Nov. 10, 2001
Notre Dame, Ind. – The No. 2 seed Notre Dame men’s soccer team advanced to its first BIG EAST Championship semifinal appearance since 1997 with a 1-0 victory over No. 7 Georgetown. Sophomore Chad Riley (Houston, Texas) scored the game-winning goal 10:52 into the contest off an assist from freshman Jack Stewart (Torrance, Calif.).
Riley’s game-winner came from a shot outside the box that sailed into an empty Hoya net. Stewart fed Riley from the right corner and lofted a shot over the head of Hoya goalkeeper Brain O’Hagan who had had come out of the goal.
Notre Dame dominated the Hoyas in the contest and owned an 18-5 shot advantage and 6-2 advantage in corner kicks. O’Hagan made nine saves in the game and came up with a strong effort, especially in the second half as he thwarted several Irish scoring opportunities.
Irish rookie goalkeeper Chris Sawyer (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) registered his fifth complete-game shutout as he came up with three saves in the game.
Notre Dame, winners of nine of its last 10 games, improve to 12-5 overall with the victory, while the Hoyas end their season with a 9-9-1 record. This was the second meeting between the two teams at Notre Dame in 2001. During the regular season, the Irish earned a 1-0 victory over the Hoyas at Alumni Field. In that game, Riley dished off two assists in the win. Heading into the season, Notre Dame had lost four straight to Georgetown.
Tonight’s victory also marked the second time an Irish team has beaten the Hoyas in a quarterfinal contest. In 1996, en route to its first BIG EAST tournament crown, Notre Dame took advantage of its home field advantage and earned a 2-1 victory.
Notre Dame is now 5-3 all-time in eight BIG EAST tournament games. The Irish will face the winner of the contest between No. 3 St. John’s and No. 6 Boston College in Friday’s semifinal game at the University of Connecticut’s Morrone Stadium in Storrs, Conn.
The 12 wins are the most for the Irish since the 1996 campaign when Notre Dame won the BIG EAST tournament crown that season en route to a 14-7-2 final record.
The Irish are 1-1 all-time in its two BIG EAST championship semifinal appearances.
Scoring: ND: Chad Riley (Jack Stewart), 10:52