Aug. 31, 2002
Omaha, Neb. – Senior forward Erich Braun (Frankfurt, Germany) scored two goals to lead the 23-ranked Notre Dame men’s soccer team to a 3-2 victory over Southwest Missouri State in the first game of the Diadora Challenge.
Braun scored Notre Dame’s first and third goals of the contest, including the game-winning goal off of a penalty kick at the 68:28 mark of the contest. That score came just after the Bears had knotted the game at 2-2 less than 16 minutes into the second half.
Braun opened up the scoring for the Irish 17 seconds into the contest off assists from Rafael Garcia (Palmdale, Calif.) and Kevin Goldthwaite (Sacramento, Calif.).
Kai Harris, who netted both Bears’ goal in the game, tied the game at 1-1 at the 9:46 mark on a seven-yard chip shot off an assist from Jed Hohlbein.
Junior midfielder Greg Martin (Plano, Tex.) gave the Irish a 2-1 lead 12:29 into the second half on a header into the corner of the net which came off of a feed from Chad Riley (Houston, Tex.). Harris added his second score of the evening from four yards out to tie the game at 2-2 at the 60:55 mark.
Sophomore goalkeeper Chris Sawyer (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) played all 90 minutes of the contest and finished with three saves while SMS goalie Matt Pickens also went the distance in goal and made four stops. Notre Dame outshot the Bears 12-10 in the game.
Notre Dame returns to action against 19th-ranked Creighton, a 1-0 winner over Oakland the tournament’s second game.
With the win, Notre Dame improves to 17-7-2 in season openers. The Irish have not lost a season opener since the 1994 campaign in a 1-0 loss at Penn State.
SCORING: ND: Erich Braun (Rafael Garcia, Kevin Goldthwaite), 0:17; SMS: Kai Harris (Jed Hohlbein), 9:46; ND: Greg Martin (Chad Riley), 57:29; SMS: Kai Harris (Jamal Sutton), 60:55; ND: Erich Braun, 68:28
GAME STATISTICS: Shots: Notre Dame 12, Southwest Missouri State 10; Saves: Notre Dame 4 (Chris Sawyer – 3), Southwest Missouri State (Matt Pickens – 4); Fouls: Notre Dame 16, Southwest Missouri State 13; Corner Kicks: Notre Dame 5, Southwest Missouri State