Oct. 24, 2001
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Notre Dame men’s soccer team won its sixth straight game Wednesday afternoon, shutting out Providence 2-0. It marked the fifth consecutive shutout for the 20th-ranked Irish, who improve to 9-4-0 and 6-2-0 in conference play. Notre Dame will travel to defending national-champion Connecticut for a Saturday showdown at 7:00 p.m. in Storrs, Conn. with the 10th-ranked Huskies.
Freshman goalkeeper Chris Sawyer (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) continued his dominant play, recording four saves while not allowing a goal for the fifth consecutive game. Sawyer and the Irish have not given up a goal since Georgetown netted one early in the second half of a 3-1 Notre Dame victory on October 5 at Alumni Field. Since becoming the Irish starting goalkeeper against Bradley, Sawyer has a 7-1 record and a 5-1 mark in the BIG EAST. Sawyer has not allowed a goal in the last 487:02 of play. He is one shutout away from the Irish record of six in a row, set by Mark Steranka in 1983. That streak came in the midst of seven consecutive Notre Dame shutouts — the only other time in school history the Irish registered five or more shutouts in a row. Wednesday also marked the fourth consecutive road blanking by the Irish, the first time that has happened since 1993.
After a scoreless first half, Notre Dame took the lead in the 58th minute on freshman midfielder Kevin Goldthwaite’s (Sacramento, Calif.) second goal of the season, assisted by sophomore Kevin Richards (Warwick, Bermuda). The Irish completed the scoring eight minutes later when junior forward Erich Braun (Frankfurt, Germany) took a pass from Justin Detter (White Lake, Mich.) and put it in the goal for his team-leading 11th score of the season. Braun has scored in six consecutive games and has netted at least one goal in each of the ten games in which the Irish have scored this season.
The six-game winning streak for Notre Dame markes the longest since the Irish tallied seven consecutive victories in 1991. The team also has won its last five BIG EAST contests, the longest streak for the Irish since joining the conference in 1995. Notre Dame’s six conference wins match the most in a season since the Irish joined the BIG EAST. In 1996, Notre Dame was 6-3 in league play.
Scoring: ND: Kevin Goldthwaite (Kevin Richards), 58:01, ND: Erich Braun (Justin Detter), 66:02.