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    Men's Soccer Falls To Fifth-Ranked Indiana In NCAA Second Round, 1-0

    FIGHTING IRISH Erich Braun and the Irish fell to Indiana in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Wednesday night.
    Erich Braun and the Irish fell to Indiana in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Wednesday night.

    Nov. 27, 2002

    Box Score

    BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Freshman Brian Plotkin's first goal of the season held up as the game's only scoring, as fifth-ranked Indiana advanced past #20 Notre Dame, 1-0, in second-round NCAA Tournament action Wednesday night at Armstrong Stadium.

    Notre Dame (12-6-3) saw its chances at a comeback diminish in the 63rd minute of play, when senior midfielder Justin Ratcliffe received a red card after a hard tackle on the attacking side of the field. The Irish then were forced to play a man down for the final 27 minutes, still managing to generate some scoring chances but unable to gain the equalizer.

    "I thought it was a very competitive game," said second-year Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark. "We are very disappointed, because I thought we controlled large parts of the game.

    "The hard thing was after the ejection, when we went down to (playing with) 10 men. To play Indiana is a tough enough task when you are 11 versus 11. But I was really proud of how our team played when we went down to 10 men."

    Indiana (15-3-2) - the 2002 NCAA runner-up, with trips the NCAA semifinals or finals in each of the last five seasons - moves on to the round of 16 for the 15th time in the last 16 years, with a third-round matchup slated for Sunday at seventh-seeded Connecticut.

    Both teams managed just a handful of scoring chances, with IU owning a 10-6 total shot edge (3-3 in the second half) and a 5-4 advantage in corner kicks (ND held the second-half corner edge, 2-1).

    Sophomore midfielder Ned Grabavoy set up the IU goal by playing a thru-ball into the top of the box. Plotkin, the Big Ten Freshman of the Year, broke free and quickly chipped a 10-yard shot over the head of charging 'keeper Chris Sawyer (51:03).

    Notre Dame held IU without a shot until midway through the first half but the Irish then endured a long drought without attempting a shot, stretching well into the second half. The visitors were forced into pushing forward and taking some offensive risks in the final 20 minutes, with several strong chances including a deep run from sophomore defender Jack Stewart in the 89th minute (his low 20-yard shot went wide of the left post).



    The Hoosiers remained unbeaten in their last 13 home games (10-0-3), dating back to a 1-0 loss to the Irish during the 2001 regular season.

    "We played here last year and won 1-0, but I felt that we actually controlled more of the game this year," said Clark. "It's a great in-state rivalry and we love to play here."

    Both teams had solid scoring chances in the first half, with Notre Dame's Kevin Goldthwaite sending a sliding shot over the crossbar before setting up an 18-yard shot by Greg Martin that was stopped by a diving Jay Nolly.

    NOTRE DAME         0    0      -     0

    INDIANA 0 1 - 1

    IU 1. Brian Plotkin 1 (Ned Grabavoy) 51:03.
    Shots: ND 3-3-6, IU 7-3-10.
    Corner Kicks: ND 2-2-4, IU 4-1-5.
    Saves: ND (Chris Sawyer 4, team 1) 3-2-5, IU (Jay Nolly) 1-1-2.
    Fouls: ND 10-4-14, IU 7-8-15.
    Red Card: Justin Ratcliffe, ND (62:23).
    Yellow Cards: John Swann, IU (43:37), Erich Braun, ND (43:37), Vijay Dias, IU (59:27).
    Offsides: ND 0, IU 3.

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