Aug. 29, 2003
It wasn’t the opening game the University of Notre Dame men’s soccer team was looking for. Playing on a wet surface and sitting through and hour rain delay, the #3/12 Irish were unable to put the ball in the net and ended up with a scoreless tie against #20 Alabama-Birmingham at the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic on Friday evening. The tie marks the first non-victory season opener of the three-year Bobby Clark era and is the first opener under Clark the Irish have been held scoreless.
The defensive battle started on time, but was then delayed at the 31:24 mark due to heavy rain and lightning in the Bloomington, Ind., area.
Notre Dame out shot UAB 18-10, while the Blazers were led by a great performance from Alberto Robles in goal. Robles ended up with nine saves in the game, including five in the first half when the Irish uncorked eight shots.
The Irish also held the advantage in corner kicks 9-2, while fouls were a toss up at 20-19. Notre Dame goalkeeper Chris Sawyer had three saves in the game.
The lack of offense on the scoreboard does not tell the whole story of an aggressive Irish attack mentality. Notre Dame uncorked 14 shots in regulation and three shots in the first overtime but were unable to get a number on the scoreboard. Freshman Nate Norman led Notre Dame with three shots off the bench, while five other players notched two shots each.
Notre Dame will continue the two-day tournament tomorrow against #11/17 California, whose opening game against Indiana was pushed back to a 9 p.m. start on Friday evening. The Irish and Bears hit the field at 5 p.m.