Nov. 3, 2012
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - The No. 5 Notre Dame men's soccer team overcame a 2-0 second-half deficit en route to a 4-2 victory over Syracuse on Saturday night in the quarterfinals of the BIG EAST Championship at a cold and damp SU Soccer Stadium. Freshman midfielder Patrick Hodan had two goals and one assist for the Fighting Irish.
Notre Dame (14-3-1) is the No. 3 seed from the BIG EAST Blue Division and Syracuse (12-6-0) is the No. 2 seed from the Red Division. The Irish will face Connecticut, the Blue Division's top seed, Friday in the league semifinals at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J. The match is slated for 7:30 p.m. (ET) and can be seen live on CBS Sports Network.
The Orange opened the scoring in the 15th minute when Ted Cribley deposited a cross from Lars Muller.
The best chance for Notre Dame in the opening half came in the final minutes of the stanza when a Ryan Finley shot was saved by Syracuse goalkeeper Alex Bono and after the rebound was batted around, Dillon Powers placed a shot wide of the post. The Orange led 1-0 at halftime.
Syracuse went up 2-0 in the 49th minute when Louis Clark scored off a feed from Muller. It looked as though Irish goalkeeper Patrick Wall might come up with the save on Clark's shot, but the ball dribbled across the goal line before he could coral it.
Hodan nearly scored in the 52nd minute when his shot hit the far post. The freshman did slice the Orange lead to one (2-1) in the 63rd minute as he blasted the ball just inside the far post from 15 yards away. Notre Dame evened the match 19 seconds later when senior midfielder Kyle Richard scored with an assist from Hodan.
"Patrick Hodan was superb tonight," said Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark. "It was a special game for him. He had two goals and an assist and he also had several other chances. Their goalkeeper had several phenomenal saves."
The Fighting Irish grabbed their first lead of the match in the 77th minute when Finley fed Hodan, who deposited his sixth goal of the season. Finley put the finishing touches on the victory in the 84th minute when he placed the ball between the legs of Bono and into the back of the net from 10 yards out. Finley, a senior forward, has a team-high 18 goals this season. Junior forward Harrison Shipp assisted on the goal.
"Our team showed a lot of character tonight," said Clark. "We were down 2-0 on the road in an important game and we just took over the game at that moment. This team said `we are not going to lose this game'. It was a magnificent performance. It was a team performance because a lot of people played a part in it.
"What impressed me the most was Ryan Finley because he was getting balls, making runs and passing balls off. It was one of his best games and yet he only scored one goal."
Notre Dame held a 21-12 advantage in shots and an 8-5 edge in corner kicks. Wall, a junior, made three saves to improve his record to 8-1 this season. Bono had seven stops for Syracuse.
Tonight's four goals were the most ever scored by Notre Dame in a BIG EAST Championship match (30 games). The Irish have outscored their opponents 32-4 in the second half this season.
BIG EAST Championship Quarterfinal
#5 Notre Dame (14-3-1) 0 4 - 4
Scoring: SU: Ted Cribley (Lars Muller) 14:24; SU: Louis Clark (Lars Muller) 48:34; ND: Patrick Hodan (unassisted) 62:52; ND: Kyle Richard (Patrick Hodan) 63:11; ND: Patrick Hodan (Ryan Finley) 76:00; ND: Ryan Finley (Harrison Shipp) 83:47
Shots: ND 9-12 - 21, SU 5-7 - 12