Oct. 1, 2005
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame held a one-goal lead at three different points of its match versus West Virginia yet the Mountaineers would come back each time to force a 3-3 double-overtime tie at Alumni Field on Saturday night. Notre Dame and West Virginia both showcased an offensive attack that included three combined goals in the final six minutes of regulation. With the tie, the Fighting Irish move their record to 6-3-1 overall and 2-2-1 in BIG EAST play, while the Mountaineers go to 6-4-1 overall and 2-2-1 in the conference. Notre Dame sophomore forward Joe Lapira (Lake Charles, La./Saint Louis Catholic) registered four points on one goal and two assists during the contest.
Notre Dame found the back of the net within the first six minutes of play for the second straight game when Lapira collected a free kick from John Stephens (Woodbridge, Ill./Benet Academy) and volleyed it past West Virginia goalkeeper Nick Noble in the sixth minute of play. That was Lapira’s third goal of the campaign.
West Virginia would respond in the 22nd minute as a shot by Andrew Wright hit off the crossbar and bounced down and the rebound shot by Geoff Cameron was punched out by Irish goalkeeper Chris Cahill (Louisville, Ky./DeSales) and the ball was then headed in by Zak Boggs.
The score would remain tied at one as each team entered the locker room at halftime.
The Irish found the back of the net early in the second period on a Justin McGeeney (Ames, Iowa/Ames) tally with the assist to Lapira. McGeeney, a forward, took the Lapira pass and beat the defender on the left side and sent it in with 46:43 gone by in the match for his second goal of the season.
Notre Dame held the 2-1 advantage up until the 85th minute when West Virginia’s Jarrod Smith drove a loose ball past Cahill after an Andy Wright corner kick.
It would not take the Irish long to regain the lead. Junior midfielder Nate Norman (Rochester, Mich./Rochester Adams) sent home a one-touch volley from Ian Etherington (Temecula, Calif./Caparral) and Lapira for his third tally of the season with just 3:10 left to play in the second half. However, the Mountaineers would have one more equalizer left in them. Following a long throw-in by Pat Carroll, Smith sent the shot past Cahill and into the back of the net just 27 seconds after the Norman goal.
Neither team could mount much of an attack in either of the two 10-minute overtime periods as the match ended in a 3-3 draw.
“It was very disappointing to lose the lead three times,” stated Irish head coach Bobby Clark following the match. “It almost feels like a loss for us. But we have to be careful that it doesn’t cloud some of our good play. Joe (Lapira) was fantastic tonight. I wished we could have increased the lead even more when we were up 2-1. But again, we have to be careful we don’t forget about some of our good points from tonight.”
Notre Dame out-shot West Virginia 27-18 on the night and the Irish also held an 11-7 advantage on corner kicks. Both Cahill and Noble collected five saves as they each played all 110 minutes.
Next up for the Fighting Irish will be a trip to Milwaukee, Wis. to battle BIG EAST Conference newcomer Marquette on Wednesday, Oct. 5 at 7:00 p.m. (CT). Stay up-to-date on the Notre Dame men’s soccer team by logging on to und.com or by calling the Notre Dame Athletics Hotline at (574) 631-3000.
West Virginia 1 2 0 0 – 3
Notre Dame 1 2 0 0 – 3
ND: Joe Lapira (John Stephens) 5:52, WV: Zak Boggs (Geoff Cameron) 21:18, ND: Justin McGeeney (Joe Lapira) 46:43, WV: Jarrod Smith (Andy Wright) 84:39, ND: Nate Norman (Ian Etherington, Joe Lapira) 86:50, WV: Jarrod Smith (Pat Carroll) 87:17
Shots: WV 9-8-0-1 – 18, ND 7-12-6-2 – 27
Corner Kicks: WV 1-5-1-0 – 7, ND 4-4-3-0 – 11
Saves: WV 5 (Nick Noble 5), ND 6 (Chris Cahill 5, Team 1)
Fouls: WV 12, ND 9
Offsides: WV 0, ND 0