Oct. 3, 2012
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The No. 10 Notre Dame men’s soccer team scored early and often in its 7-1 victory over Pittsburgh in BIG EAST action on Wednesday evening at a rainy Alumni Stadium.
The seven-goal output was the largest for the Irish since a 7-1 win over Western Michigan on Oct. 14, 1997. Notre Dame’s 36 shots in the match were the most for the program in the BIG EAST era (since 1995). The previous high was 32 against Drake in 2010.
“We really needed a win and I felt it came a little bit easier than I expected because Pittsburgh had been doing really well. They were undefeated up until about 10 days ago,” said Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark.
O’Leary netted the first two goals for the Irish. The first came in the 15th minute as he deposited the rebound from a Leon Brown shot that hit the post. The second tally was off a nice pass from right back Luke Mishu in the 21st minute. Kyle Richard also picked up an assist on the play.
“It was good to get the two goals because I hadn’t scored yet this season,” said O’Leary. “I was at the right place at the right time tonight. (Luke) Mishu fed me a great ball across and Leon (Brown) took a great shot and I was fortunate to be at the right spot.
“We knew this could possibly be a big day for us. We’ve been feeling pretty good and the team’s been working hard.”
Notre Dame (9-2-0, 1-2-0) grabbed a three-goal lead in the 33rd minute when Finley received a pass from left back Max Lachowecki and deposited the ball into the far netting from six yards out on the left side. The Irish led 3-0 at halftime.
Pittsburgh (6-4-2, 0-3-0) starting goalkeeper Lee Johnston was replaced at the beginning of the second half by Dan Lynd. Johnston had four saves in the match, while Lynd had five.
Finley nearly notched his second goal of the evening in the 51st minute when he placed a shot off the left post. Less than a minute later, Hodan, a freshman midfielder, upped the Fighting Irish lead to four (4-0) when he buried a shot from 16 yards out for his second goal of the season. Powers assisted on the score.
The Panthers cracked the scoring column in the 59th minute on a Ryan Myers goal. Cory Werth assisted on the play.
Notre Dame pushed its lead back to four (5-1) in the 68th minute on Finley’s second tally of the match. Junior central defender Connor Miller played the ball up to Finley, who deposited his team-leading eighth goal of the season.
The Irish went up 6-1 in the 74th minute when Brown fed Powers and the senior midfielder put home his fourth goal of the campaign. The final goal of the match came off the foot of Priede, a junior forward, as he scored on a breakaway in the 88th minute. It was his second goal of the season.
Notre Dame outshot Pittsburgh 36-11, including 16-4 in shots on goal. Irish junior Patrick Wall played 79:05 in goal and made three saves to up his record to 5-0 this season. Fellow junior Adam LaPlaca made his first career appearance when he replaced Wall for the final 10:55 of the match.
“Today was good because it gave our guys some confidence,” said Clark. “You need confidence when you’re looking to score goals and hopefully we got a little bit of confidence tonight.”
The Fighting Irish already have as many wins as they did all of last season when they posted a 9-5-4 mark. Notre Dame has yet to be shut out this season. The Irish are averaging 2.09 goals per game.
Notre Dame will play host to No. 3 Georgetown on Saturday. The BIG EAST Blue Division showdown is slated for 2 p.m. (ET) at Alumni Stadium. A free video broadcast of the match will be available on UND.com.
Alumni Stadium – Notre Dame, Ind.
October 3, 2012
Pittsburgh (6-4-2, 0-3-0) 0 1 – 1
#10 Notre Dame (9-2-0, 1-2-0) 3 4 – 7
Scoring: ND: Danny O’Leary (unassisted) 14:56; ND: Danny O’Leary (Luke Mishu, Kyle Richard) 20:04; ND: Ryan Finley (Max Lachowecki) 32:25; ND: Patrick Hodan (Dillon Powers) 50:15; UP: Ryan Myers (Cory Werth) 58:04; ND: Ryan Finley (Connor Miller) 67:18; ND: Dillon Powers (Leon Brown) 73:36; ND: Alex Priede (unassisted) 87:36
Shots: UP 5-6 – 11, ND 17-19 – 36
Corner Kicks: UP 0-4 – 4, ND 1-4 – 5
Goalkeepers: UP: Lee Johnston – 4 SV, 3 GA, 45:00, L; Dan Lynd – 5 SV, 4 GA, 45:00
ND: Patrick Wall – 3 SV, 1 GA, 79:05, W; Adam LaPlaca – 0 SV, 0 GA, 10:55
Fouls: UP 11, ND 6
Offsides: UP 2, ND 7