Oct. 8, 2005
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Fighting Irish men’s soccer team came out on the wrong end of a 2-1 decision to No. 10 Connecticut on Saturday night at Alumni Field. Both teams entered the game as part of a four-way tie for first in the BIG EAST’s Blue Division. The Huskies now move ahead of the Irish with a 4-2-1 BIG EAST record and 9-2-1 overall, while the Irish are now 3-3-1 in the league and 7-4-1 overall. Notre Dame senior defender Ben Crouse (Oak Park, Calif./Oak Park) notched the first goal of his Fighting Irish career in the loss.
The Huskies opened the scoring in the 21st minute by capitalizing on their first shot when Julius James headed the ball into the upper right corner of the net off a baseline cross from Ryan Cordeiro. Stanley Ford also collected an assist on the play as he fed the ball to Cordeiro.
Notre Dame would control the ball for the majority of the first half, which resulted in many corner kicks, yet the Irish could not produce a tally off of them. The score remained 1-0 in favor of UConn at the intermission.
The Fighting Irish nearly got on the board in the first few minutes of the second half as sophomore midfielder Alex Yoshinaga (San Diego, Calif./Granite Hills) ripped a ball from 25-yards out that banged off the left post and Notre Dame was unable to get a solid rebound shot.
Connecticut made it a 2-0 contest in the 53rd minute on a goal by Cordeiro. The sophomore forward gathered a loose ball on the right side and put it into the left side of the net. Ford collected his second assist on the play and Moshe Shalchon was also credited with a helper.
Notre Dame would slice the deficit in half four minutes later when Crouse headed the ball into the right side of the goal off a midfield cross from junior defender Ryan Miller (Barrington, Ill./Barrington). Miller is now tied for the team lead in assists with three.
The Fighting Irish continued to pressure the Huskies for the rest of the match but could not find the back of the net for the equalizer. The last effort came when junior midfielder Ian Etherington (Temecula, Calif./Chaparral) sailed a shot over the goal with 15 seconds left to play.
“This was a tough loss,” stated Irish head coach Bobby Clark following the match. “We deserved more, but soccer can be a cruel game. We played well, pressured well and connected well. There were several fine performances out there for us. And all three goals in the match were very pretty.”
Notre Dame out-shot Connecticut 15-7 on the night. The Fighting Irish also held an 11-5 advantage in corner kicks. Irish goalkeeper Chris Cahill (Louisville, Ky./DeSales) collected four saves on the night, while allowing both UConn goals. Adam Schuerman stopped three shots on the night for the Huskies.
“I’m disappointed for our team,” Clark stated. “They played awfully well. If they keep playing this well they will eventually get rewarded.”
The Irish will step away from BIG EAST play for a showdown with Michigan State on Tuesday afternoon in East Lansing, Mich. The match is slated to begin at 3:00 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.
No. 10 Connecticut 1 1 – 2
Notre Dame 0 1 – 1
UC: Julius James (Ryan Cordeiro, Stanley Ford) 20:23, UC: Ryan Cordeiro (Stanley Ford, Moshe Shalcon) 52:59, ND: Ben Crouse (Ryan Miller) 56:01.
Shots: UC 2-5 – 7, ND 5-10 – 15 Corner Kicks: UC 1-4 – 5, ND 8-3 – 11 Saves: UC 3 (Adam Schuerman 3), ND 4 (Chris Cahill 4) Fouls: UC 12, ND 12 Offsides: UC 2, ND 3