Aug. 12, 2012
DEKALB, Ill. – The Notre Dame men’s soccer team opened its 2012 season Sunday with two exhibition victories at Northern Illinois. The Irish captured the first match, 2-0, and then produced a 3-0 win over the Huskies in the second contest. Both games were held at the NIU Soccer Complex.
Irish freshman Patrick Hodan tallied both goals in the first match, which was 60 minutes in length. The rookie put home the first goal in the 19th minute when he sent his shot in from just inside the 18-yard box. Hodan gave Notre Dame a 2-0 lead in the 52nd minute as he took a cross from junior Alex Priede and deposited the ball from 12 yards away.
“Both of our teams played very well today,” said Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark. “It was quite a debut for Patrick Hodan. Alex Priede also played very well in the first game. He didn’t score, but I think he hit the woodwork three times.”
Fighting Irish goalkeepers Adam LaPlaca, a junior, and Brian Talcott, a freshman, split time in goal in the opening game. The Irish held a commanding 15-3 shot advantage in the match, while both teams had two corner kicks.
Finley opened the scoring in the 12th minute on an unassisted score. He then put the Fighting Irish up by two in the 38th minute as he took a pass from Dillon Powers and scored from eight yards away. Rose put the game away with an unassisted goal in the 89th minute.
“It was nice to see (Ryan) Finley get two goals early,” added Clark. “We didn’t get the third goal until late so that kept us honest. NIU is a good team and it’s always nice to go into someone else’s home and control the game.”
Junior goalkeeper Patrick Wall played the entire first half of the second game and made one save. Senior Will Walsh was in goal for the second half and had three stops. Notre Dame out shot Northern Illinois 13-8 in the second match. Both teams had two corner kicks.
Notre Dame will face the Chivas Guadalajara U-21 team Thursday as part of the Shindigz National Soccer Festival in Ft. Wayne, Ind. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. (ET) at the Hefner Soccer Complex on the campus of IPFW.
“Today was a good start for us,” stated Clark. “I’m very happy with where we are at right now in the preseason, but there is still room for improvement. Thursday will be a very difficult challenge against Chivas.”
Notre Dame will conclude exhibition action Aug. 20 with a home match versus Xavier (7 p.m. ET). That contest will be Notre Dame’s annual game to benefit Grassroot Soccer (GRS), which is an international non-governmental organization that uses the power of soccer to educate, inspire and mobilize communities against the spread of HIV. GRS has a special connection to Notre Dame soccer as Dr. Tommy Clark, the eldest son of Irish head coach Bobby Clark, founded the organization. This will be the ninth season that Notre Dame has held a match to benefit GRS. Admission to the game is free and donations for GRS will be accepted at Alumni Stadium.
The Fighting Irish will open the regular season Aug. 25 when they play host to Duke. The match is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. (ET) at Alumni Stadium.