Oct. 19, 2008
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Once again, the Notre Dame men’s soccer team spread the wealth by using three different goal scorers in a 3-1 league win over Providence on Sunday afternoon in front of 1,610 fans at breezy Alumni Field. Bright Dike (Edmond, Okla./Edmond North), Michael Thomas (Olathe, Kan./St. Thomas Aquinas) and Jeb Brovsky (Lakewood, Colo./Green Mountain) all notched goals on the day to help the ninth-ranked Irish remain in first place in the BIG EAST Blue Division.
The Irish have 16 points in conference play, while Connecticut is second in the division with 13 points and Georgetown is third with 12.
Notre Dame (9-4-1, 5-1-1) nearly got on the board with 28:38 remaining in the first half as junior midfielder Justin Morrow (Cleveland, Ohio/St. Ignatius) pressured the Providence defense from the left side and sent a shot on goal that was saved by a diving Timothy Murray.
The Fighting Irish would crack the scoring column in the 27th minute when Morrow sent a pass to Dike and the senior forward placed it past Murray for his team-leading 10th goal of the season. Dike has scored a goal in seven of the last eight matches. The assist was Morrow’s fourth of the campaign.
The score was 1-0 in favor of the Irish at halftime. Notre Dame out shot Providence, 6-4, in the first half, while also holding a 3-0 edge in corner kicks for the half.
In the 51st minute, Irish senior defender Matt Besler (Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley West) played the ball to Thomas and he headed it to the back of the net to make it a 2-0 contest. The goal was Thomas’ eighth of the season, while the assist was Besler’s first.
Providence (6-5-3, 3-5-1) worked its way back into the match in the 60th minute when Matt Marcin took a pass from Ryan Maduro and placed a blast into the upper right corner of the net from 24 yards out to slice the Irish lead in half.
“This was a very hard game,” said Irish head coach Bobby Clark. “With it being 3-1 you may think it was easy, but it wasn’t. When we got the second goal from Michael Thomas, I thought we were on easy street. But they hit a really good shot from downtown to make it 2-1. That was a fabulous shot and it made life difficult for us. It revived them and it made us a little bit hesitant, but we still kept playing and we still kept connecting.”
The Friars threatened again with just over 10 minutes remaining in regulation as Timothy Ritter made his way deep into Irish territory with the ball and Notre Dame senior goalkeeper Andrew Quinn (Silver Spring, Md./DeMatha) came out and slid to kick the ball away and negate a scoring chance. Quinn made two saves to earn the win, while Murray had four stops for the Friars. Coming into the match, Murray boasted a 0.66 goals-against average.
Notre Dame regained its two-goal advantage in the 86th minute when junior midfielder Dave Donohue (Reading, Mass./Cushing Academy) sent the ball over to Brovsky on the left side of the pitch and the sophomore forward scored his third goal of the season. Dononhue has a team-high five assists this season.
“I was very happy when Jeb Brovsky put away our third goal,” added Clark. “It was a very good game and a very competitive game. It was a great advertisement for BIG EAST soccer.”
The Irish held a 10-7 advantage in shots for the match, while also gaining four more corner kicks (5-1) than a Providence squad that has gained twice as many corners as its opponents this season.
Today marked the seventh time this season that Notre Dame received goals from at least three different players in a match. Notre Dame has scored three or more goals on eight occasions during the ’08 campaign.
Notre Dame will now hit the road for a BIG EAST match against Seton Hall on Wednesday, Oct. 22. Game time is set for 7:00 p.m. (ET) at Owen T. Carroll Field in South Orange, N.J.
Providence (6-5-3, BE 3-5-1) 0 1 – 1
#9 Notre Dame (9-4-1, BE 5-1-1) 1 2 – 3
Shots: PC 4-3 – 7, ND 6-4 – 10
Corner Kicks: PC 0-1 – 1, ND 3-2 – 5
Saves: PC 4 (Timothy Murray 4); ND 2 (Andrew Quinn 2)
Fouls: PC 11, ND 9
Offsides: PC 2, ND 1