Nov. 8, 2008
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Bright Dike (Edmond, Okla./Edmond North) snapped a scoreless tie in the 81st minute and Notre Dame held on to top Louisville 1-0 in the quarterfinals of the BIG EAST Championship on Saturday evening at a cold, windy and wet Alumni Field.
Notre Dame (12-5-2) will face South Florida in the league semifinals on Friday, Nov. 14 in Tampa, Fla. The match is slated for a 7:30 p.m. (ET) start at the USF Soccer/Track Stadium. It can be seen live on CBS College Sports (formerly CSTV).
With the rain and snow mixture coming down sideways late in the match, sophomore Jeb Brovsky (Lakewood, Colo./Green Mountain) sent a pass over to Dike and the senior gathered the ball and blasted a shot past Cardinal goalkeeper Andre Boudreaux into the left side of the netting. Freshman defender Aaron Maund (Dorchester, Mass./The Roxbury Latin School) also picked up an assist on the play.
The goal was Dike’s team-leading 11th of the season. The assist was Brovsky’s fifth, which places him in a three-way tie for the team lead in the category. For Maund, that was his first point of the season.
“I felt it was going to be a one-goal game,” stated Irish head coach Bobby Clark. “I thought it might come off a set piece or off a mistake. It was a great shot from Dike. He’s in there to get us a goal. You always feel he’s going to get you a goal. In a big tournament game against a good team, that’s what it’s all about.”
The 11th-ranked Fighting Irish held a 14-11 edge in shots over No. 23 Louisville (11-7-2). Notre Dame enjoyed a 5-1 advantage in corner kicks. Goalkeeper Philip Tuttle (Hooksett, N.H./Brewster Academy) came up big for the Irish in just his third career start. The junior made six saves on the night, while his counterpart Boudreaux also had six stops.
Notre Dame had a couple good looks early in the match. Senior defender Jack Traynor (St. Charles, Mo./Francis Howell North) sent a deep shot just over the crossbar in the second minute. With 31:42 remaining in the first half, junior midfielder Michael Thomas (Olathe, Kan./St. Thomas Aquinas) got a head on a Traynor free kick in front of the goal, yet Boudreaux was there for the save.
Louisville’s first shot came with 26:01 left in the stanza as Gerardo Chavez sent the ball on goal and a diving save from Tuttle negated the scoring opportunity. Another diving effort from Tuttle was needed in the 36th minute to stop a Gerard Voutier shot and keep the match scoreless at the intermission.
“They (Louisville) are a very physical and direct team,” added Clark. “They look to knock balls into your box and you’ve got to handle that and I thought we handled it pretty well. I thought (Matt) Besler and (Aaron) Maund were very good. Cory Rellas then came on and he gave us an added big body in there. Matt (Armstrong) played superbly well for the first 60 minutes. We put the big lad (Rellas) on to handle balls into the box because that’s where I felt they might get something.”
Irish junior Justin Morrow (Cleveland, Ohio/St. Ignatius) had a scoring chance early in the second half as he ripped a shot from just outside the 18-yard box that was saved by Boudreaux. Brovsky nearly put the Irish on the board with just over 23 minutes left in regulation but his shot was deflected away by Boudreaux, who had come off his line.
The Notre Dame victory upped its home unbeaten streak to 13 games. The Fighting Irish have now reached the 12-win plateau during all eight seasons of Clark’s tenure at Notre Dame.
“It was a tough night to play,” commented Clark. “It was a wet night, a windy night and a cold night. We had a little bit of everything. The guys never once looked as though they didn’t want to play and that’s terrific. It also was a great crowd. For a night like tonight it was fabulous. My heart goes out to them and I want to thank them so much for coming out on a night like tonight.”
#23 Louisville (11-7-2) 0 0 – 0
#11 Notre Dame (12-5-2) 0 1 – 1
Shots: UL 4-7 – 11, ND 7-7 – 14
Corner Kicks: UL 0-1 – 1, ND 3-2 – 5
Saves: UL 6 (Andre Boudreaux 6); ND 6 (Philip Tuttle 6)
Fouls: UL 13, ND 14
Offsides: UL 2, ND 2