Sept. 1, 2001
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Notre Dame men’s soccer team began the Bobby Clark era at Notre Dame with an impressive 5-0 victory over BIG EAST rival Villanova in the season opener for both teams. It was the largest margin of victory in an opening game for the Irish since the 1998 campaign when Notre Dame defeated DePaul 8-0.
The Irish used a balanced attack with five players netting goals in the contest. Notre Dame used an explosing four-goal second half to create havoc for the visiting Wildcats.
Freshman Kevin Goldthwaite (Sacramento, Calif.) got the Irish on the scoreboard with his first career goal with 3:14 left before the intermission. Goldthwaite blasted a 23-yard shot into the left corner to give Notre Dame momentum heading into the break. The Irish dominated Villanova in the first half as they outshot the visitors 11-2.
Notre Dame’s aggressive second half payed dividends for the home team as the Irish took advantage of their speed. Sophomore Greg Martin (Plano, Texas) tallied his first collegiate goal when his header into the left corner of the goals off assists from second-year teammates Kevin Richards (Warwick, Bermuda) and Justin Detter (White Lake, Mich.) soared by Villanova goalie Sean Teesdale at the 56:25 mark.
The Irish netted their third goal less than 12 minutes later when junior Erich Braun (Frankfurt, Germany) connected on a penalty kick after a foul in the box by defender Steve Leaman.
Notre Dame closed out its scoring with goals by junior Justin Ratcliffe (Miami, Fla.) and Matt Rosso (Churchville, Pa.). Ratcliffe netted his first collegiate goal with 14 minutes remaining in the contest to give the Irish a 4-0 advantage. Ratcliffe’s score came off an assist from junior Rafael Garcia (Palmdale, Calif.). Rosso added the fifth and final goal of the game two minutes later when he took a long pass Martin and lofted it over the head of Pat Walsh, the second goalkeeper the Wildcats used in the game.
The Irish were dominate in all areas as they ousthot Villanova 23-4 in the game and owned an 11-3 advantage in corner kicks. Wildcat goalkeepers combined for 13 saves in the save, while Irish goalkeeping contingent of starter Greg Tait (Fayetteville, N.Y.) and Cole Straub (Oakville, Ontario) had to only make one save in the entire game.
Notre Dame’s victory over Villanova was its fifth straight over the Wildcats as the Irish have not lost to them since the 1996 campaign. In the last five meetings between the two schools, Notre Dame has outscored Villanova 15-2. Two years ago, Notre Dame defeated Villanova 5-0 at Alumni Field. That win marked the largest margin of victory by an Irish team in a BIG EAST contest opening up league play in 1995.
Notre Dame returns to action on Fri., Sept. 7 when they travel to Furman, S.C. for the first of two games at the Furman Invitational. The Irish face the host Paladins in the opening contest at 7:30 p.m. and then meet Clemson in its second round matchup on Sun., Sept. 9 at noon.
1 2 FVillanova 0 0 0Notre Dame 1 4 5
Scoring: ND: Kevin Goldthwaite, 41:46, ND: Greg Martin (Kevin Richards, Justin Detter), 56:25, ND: Erich Braun (penalty kick), ND: ND: Justin Ratcliffe (Rafael Garcia), 76:00, ND: Matt Rosso (Greg Martin), 78:00
Game Statistics: Notre Dame Villanova Shots 23 4 Saves 1 13 (Greg Tait - 1, (Sean Teesdale - 10 Cole Straub - 0) Pat Walsh - 1, Team - 2) Fouls 12 19 Corner Kicks 23 4