Sept. 6, 2003
The University of Notre Dame men’s soccer team (1-1-1) dropped its first BIG EAST game of the season to St. John’s (1-2-0) 3-0 at Alumni Field on Saturday evening. The game was billed as a match up of the top two teams in the league, but the Red Storm left the field as the much better team on this night.
Notre Dame entered the game ranked as high as fourth in the country, while the Red Storm were 13th.
St. John’s broke into the scoring column 28:44 into the game when Matt Groenwald put in a low shot in the right corner off assists from Sebastian Ralph and Tim O’Neill. Just under two minutes later, the Red Storm struck again when Simone Salinno sent a long pass down the side line, corralled by Ralph. He sent a perfect cross into the box which Angel Rodriquez easily put away to give his team a 2-0 lead.
Salinno added the third goal 3:21 into the second half when the Irish misplayed a ball at the top of the box. Salinno stole the ball and beat Irish goalkeeper Chris Sawyer for his second goal of the season.
Although the Irish out shot the Red Storm 12-9 in the contest, Notre Dame did not have many legitimate scoring chances in the game. Senior Justin Detter gave the team some life in the second period, but none of his five shots (four on goal) could get past St. John’s goalie Guy Hertz. Hertz ended up with six saves in the contest, while Sawyer stopped two shots and suffered his first loss of the season.
Perhaps the most telling statistic of the game was corner kicks. St. John’s managed to get four of the precious scoring chances, while the Irish would manage just one – and that opportunity came with just 16 minutes left in the game.
Fouls were fairly even, with St. John’s whistled 17 times compared to 14 for the Irish.
Although the Irish are disappointed with the outcome on Saturday evening, Notre Dame still has almost its entire conference schedule remaining this season to compete for the league title. The Irish return to action Friday, Sept. 12, when they host Fresno State in the Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament.