Oct. 3, 2007
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - A career-best two-goal match from senior midfielder/defender Ryan Miller (Barrington, Ill./Barrington) helped No. 3 Notre Dame top No. 16 Michigan in non-conference men's soccer action at Alumni Field on Wednesday night. Junior defender Cory Rellas (Plano, Texas/Plano West) added his first goal of the season in the victory, which gave the Fighting Irish an eight-game unbeaten streak.
Notre Dame (7-1-2) notched all three scores in the first half. The Fighting Irish cracked the scoring column early as Miller intercepted a Wolverine pass in the seventh minute, took the ball down field and beat Michigan (8-2-1) goalkeeper Patrick Sperry into the right side. Sperry entered the contest with a 0.59 goals-against average, yet surrendered all three goals on the night, while making six saves.
The Irish made it 2-0 in the 21st minute as Jack Traynor (St. Charles, Mo./Francis Howell North) sent a free kick into the box and Matt Besler (Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley West) put a shot on goal that was deflected out and Rellas put home the rebound. Traynor and Besler, both junior defenders, picked up the assists on the play.
Miller deposited his second goal in the 29th minute as he sent a blast on frame that clipped the post and went in to make it 3-0. The senior now has a team-high three goals. Miller entered this season with one career goal.
"I thought we played very well tonight," said Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark. "Ryan Miller did a tremendous job and it was even doubtful if he'd play or not since he got injured over the weekend."
The Fighting Irish defense put together another solid effort as they held the Wolverines scoreless for the first time this season. Michigan entered the match averaging 2.62 goals per game. Senior goalkeeper Chris Cahill (Louisville, Ky./DeSales) made a season-high seven saves to collect his third shutout of the season and improve his record to 6-0-2. The Irish have five shutouts this season.
Notre Dame held a 17-16 edge in shots, while both teams had six corner kicks.
"Maybe the biggest boost for us tonight is that we got Michael Thomas back in the midfield," commented Clark. "He had been out since the season opener. He was fit and played really well for us. It was a boost for the players and the staff to have him back in there tonight."
The Irish return to BIG EAST play with a home match against West Virginia on Saturday, Oct. 6. Game time is slated for 7:00 p.m. (ET).
To stay up to date on the Notre Dame men's soccer season, log onto und.com or call the official Notre Dame athletics hotline at (574) 631-3000.
#16 Michigan (8-2-1) 0 0 - 0
Shots: UM 10-6 - 16, ND 11-6 - 17