Oct. 29, 2005
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Sophomore forward Joe Lapira (Lake Charles, La./Saint Louis Catholic) tallied five points on two goals and an assist to lead Notre Dame to a dominating 4-0 victory over No. 16 Seton Hall in BIG EAST men’s soccer action on Saturday night at Alumni Field. The Fighting Irish end the regular season with a 10-6-2 record overall and 6-4-1 in league play. Notre Dame finishes in a tie for third along with West Virginia in the Blue Division of the BIG EAST. The Irish will host a BIG EAST tournament game on Wednesday, Nov. 2 against an opponent that is yet to be determined.
“This was a great win for us,” said Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark following the match. “We ran into a buzzsaw in Indiana on Wednesday night and that kind of froze us. But we’re a good team and we’ve played a difficult schedule that will hopefully prepare us for the postseason. We’ll need to build off of this win on Wednesday night.”
Notre Dame opened the scoring late in the first half as Lapira sent the ball ahead to freshman Bright Dike (Edmond, Okla./Edmond North), who may have gotten a hand on it yet no call was made, and he beat his man and sent the ball past a sprawled-out Boris Pardo and into the net in the 41st minute. The goal was the second of the year for Dike. That would be the only scoring of the first half.
Two goals early in the second half cemented the victory for the Irish. In the 49th minute, freshman Matt Besler (Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley West) played the ball to Kurt Martin (McAllen, Texas/Memorial) and he delivered a perfect cross in front of the net from the right side and Lapira sent a sliding kick into the back of the net. Less than two minutes later, Besler would collect another assist as he dished the ball to junior defender Ryan Miller (Barrington, Ill./Barrington) and he deposited the shot to put the Irish up 3-0. That was the first career goal for Miller.
Lapira put the final touch on the win as he sent a header into the net off a cross from Martin in the 76th minute. The two-goal effort for Lapira is the first two-goal performance by an Irish player since current senior Tony Megna (Middleton, Wis./Middleton) did the same last year against Pittsburgh on Oct. 7. Tonight also marked Notre Dame’s second four-goal outburst of the season. Ironically, the Irish opened the season with a four-goal effort against another ranked team as they defeated No. 7 SMU 4-1 on Sept. 2 in the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic.
“Joe (Lapira) was great tonight as were all the forwards,” said Clark. “They all played their roles well tonight. Kurt Martin also did a superb job. He was fabulous.”
Irish goalkeepers Chris Cahill (Louisville, Ky./DeSales) and Justin Michaud (Austin, Texas/St. Stephens Episcopal) combined on the shutout. Cahill, a junior, stopped three shots in 76 minutes of play, while the senior Michaud made one save in the final 14 minutes of action. Seton Hall’s Pardo made two saves on the night.
“Possibly the most pleasing thing with tonight is that we were able to get the seniors some good minutes on senior night,” said Clark.
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.
#16 Seton Hall 0 0 – 0
Notre Dame 1 3 – 4
Shots: SH 4-5 – 9, ND 5-9 – 14
Corner Kicks: SH 1-2 – 3, ND 2-1 – 3
Saves: SH 2 (Boris Pardo 2), ND 4 (Chris Cahill 3, Justin Michaud 1)
Fouls: SH 11, ND 15
Offsides: SH 2, ND 3