Oct. 5, 2004
Senior D Kevin Goldthwaite and senior GK Chris Sawyer have both nabbed weekly honors by various collegiate men’s soccer organizations this week, paying tribute the duo’s effort in Notre Dame’s recent three-match win streak.
Goldthwaite has earned the BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week award for the first time this season, as announced by the league office on Monday. Goldthwaite played a key role in Notre Dame’s last three wins – which coincided with him returning to the field after missing the first seven matches of the season with an injury. The Sacramento, Calif., native also was named to the College Soccer News.com Team of the Week on Tuesday, Oct. 4. Goldthwaite has helped the team shutout its last three opponents since his return to the lineup and he has given the Irish offense a shot in the arm with two assists in three games.
Sawyer has been named the BIG EAST Goalkeeper of the Week for the first time in 2004. The Highlands Ranch, Colo., native will carry a 273 scoreless minute streak into Notre Dame’s match with Pittsburgh on Oct. 7. With Notre Dame’s defense playing well in front of him, Sawyer was asked to make just three saves last week against Boston College and Loyola Chicago. His two saves against the Eagles were game-changers, however, snuffing out two of BC’s most dangerous opportunities in the game.
Notre Dame (7-2-1, 3-1-1) has rattled off three straight shutout wins in its last three appearances, with two of those victories coming to ranked teams above them in the BIG EAST Conference standings. The Irish began the streak with a 1-0 victory at #21 Villanova (Sept. 26) when sophomore Justin McGeeney scored on a rebound just two minutes into the second half.
Back at Alumni Field, the Irish faced #9 Boston College on Oct. 1. The two teams battled in a highly energized and entertaining contest, which was eventually sent to overtime after a scoreless 90 minutes. McGeeney struck again just two minutes into overtime, driving home a rebound off a solid set piece opportunity. The victory over Boston College pushed Notre Dame’s record against ranked teams this season to 2-1, with key matchups at St. John’s, at Seton Hall, at Rutgers and vs. Michigan at home still on the schedule.
Notre Dame’s week wrapped up on Sunday, Oct. 3, with a dominating 4-0 victory over Loyola Chicago. Goldthwaite assisted on two goals in the contest while Sawyer combined with teammate Justin Michaud for the team’s fifth shutout of the season. The victory was the 200th of Bobby Clark’s collegiate coaching career.
Notre Dame’s recent three-game stretch has strengthened the team’s position in the national polls as well. The Irish moved up to ninth (from 14th) in the Soccer America rankings and are 14th in the College Soccer News listing (up from 21st) and ninth in the Soccer Times top 25 (up from 18th). The NSCAA rankings were not available at the time of this release.