Sept. 7, 2008
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The No. 8 Notre Dame men’s soccer team captured the Hilton Garden Inn Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament title with a 5-0 win over fifth-ranked South Florida on Sunday afternoon at Alumni Field during the second and final day of the event. The Irish used five different goal scorers to post the victory.
Notre Dame (3-1-0) entered Sunday needing either a win or tie to claim the title after defeating Dartmouth, 2-1, during the first day of the tournament on Friday. The Irish came through in a big way as they received goals from Justin Morrow (Cleveland, Ohio/St. Ignatius), Bright Dike (Edmond, Okla./Edmond North), Josh Thiermann (Stoughton, Wis./Stoughton), Michael Thomas (Olathe, Kan./St. Thomas Aquinas) and Jeb Brovsky (Lakewood, Colo./Green Mountain). Notre Dame scored four goals in an 11-minute span in the first half to break the game open.
The scoring began for the Irish in the 24th minute as Dike fed Morrow for the junior’s second goal of the season. Notre Dame continued to keep pressure on South Florida and it resulted in shots and corner kicks. The Irish converted off a corner kick in the 28th minute as freshman Brendan King (Naperville, Ill./Edison Academic Center (Fla.)) sent the ball into the box and Dike, a senior, put it home for his team-leading third goal of the season.
King collected his second assist of the day when he placed another corner kick on mark and Thiermann sent a blast off the hands of the South Florida goalkeeper, Diego Restrepo, to make it 3-0 in the 32nd minute. That was Thiermann’s first goal of the season. Just over three minutes later, Thomas found the ball among traffic near the six-yard box and headed it in to give the Irish a four-goal advantage by intermission.
“We started the game on Friday the exact same way that we started today,” said Irish head coach Bobby Clark. “We didn’t get the goals on Friday like we got the goals today. I thought we opened both games superbly well and today we got the goals and that kind of put the game away. I thought it was a very workmanlike performance. A lot of people worked very, very hard and I feel the team is growing every game now and the trick is to keep it going.”
At the 58:41 mark of match, Kevon Neaves was sent off with a red card and the Bulls were forced to play a man-down the rest of the way.
Brovsky put a cap on the victory with a goal in the 78th minute. The sequence began when sophomore Matt Armstrong (Phoenix, Ariz./North Canyon) played the ball up to his classmate and Brovsky scored his first goal of the season.
Notre Dame owned the stat sheet on the day. The Irish out shot the Bulls 22-3 along with holding an 8-5 edge in shots. Senior goalkeeper Andrew Quinn (Silver Spring, Md./DeMatha) did not need to make a save in notching his first shut out of the season and the third of his career. Restrepo made seven stops in the loss.
Despite both teams being members of the BIG EAST Conference, today’s match did not count as a league game. Notre Dame and South Florida will not meet during the league’s regular season.
The Irish also copped individual hardware for the tournament as Thomas was named the offensive MVP by scoring goals in both games. Senior defender Matt Besler (Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley West) was selected as the defensive MVP. Junior midfielder Dave Donohue (Reading, Mass./Cushing Academy), who scored the game winner on Friday, and Dike joined them on the all-tournament team.
Dartmouth defeated Indiana, 4-0, during Sunday’s first game to finish as the tournament’s runner-up. Indiana finished third, while South Florida was fourth.
This marked the third time that Notre Dame has won the Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament. The other victories came in 2003 and 2005. The five goals for the Irish were the most since a 5-4 overtime win at Indiana on Sept. 3, 2006.
“This was a very good tournament,” commented Clark. “To come out on top of it with two good wins is a good start. And that’s all it is, a start. It maybe makes a statement that this team can score goals. That was maybe a question mark when we lost Joe (Lapira). We have a lot of guys that can contribute and that’s very important.”
The Fighting Irish are back in action when they open BIG EAST play with a home tilt against Marquette on Thursday, Sept. 11. Game time is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. (ET) at Alumni Field.
#5 South Florida (1-1-1) 0 0 – 0
#8 Notre Dame (3-1-0) 4 1 – 5
Shots: USF 1-2 – 3, ND 14-8 – 22
Corner Kicks: USF 2-3 – 5, ND 6-2 – 8
Saves: USF 7 (Diego Restrepo); ND 0 (Andrew Quinn 0)
Fouls: USF 13, ND 18
Offsides: USF 2, ND 4
2008 Hilton Garden Inn Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament Final Standings
1. Notre Dame (2-0-0)
2. Dartmouth (1-1-0)
3. Indiana (0-1-1)
4. South Florida (0-1-1)
2008 Hilton Garden Inn Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament All-Tournament Team
Offensive MVP – Michael Thomas, Notre Dame, Jr., M
Defensive MVP – Matt Besler, Notre Dame, Sr., D
Goalkeeping MVP – Sean Milligan, Dartmouth, Sr.
Michael Thomas, Notre Dame, Jr., M
Matt Besler, Notre Dame, Sr., D
Dave Donohue, Notre Dame, Jr., M
Bright Dike, Notre Dame, Sr., F
Sean Milligan, Dartmouth, Sr., GK
Walker Linares, Dartmouth, So., D
Craig Henderson, Dartmouth, Sr., M/F
Brad Ring, Indiana, Sr., M
Andy Adlard, Indiana, So., F/M
Yohance Marshall, South Florida, Sr., D
Zak Boggs, South Florida, Jr., F