Nov. 1, 2011
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The No. 19 Notre Dame men’s soccer team wrapped up regular-season play on Tuesday afternoon with a 4-0 victory over BIG EAST foe Seton Hall at Alumni Stadium. Junior forward Ryan Finley matched a season-high total with two goals for the Fighting Irish.
Notre Dame (9-4-4, 5-3-1) also received goals from junior central defender Grant Van De Casteele and senior midfielder Michael Rose, who also had an assist. The four goals matched the highest offensive output of the season for the Irish, while the margin of victory was their largest of the campaign.
The Fighting Irish will play host to Villanova on Thursday in the first round of the BIG EAST Championship. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. (ET) at Alumni Stadium. Notre Dame is the fourth seed from the Blue Division, while Villanova is the fifth seed from the Red Division. The Irish and Wildcats have not met since the 2007 campaign.
Van De Casteele opened the scoring in the 30th minute on Tuesday as he deposited a low blast from 22 yards away for his first goal of the season. Adam Mena assisted on the tally. Notre Dame led 1-0 at halftime.
“We played well in spurts today,” said Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark. “I thought we contained them very well. I was very happy with how we played in the first half and then getting the goal is always a bonus, especially when you get it from one of your central defenders in Grant Van De Casteele. It was a nice shot from him with his left foot.”
Finley put the Irish up 2-0 in the 50th minute when he took a pass from Rose, dribbled by a Pirate defender and scored from eight yards out.
Seton Hall (5-11-2, 1-8-0) had its best scoring opportunity of the match in the 56th minute when Notre Dame goalkeeper Will Walsh stopped a Max Garcia shot from close range and the follow attempt from Jeremy Witherspoon sailed high of the frame.
The Fighting Irish upped their lead to three in the 68th minute when Rose worked his way through the Seton Hall defense and sent the ball into the back of the netting from nine yards out for his second goal of the season. Finley’s second goal of the match, which came in the 74th minute, was setup by a long pass from sophomore right back Luke Mishu. Finley scored his team-leading seventh goal of the season from eight yards away.
Notre Dame outshot Seton Hall 18-11, including a 7-3 edge in shots on goal. The Pirates had three corner kicks, while the Fighting Irish had two. Walsh made three saves for the Irish and was replaced by sophomore Patrick Wall in the 85th minute. It was the first collegiate action for Wall. Pirate goalkeeper Anthony Reichwaldt had three saves.
“We got another goal right away in the second half and I felt we kind of quit playing for a little bit after that,” stated Clark. “We then got the third and fourth goals and were able to put in some of the guys who haven’t played as much this season. It was also nice to get rest for some of the guys since we’re playing again on Thursday and we don’t have a lot of time between games. That was a bonus for us.”
Alumni Stadium – Notre Dame, Ind.
November 1, 2011
Seton Hall (5-11-2, 1-8-0) 0 0 – 0
#19 Notre Dame (9-4-4, 5-3-1) 1 3 – 4
Shots: SH 6-5 – 11, ND 8-10 – 18
Corner Kicks: SH 1-2 – 3, ND 2-0 – 2
Goalkeepers: SH: Anthony Reichwaldt – 3 SV, 4 GA, 90:00, L
ND: Will Walsh – 3 SV, 0 GA, 84:30, W; Patrick Wall – 0 SV, 0 GA, 5:30
Fouls: SH 12, ND 12
Offsides: SH 2, ND 5