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    Fighting Irish

    Nov. 8, 1997

    Matt McNew
    Matt McNew scores gamewinning goal against Seton Hall. (file photo)

    Notre Dame Advances in Big East Championship

    2-0 Quarterfinal Win over Seton Hall

    SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. - Defending BIG EAST tournament champion Notre Dame advanced to the semifinals of the 1997 BIG EAST Championship with a 2-0 quarterfinal win at Seton Hall. The fifth-seeded Irish used goals in each half to defeat the fourth-seeded Pirates on Owen T. Carroll Field.

    Notre Dame, now 10-8-2 on the season, will play top seeded and defending national champion St. John's (15-2-2) in semifinal action on Friday, November 14 at noon at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Conn.

    Sophomore Matt McNew provided what proved to the gamewinner 17:26 into the contest when he McNew headed in a Scott Wells corner kick into the left side of the net. Wells sent the ball into the box and McNew headed it to the ground. The shot then deflected off a Seton Hall defender and rolled into the left side of the net.

    The teams battled through the mud and rain with each having few scoring opportunities. Junior Ben Bocklage sealed the win with a 30-yard blast at the 76:29 mark after taking the ball at midfield. The ball went over the head of Pirate goalkeeper Derek Martin, deflected off the crossbar and into the goal.

    Seton Hall, which outshot Notre Dame 13-9, had one of its best chances on the day to score when Peter Scavo's shot hit the right post with eight minutes left. The Pirates end their season at 11-8.

    Irish goalkeeper Greg Velho finished with six saves on the day, while Martin tallied five stops.

    The win avenges a 2-1 loss the Irish suffered on October 24 in South Orange during the regular season.

    Notre Dame, which won the BIG EAST tournament a year ago, advances to the semifinals for the second consecutive year. The semifinals and finals will be held November 14 and 16 at the Joseph J. Morrone Stadium in Storrs, Conn.

    In the other semifinal matchup, the Rutgers will face the winner of the Connecticut-Georgetown which was postponed until Monday due to weather. That semifinal contest is slated for 10:00 a.m. The two semifinal winners will square off in the championship game on Sunday, November 16 at noon.

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