Oct. 31, 2005
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Notre Dame men’s soccer team will host Syracuse during the first round of the BIG EAST Championship on Wednesday, Nov. 2 at Alumni Field. Game time is set for 7:00 p.m. (EST). The Fighting Irish defeated Syracuse, 1-0, earlier this season in Syracuse, N.Y. This will mark the fifth-straight season in which the Irish have earned a berth to the conference’s postseason tournament.
Notre Dame is the No. 3 seed from the BIG EAST Blue Division, while Syracuse is the No. 6 seed from the Red Division.
Notre Dame used a goal from junior forward Justin McGeeney (Ames, Iowa/Ames) to claim the win over the Orange back on Sept. 18. Junior goalkeeper Chris Cahill (Louisville, Ky./DeSales) collected three saves during the match for the Irish. Notre Dame is 8-2-1 all-time against Syracuse, yet the schools have never met in the conference tournament. The Irish own a seven-game unbeaten streak against the Orange.
The Fighting Irish are 8-5 all-time in the BIG EAST tournament, including league championships in 1996 and 2003. Notre Dame tied Seton Hall 0-0 last year, yet the Irish were eliminated 8-7 on penalty kicks.
“This is the start of tournament play and tournament play is a different animal,” says Irish head coach Bobby Clark. “Once you hit the sudden-death style of play you get no more second chances. It’s a different experience and it’s exciting. It’s also important for us to not only get a win to advance but also try and get another notch in the win column to improve our NCAA (tournament) chances. So this game is double-pronged for us. We need to advance and strengthen our case for the NCAAs.”
Notre Dame is carrying some momentum into the postseason following a 4-0 victory over No. 16 Seton Hall on Saturday night. Sophomore forward Joe Lapira (Lake Charles, La./Saint Louis Catholic) netted two goals in the match and assisted on another. For his efforts he was named to the BIG EAST Honor Roll and the Top Drawer Soccer Team of the Week.
The winner of Wednesday’s match will advance to the tournament quarterfinals, which will be played Saturday, Nov. 5 and Sunday, Nov. 6.
For more information on the Notre Dame men’s soccer team, please log on to und.com or call the Notre Dame athletics hotline at (574) 631-3000.