Sept. 11, 2005
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The 17th-ranked Notre Dame men’s soccer team used another dramatic effort to capture their third victory of the season and win the Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament on their home turf at Alumni Field on Sunday. The Fighting Irish defeated Saint Louis 1-0 when sophomore Joe Lapira (St. Charles, La./Saint Louis Catholic) headed in the only goal of the match in the eighth minute of the second overtime period to give the Irish the title. Juniors Ryan Miller (Barrington, Ill./Barrington) and Nate Norman (Rochester, Mich./Rochester Adams) collected the assists on the Lapira goal.
The Fighting Irish (3-1-0) nearly got on the board within the first two minutes of the contest as Lapira worked his way near the goal twice, yet was denied both times by Billiken goalkeeper Jeff Sackman. The sophomore forward nearly opened the scoring in the sixth minute with a close shot from the left wing. Notre Dame would continue to attack throughout the contest as the Irish out-shot Saint Louis 23-10 on the afternoon.
Saint Louis (1-2-1) would threaten in the second half as the Billikens sent two shots off the post, yet Irish goalkeeper Chris Cahill (Louisville, Ky./St. Francis DeSales) continued his solid play, including a diving save with 13:50 left to play in the second stanza. Cahill stopped four shots on the day and collected his second straight shutout. The junior has allowed only two goals during Notre Dame’s first four contests.
After 17 minutes of scoreless overtime action, the Irish and Billikens appeared destined for a tie before Miller sent a long ball to Norman, who fed the ball to Lapira for his game-winning header, which found the back of the net from six yards out.
“Joe (Lapira) has an uncanny knack for scoring goals,” stated Irish head coach Bobby Clark following Sunday’s match. “He almost had more shots than the rest of our team put together. We wanted to keep him in even though he hasn’t been feeling well. He didn’t train this week until Thursday but we wanted him in there because he has such a great ability to score.”
With the assist, Norman now leads the team with five points. His other four points have all came on goals, including Friday night’s game-winner versus Boston University in Notre Dame’s first match of the Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament. Norman, along with Cahill, Lapira and Miller were all named to the all-tournament team for the Irish.
“Our defense is really starting to come together,” Clark stated. “In four games, we’ve only given up two goals and the guys are starting to get familiar with each other in the defense. Both fullbacks are linking up well with the midfield.”
Indiana, the top-ranked team in the country, finished as runners-up of the fourth-annual Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament. The Hoosiers defeated Boston University 5-0 on Sunday, after tying Saint Louis 1-1 on Friday evening. This is the second Berticelli tournament victory for the Fighting Irish. The first occurred in 2003.
“This was the first time that we won both of our games in the Berticelli Tournament,” Clark said. “It was nice to beat two good teams this weekend. We could be 4-0 right now, but we’ve put the Wake Forest loss behind us and we also need to put these games from this weekend behind us and get ready for BIG EAST play.”
Notre Dame returns to action on Friday as the BIG EAST season gets underway with a trip to St. John’s. Stay up-to-date on the Notre Dame men’s soccer team by logging on to und.com or by calling the Notre Dame Athletics Hotline at (574) 631-3000.
Saint Louis 0 0 0 0 – 0
#17 Notre Dame 0 0 0 1 – 1
Shots: SL 3-6-0-1 – 10, ND 8-10-2-3 – 23
Corner Kicks: SL 0-3-0-0 – 3, ND 0-5-1-0 – 6
Saves: SL 12 (Jeff Sackman 12), ND 5 (Chris Cahill 4, Team 1)
Fouls: SL 20, ND 14
Offsides: SL 6, ND 3
2005 Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament All-Tournament Team
Chris Cahill – GK (Notre Dame)
Joe Lapira – F (Notre Dame)
Ryan Miller – D (Notre Dame)
Nate Norman – M (Notre Dame)
Jacob Peterson – F (Indiana)
Brian Plotkin – M (Indiana)
Greg Stevning – D (Indiana)
Calum Angus – D (Saint Louis)
Alex Matteson – M (Saint Louis)
Sedrick Chin – MF (Boston University)
Zach Kirby – D (Boston University)