Sept. 3, 2004
The #9/9 University of Notre Dame men’s soccer team (1-0-0) earned its first win of the year in come from behind fashion over Oregon State (1-1-0) at the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic in Bloomington, Ind., on Friday evening. The Irish will complete the tournament on Sunday at 12 p.m. against Boston University.
Senior Jack Stewart and sophomore Justin McGeeney logged their first goals of the season in the victory, while freshman Alex Yoshinaga and sophomore Nate Norman provided the assists. Stewart’s goal came at 36:11, while McGeeney’s game-winner was scored at 48:42.
“Oregon State is a strong team and they are going to beat a lot of teams this season,” assistant coach Mike Avery said after the contest.
“This is a good win for us, but it is a performance that we can improve on.”
The Irish fell behind early in the contest when the Beavers knocked in a free ball bouncing around in the Irish box following a corner kick. OSU’s Chris Murphy scored his first goal of the season on a header at 4:09.
The quick goal woke up the Irish team, however, and they controlled the action until Stewart provided the equalizer nine minutes before halftime. Yoshinaga controlled a cross in the middle of the Beaver defense, then sent a pass back to Stewart at the top of the penalty box. Stewart ripped a tremendously powerful shot past OSU goalkeeper Jason Mariner for his third career goal.
The Irish were able to produce two more solid scoring chances during the time remaining in the first half. Tony Megna saw a great header carom off the cross bar and freshman Joe Lapira had a shot ricochet off the post.
Notre Dame’s game winner came off the head of McGeeney just four minutes into the second half. Norman beat his man off the dribble and delivered a perfect cross to McGeeney just six yards out of the goal area. The goal was the first of McGeeney’s career.
Oregon State did keep the pressure on the Irish for the remainder of the game in an attempt to get the tying goal. All-American goalkeeper Chris Sawyer was up to the challenge and delivered a spectacular save 10 minutes into the second half. Sawyer deflected a well-placed shot to the cross bar and Stewart was in perfect position to back him up and clear the ball out of the box.
Sawyer also shut down many OSU attacks in the second half by leaving his line and snatching close to a dozen dangerous crosses.
The Irish missed out on a scoring chance when OSU’s Mariner matched Sawyer’s nice save by stuffing ND sophomore Ian Etherington on a break away opportunity.
The final stats had Notre Dame with 15 shots (including 11 in the first half) to just four for Oregon State. Mariner made five saves for the Beavers while Sawyer was credited with just one official stop. Notre Dame led the corner kicks 5-4 while Oregon State committed 24 fouls against 10 for the Irish.
MATCH NOTES: The Irish were without the services of two starting defenders in Friday’s match … senior Kevin Goldthwaite is week-to-week with a knee injury, while junior Dale Rellas is day-to-day with a minor foot injury … Christopher High started in place of Rellas and played solid in the Irish central defense … Ben Crouse delivered another solid performance in relief of Goldthwaite … sophomore Brian Murphy appeared in his first career match against Oregon State and was lauded by the Irish coaching staff for `winning every header while he was in the game.’