Aug. 23, 2004
The University of Notre Dame men’s soccer team defeated Northwestern on Monday in its first of two exhibition matches this week. The Irish, who will travel to Boston University this weekend for their second exhibition game, controlled most of the action in front of a packed Alumni Field on a beautiful late summer evening. Notre Dame eventually posted 19 shots on goal to just nine for the visitors and the Irish also put up eight corner kicks (including seven in the second half).
Notre Dame’s new starting forward duo, junior Tony Megna and sophomore Justin McGeeney, came through with both goals. McGeeney put the Irish on top early, taking a pass from sophomore MF Greg Dalby into the box and pushing a short shot past Wildcat goalkeeper Justin Pines. McGeeney’s goal came at 10:52.
It did not take long for the Irish to get back on the scoreboard. Sophomore Nate Norman cut through the Northwestern defense and sent a perfect through ball to Megna, who controlled, turned and shot to the opposite post for the final goal of the contest at 20:17.
Starting goalkeeper Chris Sawyer was barely challenged in the contest, making three saves. One of the saves was spectacular, however, as the Wildcats squeezed through the Irish defense at approximately the 60-minute mark. Sawyer dove to his left and deflected the point-blank shot just wide of the left goal post.
McGeeney was highly active in the front line most of the contest, uncorking five shots for a team high in that category. Sophomore Ian Etherington had three shots, while Megna added two of his own.
A large portion of the Irish roster saw action in the contest, but three players were unavailable due to a delay of their summer school transcripts. School has not started yet at Notre Dame (classes begin Tuesday, Aug. 24) and the transcript problems will be ironed out before the Irish take the field on Saturday, Aug. 28, at Boston University.
Notre Dame also played before a packed crowd at Alumni Field on Monday evening. Due to terrific weather conditions, a free barbecue and the Notre Dame football ticket lottery numbers announced by head football coach Tyrone Willingham at halftime, Alumni Field welcomed over 2,100 fans for the ND – NU matchup.
Proceeds from the game will find their way to Grassroot Soccer, which was a beneficiary of a $2,000 gift from the Notre Dame men’s soccer program. Fans at Monday night’s contest were encouraged to give to the AIDS awareness group, with an anonymous alumni of the men’s soccer program pledging to match the money raised for his own gift to Grassroot Soccer.