Oct. 17, 2007
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - In another thrilling chapter of the instate rivalry, No. 12 Indiana edged out No. 4 Notre Dame, 3-2, in non-conference men's soccer action on Wednesday night in front of 3,462 fans at Alumni Field. The crowd was the third largest in program history. Notre Dame senior forward Joseph Lapira (Lake Charles, La./Saint Louis Catholic) netted two goals for the second straight match.
Notre Dame (8-3-3) grabbed the momentum early with offensive pressure that resulted in the first goal of the match. Senior Kurt Martin (McAllen, Texas/Memorial) played the ball to his classmate Lapira and he put the Fighting Irish on top in the fifth minute of play.
Indiana (9-4-1) started to up its offensive pressure near the 15-minute mark of the opening half. The Hoosiers netted the equalizer in the 18th minute as Rich Balchan sent a low shot on frame that clipped the finger tips of Irish goalkeeper Chris Cahill (Louisville, Ky./DeSales) and went into the back of the net. The match would stay even heading into the intermission.
"I thought we really controlled the game in the first 15 minutes of play," said Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark. "After that, we kind of lost our grip on the game and never found our rhythm. We had several good chances. It was a very entertaining game in front of a great crowd."
The Hoosiers took their first lead of the night with just over 19 minutes remaining in the contest as Kevin Noschang took an Eric Alexander pass and scored to make it 2-1.
Lapira struck again less than three minutes later as he collected the ball off a missed clearance and scored his team-leading sixth goal of the season. He was coming off a two-goal effort in a 3-3 tie with No. 1 Connecticut on Saturday. The reigning M.A.C. Hermann Trophy winner netted four goals in a memorable 5-4 overtime victory at Indiana last season.
Notre Dame nearly went ahead with just over 10 minutes left as a Dave Donohue (Reading, Mass./Cushing Academy) header was cleared off the line by a Hoosier defender. Soon after that, the Hoosiers put in the game winner off a breakaway as Noschang fed Neil Wilmarth and he scored past a diving Cahill in the 81st minute.
Cahill made six saves on the night, while Indiana's Chay Cain had five stops. Cain was threatened late as Alex Yoshinaga (San Diego, Calif./Granite Hills) and Martin had good looks within the last minute of play, but Cain made saves on both of the attempts.
"All of their goals were in transition and that was very disappointing," commented Clark. "Give them their due, their midfield did well at picking up second balls. Whenever you pick those up you are dominating possession."
The Hoosiers out shot the Irish 18-12 in the match and they also held an 8-5 edge in corner kicks.
Notre Dame will wrap up the home portion of its 2007 regular-season schedule with a BIG EAST match against Seton Hall on Sunday, Oct. 21. Game time is slated for 1:30 p.m. (ET).
To stay up to date on the Notre Dame men's soccer team, log onto und.com or call the official Notre Dame athletics hotline at (574) 631-3000.
#12 Indiana (9-4-1) 1 2 - 3
Shots: IU 9-9 - 18, ND 6-6 - 12