Sept. 25, 2003
On an unseasonably cool evening, the University of Notre Dame men’s soccer team (5-1-2) posted its third-straight victory and shut out with a 2-0 decision over Bradley (4-5-0) Thursday evening at Alumni Field. The win marks the third time the Irish have held their opponent scoreless in three tries and extends goalkeeper Chris Sawyer’s shut out streak to 438 minutes. Team captain Greg Martin and senior Justin Detter both scored unassisted to represent Notre Dame’s two goals.
Notre Dame entered the game ranked as high as eighth in the nation and dominated possession of the ball for most of the game. The final shot statistics ended up 16-5 in favor of the Irish and Bradley goalkeeper Chris Dunsheath was asked to make six saves. Sawyer, who snuffed out a few Brave scoring chances before they were able to develop into shots, made just one save in the contest.
After an even first period, Notre Dame got on the board 12 minutes into the second half. Defender Kevin Richards sent a perfect through-ball to Ian Etherington, who was dragged down in the Brave penalty box by defender Cody Kother. Team captain Greg Martin stepped in to take the penalty kick, but Dunsheath guessed correctly and stymied the first attempt. He could not control the rebound, however, and Martin stepped forward to tap in his first goal of the 2003 season.
Notre Dame’s first scoring chance seemed to ignite the Irish offense, which went through a 13-minute period of furious activity. Soon after Martin’s penalty kick, the Irish midfielder laid out perfectly for a Richards cross, but his header went just wide to the right side of the net. Over the 13-minute stretch, Notre Dame took four shots, who of which needed to be saved.
The Irish got an insurance goal, almost out of the blue, with just under three minutes remaining. Bradley was pushing forward and the Irish kept denying them any strong looks at the goal. Defender Kevin Goldthwaite seemed to just be clearing the ball deep into the right corner of the Brave defensive zone, but the Bradley defense was caught off-balance. Justin Detter streaked toward the ball and battled the Bradley defender for possession. Both players actually fell on the wet grass, but Detter shot back up at the edge of the penalty box and moved forward for a shot. Dunsheath was left one-on-one with the Irish forward and Detter blasted a shot between the keeper and the right pole for his second goal of the season.
Notre Dame managed two more close calls in the final two minutes before the horn sounded to end the game. The Irish had three corner kicks compared to one for Bradley. The fouls ended up 11-8 in favor of Notre Dame.
The Irish wrap up their month-long, seven-game home stand on Sunday when BIG EAST Conference opponent Georgetown pays them a visit at 2 p.m.