Oct. 20, 2012
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Forward Ryan Finley made it a special Senior Day for he and his fellow seniors with a hat trick as the No. 7 Notre Dame men's soccer team defeated Providence 3-0 in BIG EAST play on Saturday afternoon at Alumni Stadium. All three goals were scored in a span of 9:13 in the second half.
Following a scoreless first half, Notre Dame (12-3-0, 4-2-0) came out attacking in the second stanza. The first chance of the half came in the 57th minute off the foot of left back Max Lachowecki as he sent a low blast on frame from 16 yards away, but Friar goalkeeper Keasel Broome negated the chance with a diving save.
Broome had another diving stop in the 59th minute when Finley put a low shot on goal from seven yards out. Irish freshman Patrick Hodan had two attempts from distance saved by Broome midway through the second half.
The Fighting Irish broke through in the 70th minute when Lachowecki crossed the ball into Finley and he headed it home from inside the six-yard box. The second tally came less than four minutes later when senior midfielder Dillon Powers fired a cross from near the left endline and Finley blasted the ball into the left side of the netting.
"We talked at halftime that Providence was trying to take the tempo out of the game," said Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark. "We had to be careful that we didn't get frustrated. I wrote down two words at halftime and they were `tempo' and `patience'. We had to speed the tempo up in the second half. The game was kind of flat in the first half and we couldn't get any momentum going. I knew we were going to have chances, but we just had to be careful that we didn't end up beating ourselves."
Notre Dame forward Harrison Shipp was tripped up in the box in the 80th minute and it resulted in a penalty kick attempt. Finley buried the try to complete his hat trick, which was the fourth of his career and the first since joining the Irish last season after transferring from Duke. Finley has a team-high 14 goals this season. He also has a team-best four multiple-goal games this season.
The Fighting Irish have combined to score 19 goals in their last four BIG EAST matches. Today was the second straight hat trick for an Irish player. Shipp netted three goals in last Saturday's 6-1 win at Seton Hall.
"Max (Lachowecki) played an unbelievable ball on the first goal," said Finley. "He dropped the ball over the defense and their guy was a little forward and it dropped right to me. It was an easy finish from there. On the second goal, we re-pressed and got the ball back and Dillon (Powers) played a great ball to me and I was able to finish.
"The good thing about this team is that you look at the stat sheet and we have four or five guys that have four, five or six goals (this season). That's a good thing about us because you can't single in on one guy because someone else will burn you. That's the make up of a good team and that's why we've been so hot lately."
The best Fighting Irish chance of the first half came in the opening minute as Powers sent a free kick into the box and forward Alex Priede flicked the ball just over the crossbar.
Providence (3-9-2, 1-5-0) put its first shot on frame in the 25th minute when a Marc Cintron header was saved by Irish senior goalkeeper Will Walsh, who made two saves on the day to earn his fourth and the team's seventh shutout of the season. Broome had six stops for the Friars.
Notre Dame outshot Providence 17-9 for the match. The Fighting Irish also held a 6-1 advantage in corner kicks.
"I thought we did everything that we had talked about (at halftime) in the second half," said Clark. "We got the tempo up, played well and showed patience. Our first goal didn't come until the 69th minute, so it didn't just come right away (in the second half). Once we got the first goal I felt we were in good shape."
Notre Dame will play host to No. 4 Marquette on Wednesday in a key BIG EAST Blue Division showdown. The match is slated for 7 p.m. (ET) at Alumni Stadium.
Alumni Stadium Notre Dame, Ind.
Providence (3-9-2, 1-5-0) 0 0 - 0
Shots: PC 1-8 - 9, ND 4-13- 17