Sept. 11, 2008
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – A hat trick from junior midfielder Dave Donohue (Reading, Mass./Cushing Academy) was the difference as the fifth-ranked Notre Dame men’s soccer team opened BIG EAST Conference play with a 4-1 win over Marquette on Thursday evening at Alumni Field. Donohue also added an assist, while his classmate Michael Thomas (Olathe, Kan./St. Thomas Aquinas) tallied a goal and an assist to up the Fighting Irish win streak to four games.
Notre Dame (4-1-0) pressured the Marquette defense early and nearly broke through on a couple chances from senior forward Bright Dike (Edmond, Okla./Edmond North). The assault paid off in the 17th minute as Donohue collected a loose ball off a Dike shot and scored from near the 18-yard box.
The Irish held a 1-0 lead at halftime.
“This was a terrific result to open the BIG EAST,” stated Irish head coach Bobby Clark. “We started very, very well in both halves and then we dropped off a little bit. That’s something we have to address as a team. We have to keep our focus even when we’re winning 4-0. We still have to keep doing all the little things well and I think we can certainly do that. But it’s nice to have complaints when you’ve won 4-1.”
The Fighting Irish came out strong in the second half as Donohue tallied his second goal of the night less than four minutes into the stanza. The junior gathered the ball in traffic near the six-yard box following a Jack Traynor (St. Charles, Mo./Francis Howell North) free kick and sent it past Golden Eagle goalkeeper Matt Pyzdrowski. Pyzdrowski and the Marquette defense had only surrendered one goal in four games entering play on Thursday night.
In the 55th minute, Donohue possessed the ball in the right corner and played it back to Thomas who snuck a deep blast into the far netting to make it 3-0. Thomas then returned the favor to Donohue less than 10 minutes later to put the Irish up by four and complete the hat trick.
“You’re happy if you score one goal as a wide midfield player, but when you score three goals it’s pretty special,” added Clark about Donohue. “We’re obviously very happy for Dave. He’s been a terrific team player this year and a real leader.”
Marquette (1-1-2) upped its attack late in the contest and got on the board in the 75th minute as Anthony Colaizzi stole the ball and sent a low shot past Irish goalkeeper Andrew Quinn (Silver Spring, Md./DeMatha).
Quinn made two saves on the night to earn the win. Junior Philip Tuttle (Hooksett, N.H./Brewster Academy) made his collegiate debut as he replaced Quinn with 10:05 left in the match. Tuttle had one save. Pyzdrowski made five stops in the loss. The Irish out shot the Golden Eagles 16-10, while Marquette held a 5-3 edge in corner kicks.
Notre Dame now has scored nine goals in the past two games and has reached the four-goal plateau in three of five games this season. The hat trick from Donohue was the first from an Irish player since Joseph Lapira netted four goals in a 5-4 overtime win against Indiana on Sept. 3, 2006. Donohue leads the team in goals (4) and total points (11). Those are career-high marks for the junior midfielder. He had never recorded a multiple-goal game before tonight.
The Irish return to action with a home match against BIG EAST foe St. John’s on Friday, Sept. 19. Game time is slated for 7:00 p.m. (ET) at Alumni Field.
Marquette (1-1-2) 0 1 – 1
#5 Notre Dame (4-1-0) 1 3 – 4