Oct. 21, 2007
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The fourth-ranked Notre Dame men's soccer team topped Seton Hall 2-0 in BIG EAST action on Sunday afternoon at a sunny and windy Alumni Field. The Irish used an own goal and a score from senior midfielder Alex Yoshinaga (San Diego, Calif./Granite Hills) to capture the victory in the final regular-season home match of the season.
Notre Dame (9-3-3, 6-0-2) moved into first place in the BIG EAST Blue Division with the win. The Irish, who are unbeaten through their first eight BIG EAST games for the first time in program history, lead Connecticut by one point (20-19) with three league matches left to play. The Huskies have two conference games remaining.
The first good chance for the Irish on the afternoon came with just over 28 minutes left in the first half as senior forward Joseph Lapira (Lake Charles, La./Saint Louis Catholic) sent a blast in from the right side that was just high of the goal. Two minutes later, Yoshinaga booted a free kick into the box that hit Seton Hall midfielder Austin Nyquist and went into the back of the net to give the Irish a 1-0 lead in the 19th minute.
Seton Hall (7-7-0, 3-4-0) nearly notched the equalizer with 1:29 remaining in the opening half as an Eliseo Giusfredi shot was deflected over the crossbar by Irish goalkeeper Chris Cahill (Louisville, Ky./DeSales). Notre Dame led 1-0 at halftime.
Notre Dame capitalized off of another set piece in the 57th minute when junior defender Matt Besler (Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley West) sent a throw-in on frame that Yoshinaga put a foot on for his second goal of the season. That was Besler's second assist of the campaign.
The Irish held a 20-12 edge in shots over the Pirates, including a 13-6 advantage in the second half. Notre Dame also had seven corner kicks to Seton Hall's five.
"I thought we dominated the game," said Fighting Irish head coach Bobby Clark
. "Seton Hall is always dangerous because they are a good counter-attacking team. We had a good grip on that today. That had hurt us the past two games."
Cahill improved his record to 8-2-3 this season by registering his fifth shutout. He made one save on the afternoon, while his counterpart Paul McHenry made five stops. Notre Dame has shut out Seton Hall in each of the last six meetings between the two schools. The Irish are 5-0-1 in those contests.
The victory snapped a season-long three-game winless streak for the Fighting Irish. Notre Dame dropped a 1-0 decision at Michigan State on Oct. 10 before tying No. 1 Connecticut, 3-3, on Oct. 13 and falling to No. 12 Indiana, 3-2, this past Wednesday. The Irish still have not lost back-to-back regular-season games since early in the 2001 season.
"I thought we rebounded well today after the Indiana game," stated Clark. "It's nice to head into fall break with a win. That's always important."
Notre Dame will return to action with a match at Pittsburgh on Wednesday, Oct. 24. Game time is slated for 7:00 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.
Seton Hall (7-7-0, 3-4-0) 0 0 - 0
#4 Notre Dame (9-3-3, 6-0-2) 1 1 - 2
ND: own goal 18:34, ND: Alex Yoshinaga (Matt Besler) 56:59
Shots: SH 6-6 - 12, ND 7-13 - 20
Corner Kicks: SH 4-1 - 5, ND 2-5 - 7
Saves: SH 6 (Paul McHenry 5, Team 1), ND 1 (Chris Cahill 1)
Fouls: SH 11, ND 14
Offsides: SH 0, ND 0