Nov. 27, 2002
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Freshman Brian Plotkin’s first goal of the season held up as the game’s only scoring, as fifth-ranked Indiana advanced past #20 Notre Dame, 1-0, in second-round NCAA Tournament action Wednesday night at Armstrong Stadium.
Notre Dame (12-6-3) saw its chances at a comeback diminish in the 63rd minute of play, when senior midfielder Justin Ratcliffe received a red card after a hard tackle on the attacking side of the field. The Irish then were forced to play a man down for the final 27 minutes, still managing to generate some scoring chances but unable to gain the equalizer.
“I thought it was a very competitive game,” said second-year Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark. “We are very disappointed, because I thought we controlled large parts of the game.
“The hard thing was after the ejection, when we went down to (playing with) 10 men. To play Indiana is a tough enough task when you are 11 versus 11. But I was really proud of how our team played when we went down to 10 men.”
Indiana (15-3-2) – the 2002 NCAA runner-up, with trips the NCAA semifinals or finals in each of the last five seasons – moves on to the round of 16 for the 15th time in the last 16 years, with a third-round matchup slated for Sunday at seventh-seeded Connecticut.
Both teams managed just a handful of scoring chances, with IU owning a 10-6 total shot edge (3-3 in the second half) and a 5-4 advantage in corner kicks (ND held the second-half corner edge, 2-1).
Sophomore midfielder Ned Grabavoy set up the IU goal by playing a thru-ball into the top of the box. Plotkin, the Big Ten Freshman of the Year, broke free and quickly chipped a 10-yard shot over the head of charging ‘keeper Chris Sawyer (51:03).
Notre Dame held IU without a shot until midway through the first half but the Irish then endured a long drought without attempting a shot, stretching well into the second half. The visitors were forced into pushing forward and taking some offensive risks in the final 20 minutes, with several strong chances including a deep run from sophomore defender Jack Stewart in the 89th minute (his low 20-yard shot went wide of the left post).
The Hoosiers remained unbeaten in their last 13 home games (10-0-3), dating back to a 1-0 loss to the Irish during the 2001 regular season.
“We played here last year and won 1-0, but I felt that we actually controlled more of the game this year,” said Clark. “It’s a great in-state rivalry and we love to play here.”
Both teams had solid scoring chances in the first half, with Notre Dame’s Kevin Goldthwaite sending a sliding shot over the crossbar before setting up an 18-yard shot by Greg Martin that was stopped by a diving Jay Nolly.
NOTRE DAME 0 0 - 0
INDIANA 0 1 - 1
IU 1. Brian Plotkin 1 (Ned Grabavoy) 51:03.
Shots: ND 3-3-6, IU 7-3-10.
Corner Kicks: ND 2-2-4, IU 4-1-5.
Saves: ND (Chris Sawyer 4, team 1) 3-2-5, IU (Jay Nolly) 1-1-2.
Fouls: ND 10-4-14, IU 7-8-15.
Red Card: Justin Ratcliffe, ND (62:23).
Yellow Cards: John Swann, IU (43:37), Erich Braun, ND (43:37), Vijay Dias, IU (59:27).
Offsides: ND 0, IU 3.