Oct. 27, 2010
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – A goal from junior midfielder Brendan King (Naperville, Ill./Edison Academic Center [Fla.]) in the final minute of play gave the Notre Dame men’s soccer team a 3-2 win over Pittsburgh on Wednesday night at windy Alumni Stadium. Seniors Steven Perry (Edmond, Okla./Bishop McGuinness) and Jeb Brovsky (Lakewood, Colo./Green Mountain) also netted goals for the Irish.
Notre Dame (8-4-4, 5-2-1) controlled much of the match. The Fighting Irish out shot the Panthers 27-11 along with holding a decisive 12-4 advantage in corner kicks.
Perry nearly opened the scoring less than five minutes into the contest as his shot sent to the far post was knocked away by Pittsburgh goalkeeper Matt Aberegg. The Irish looked as though they had a goal in the 11th minute as Aberegg knocked down a shot from Brovsky, yet the ball continued to roll towards the goal and the referee ruled the Panther goalkeeper stopped it before it crossed the line.
Pittsburgh (6-8-2, 1-5-2) grabbed a 1-0 lead in the 24th minute as Alex Harrison headed in a Ryan Brode corner kick.
The Irish, who were playing with the wind in the first half, responded 19 seconds later as a Greg Klazura (Rockford, Ill./Boylan Catholic) shot hit the post and Perry deposited the rebound for his team-best 10th goal of the season. In the 27th minute, Perry was brought down inside the 18-yard box and Brovsky converted the penalty kick to give the Irish a 2-1 lead.
The Panthers knotted the match with 33 seconds left before intermission as a far blast from Alex Betancourt was deflected into the net by an Irish defender. The tally was credited as an own goal.
“We dominated the first half, but they had three shots and two goals,” said Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark. “It was pretty difficult emotionally for our team, but I felt they handled it well. I thought we stuck to the game plan with possession soccer and controlled the game.”
Both teams produced good chances in the second half. The Panthers threatened in the 73rd minute when a diving save from Irish goalkeeper Philip Tuttle (Hooksett, N.H./Brewster Academy) was needed to negate a header from Harrison. Less than a minute later, Pittsburgh’s Ryan Brode sent a shot off the crossbar.
King almost netted the go-ahead goal for the Irish with just over three minutes left in the match, but his shot from 19 yards out was tipped away by a diving Aberegg, who had five saves on the night. Tuttle had three stops for the Irish to up his record to 5-2-2 this season.
Pittsburgh appeared to have a golden chance for a goal in the 89th minute as Ryan McKenzie had a breakaway but could not get a good foot on the ball and Tuttle came off his line to scoop it up to keep the score even. King headed home the game winner, off a cross from fellow junior midfielder Michael Rose (Severna Park, Md./Severna Park), seconds later on the other end of the pitch.
“I felt it was a very good performance by us on a very windy and blustery night,” added Clark. “I was proud with the way we stuck to our game plan. What I thought we did very well was press. I felt we kept the game in their half of the field for long periods of time. They (Pittsburgh) are a very dangerous team, especially with set pieces. They are a big team and that’s what they live for. They didn’t go down without a fight, but I thought the better side got the result in the end.”
The Fighting Irish will conclude the regular season when they play host to Georgetown at 11:00 a.m. (ET) on Saturday at Alumni Stadium. Admission to the match is free.
Alumni Stadium – Notre Dame, Ind.
October 27, 2010
Pittsburgh (6-8-2, 1-5-2) 2 0 – 2
Notre Dame (8-4-4, 5-2-1) 2 1 – 3
Shots: UP 3-8 – 11, ND 17-10 – 27
Corner Kicks: UP 2-2 – 4, ND 8-4 – 12
Goalkeepers: UP: Matt Aberegg – 5 SV, 3 GA, 90:00, L
ND: Philip Tuttle – 3 SV, 2 GA, 90:00, W
Fouls: UP 7, ND 3
Offsides: UP 1, ND 0