Notre Dame's Matt Besler (right) and Bret Vander Streek from Saint Francis fight for the ball during Monday's match. Besler and the Irish defense did not allow a goal in two exhibition games this preseason.

Irish Wrap Up Exhibition Play With 2-0 Win Over Saint Francis (Pa.)

Aug. 21, 2006

Box Score

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The 15th-ranked Notre Dame men’s soccer team completed a perfect exhibition season with a 2-0 win over Saint Francis (Pa.) on Monday evening in front of 2,534 fans at Alumni Field. Admission to the match was $1 with all proceeds benefiting Grassroot Soccer, an international AIDS awareness and education organization that reaches youth in Africa through soccer clinics. Sophomore Bright Dike (Edmond, Okla./Edmond North) and senior Nate Norman (Rochester, Mich./Rochester Adams) both collected goals for the Irish, who won both of their preseason games and will now begin regular-season play on Friday night versus UAB in the Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament.

Notre Dame out-shot Saint Francis, 7-3, in the first half, yet neither team could find the back of the net in the opening 45 minutes of play.

The Fighting Irish came out strong in the second half and mounted a strong offensive surge. The spark paid off in the 63rd minute as a Kurt Martin (McAllen, Texas/Memorial) corner kick was deflected by Andrew Benton (Marietta, Ga./Kell) and Dike knocked it in to put Notre Dame on top 1-0.

“I thought it was a good performance by us, especially in the second half,” said Irish head coach Bobby Clark following the match. “We started out a little slow in the first half, but we really came out in the second half and upped the tempo and played with a lot of pace.”

Saint Francis put together some chances late in the contest that kept the Irish pushing to the end. The best chance for the Red Flash came with just over eight minutes remaining as Brent Brockman got past Notre Dame goalkeeper Andrew Quinn (Silver Spring, Md./DeMatha) and appeared to have a clear shot at the goal, yet his shot was cleared out by Irish defender Ryan Miller (Barrington, Ill./Barrington) to preserve a 1-0 advantage.

Norman would pad the Irish lead by netting a nice goal with just two minutes remaining in the contest.

The Irish out-shot the Red Flash 16-9 during the match and Notre Dame also held an 8-2 edge in corner kicks.

Senior Chris Cahill (Louisville, Ky./DeSales) and Quinn, a sophomore, each played one half in goal for Notre Dame. Quinn, who played the second half, made all four Notre Dame saves on the night. Justin Janicek gave up both goals for Saint Francis, while he and Brad Williams each played one half as well. Williams made three saves, while Janicek collected one.

“I thought both of our goalkeepers did a fine job,” stated Clark, whose team also blanked Drake, 1-0, in preseason play last Thursday. “I was pleased with how a lot of our guys performed, including the freshmen. It was a good test for them and a good test for everyone because we had to fight until the end because Saint Francis made it competitive. It was an exciting match.”

Notre Dame meets UAB at 7:30 p.m. in day one of the Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament on Friday, Aug. 25 and will face No. 8 Creighton on Sunday, Aug. 27 at 2:00 p.m. in the final match of the two-day event.

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Saint Francis (Pa.) 0 0 – 0
#15 Notre Dame 0 2 – 2

ND: Bright Dike (Kurt Martin, Andrew Benton) 62:50
ND: Nate Norman (unassisted) 87:58

Shots: SF 3-6 – 9, ND 7-9 – 16
Corner Kicks: SF 1-1 – 2, ND 5-3 – 8
Saves: SF 4 (Brad Williams 3, Justin Janicek 1), ND 5 (Andrew Quinn 4, Team 1)
Fouls: SF 12, ND 7
Offsides: SF 2, ND 1