ND 7-6 - 13, IU 4-8 - 12