Nov. 6, 2004
The fourth-ranked University of Notre Dame men’s soccer team (13-2-3) was eliminated from the BIG EAST Championship on Saturday evening by the eighth seed, #21 Seton Hall (11-6-2), 8-7 on penalty kicks. The decision is charged as a tie in both team’s records, but Seton Hall moves on to the BIG EAST semifinals while Notre Dame will await its positioning in the NCAA Championship.
The Irish entered the match as the number one seed in the tournament and played the match as such, outshooting the Pirates 22-16 (including 6-2 in the overtime periods) and controlling much of the action. Seton Hall was a game opponent, however, playing perhaps the best of any Irish opponent to visit Alumni Field this season. The Pirates followed through on a defensive game plan, with limited but effective attacks into the Notre Dame defensive zone.
Even the first seven penalty kick attempts after two scoreless overtime periods could not declare a winner. Eventually, Seton Hall’s Matt Salotti posted the game-winning attempt when Irish sophomore Nate Norman missed his attempt high over the crossbar – Notre Dame’s eighth team attempt. John Mousinho, Kevin Goldthwaite, Christopher High, Joe Lapira, Jack Stewart, Ian Etherington and Justin McGeeney were all successful on their penalty kick attempts for Notre Dame.
While the outcome is frustrating for the Irish, the most important postseason tournament is set to begin in two weeks. The NCAA Championship begins on Friday, Nov. 19, and the Irish have put themselves in strong consideration for a first-round bye. The NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Selection Show will be on ESPNews Monday, Nov. 15 at 4:30 p.m. (ET).