April 23, 2010
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Notre Dame men’s soccer team defeated the Mexico Under-20 National Team, 2-1, on Friday night in front of 2,737 fans at Alumni Stadium. Sophomore midfielder Michael Rose (Severna Park, Md./Severna Park) and junior forward Steven Perry (Edmond, Okla./Bishop McGuinness) netted goals for the Irish.
It did not take long for Notre Dame to crack the scoring column as Rose tallied a goal in the third minute of play. Rose took control of a failed Mexico clear and scored from close range.
Notre Dame went up 2-0 in the 11th minute as junior forward Jeb Brovsky (Lakewood, Colo./Green Mountain) played the ball ahead to Perry and he placed a shot past Mexico goalkeeper Francisco Cuadras and into the lower left corner of the net from 20 yards out.
Mexico sliced the Irish lead to one in the 26th minute as Oscar Garcia deposited a free kick, which was taken just outside the 18-yard box.
“It was a fabulous atmosphere,” said Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark. “It was a very good game and they (Mexico U-20s) are a very, very good team. They’ll arguably be the best team we play all year. They possessed the ball a lot, but we had the best chances. It was a great game to watch. If you’re a soccer person, you’re not going to get much better than that. I was very, very happy with the team.”
Both teams had scoring opportunities in the second half. Notre Dame freshman Kyle Richard (Louisville, Ky./Saint Xavier) sent a header just over the crossbar with 35:14 left in the second half. Richard had another look with just under 30 minutes remaining in the stanza yet his shot from 15 yards out was punched away by Cuadras.
Notre Dame senior goalkeeper Philip Tuttle (Hooksett, N.H./Brewster Academy) preserved the Irish lead as he made a diving save on a Carlos Felix shot. Tuttle had two saves on the night, while Cuadras had four stops. Mexico held a 20-12 advantage in shots, yet Notre Dame had seven shots on goal compared to four for Mexico. Mexico had a 9-5 edge in corner kicks.
Mexico nearly deposited the equalizer with 23:29 left in regulation but Perry cleared an Edson Rivera shot off the line. On the other end of the pitch, Perry almost secured his second goal of the match as he took a feed from freshman midfielder Dillon Powers (Plano, Texas/Plano Senior) and got deep inside the 18-yard box but placed a shot just high. Perry had another look on a scramble in the box after a corner kick, but Mexico used a team save to negate the opportunity.
The Mexico match marked Notre Dame’s final contest of the 2010 spring season. Tonight was the fifth time the Fighting Irish have faced a Mexican National Team. The Irish have yet to lose a match to Mexico. Notre Dame defeated the Mexico Under-17 squad 1-0 in 2005 and followed that with a 5-0 triumph over the U-17s in 2006. Notre Dame met the U-20s for the first time in 2007 and claimed a 1-0 victory. The Irish and the Mexico U-20s played to a scoreless draw in 2008.
“I felt we really defended well and counterattacked superbly,” added Clark. “We have such an exciting team going forward with (Steven) Perry, who makes some fantastic runs. Then you have speed, pace and athleticism in the flanks with (Michael) Rose and (Adam) Mena. Then you have the guys who can pass the ball in Jeb Brovsky and Dillon Powers, who are tremendous passers of the ball.”
Notre Dame will officially dedicate Alumni Stadium, which opened in August, during a ceremony tomorrow morning beginning at 10 a.m. (ET). The Irish men’s squad also will host its annual awards banquet tomorrow evening.
Alumni Stadium – Notre Dame, Ind.
April 23, 2010
Mexico Under-20s 1 0 – 1
Notre Dame 2 0 – 2
Shots: MEX 8-12 – 20, ND 5-7 – 12
Corner Kicks: MEX 4-5 – 9, ND 1-4 – 5
Saves: MEX 5 (Francisco Cuadras, 90:00, L, 2 ga, 4 svs; 1 team save); ND 3 (Philip Tuttle, 90:00, W, 1 ga, 2 svs; 1 team save)
Fouls: MEX 11, ND 11
Offsides: MEX 1, ND 1