Nov. 5, 2005
QUEENS, N.Y. – A goal by Garry Lewis in the 78th minute would prove to be the difference as No. 16 St. John’s defeated Notre Dame 1-0 in the quarterfinals the of BIG EAST Championship on Saturday night at Belson Stadium. With the loss, Notre Dame falls to 10-7-3 overall. The Fighting Irish will now wait to hear if their name will be called for the NCAA tournament when the 48-team field is announced on Monday, Nov. 14.
A scoreless first half did not come without some drama as St. John’s midfielder Sebastian Alvarado-Ralph was issued a red card with 35 seconds remaining in the half after elbowing Irish defender Ben Crouse (Oak Park, Calif./Oak Park) in head as the two were fighting for a ball in the air. The penalty meant the Irish would play the remaining of the game one-man up on the Red Storm.
St. John’s (9-4-5) held a 7-3 advantage in shots during the first half.
The match would remain without a goal until Lewis took a ball from Jeff Carroll, which was sent in by a Billy Hole free kick, and headed it into the back of the net to put the Red Storm on top.
The Irish could not crack the scoring column during the final 12 minutes and would see their bid for a semifinal berth in the conference tournament fall short. Junior goalkeeper Chris Cahill (Louisville, Ky./DeSales) stopped five shots on the night for Notre Dame, while St. John’s Jason Landers collected two saves in the win.
“It was a tough night,” stated Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark following the match. “We were looking very good and I thought we were in control especially in the second half when we were up a man. Things were looking really good. But we just didn’t handle the ball well off of the free kick. A long ball was floated in from about 40-yards out and no one got a hold of it and they poked it in.”
The Red Storm out-shot the Fighting Irish 15-10 for the match. Sophomore midfielder Alex Yoshinaga (San Diego, Calif./Granite Hills) had a team-high four shots for Notre Dame.
Saturday’s contest marked Notre Dame’s 14th match of the year that has been decided by one goal. The Fighting Irish own an 8-6 record in those games. Notre Dame is now 0-7-1 all-time at St. John’s in program history, including a 2-1 loss earlier this season on Sept. 16.
“It was too bad because I thought we were handling the game very well tonight,” said Clark. “It was the best a Notre Dame team has handled a game on that tough field. But it wasn’t meant to be and it’s a pity because there were a lot of positives and I thought we were in good shape.”
If Notre Dame is selected to participate in the NCAA tournament, it will mark the fifth straight season in which the Irish will go to the NCAAs. All of those appearances have occurred during Bobby Clark’s tenure.
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Notre Dame 0 0 – 0
#16 St. John’s 0 1 – 1
Shots: ND 3-7 – 10, SJ 7-8 – 15
Corner Kicks: ND 1-4 – 5, SJ 5-1 – 6
Saves: ND 5 (Chris Cahill 5), SJ 2 (Jason Landers 2)
Fouls: ND 6, SJ 5
Offsides: ND 0, SJ 3