Oct. 11, 2003
The University of Notre Dame men’s soccer team (7-2-3, 3-2-1) dropped its second BIG EAST Conference home game of the season to Rutgers (7-3-1, 4-1-1) 5-2 at Alumni Field Saturday evening. The 25th-ranked Scarlet Knights took advantage of a 10-minute four-goal stretch, while a rally for the fifth-ranked Irish was snuffed out with Rutgers’ fifth goal at 80:42.
Five different players scored for Rutgers, while Greg Martin and freshman Ian Etherington posted the goals for Notre Dame.
Notre Dame controlled the early action in the contest and looked fairly strong when Martin had a scoring chance 26 minutes into the game. Junior defender Kevin Goldthwaite had moved forward and crossed the ball into the heart of the Rutgers defense, but Martin’s point-blank deflection jumped over the cross bar.
Rutgers gathered themselves and came back to take advantage of some Irish defensive miscues to jump ahead. Ricardo Arenas got the first goal when his teammates sent a long ball toward Notre Dame goalkeeper Chris Sawyer. Sawyer slipped coming out to play the ball, however, and Arenas took advantage of the open net.
The second goal was another lucky bounce for the Scarlet Knights. Daniel Waldo sent yet another long ball into the box which Sawyer got his hands on, but could not control. Rutgers’ Chris Karcz just nipped at the ball and got enough on it to send it into the net.
Fully in control of the momentum, Rutgers put up two more goals in the next eight minutes. Josh Gros got his 10th goal of the season on a long shot from the top of the box, after coming clear through the Notre Dame defense. Nick Labrocca made things even worse when he blasted a shot from the top of the box past Sawyer at the 44:17 mark.
Suddenly, the Irish were facing a 4-0 deficit. After halftime, Notre Dame came out composed and determined to get back in the match. Martin scored his second goal of the season at the 51:54 mark when Kevin Goldthwaite sent Justin Detter down the left sidelines with a perfect through-ball. Detter then blasted a cross right to the goal line, which Martin successfully deflected into the net.
With a bit of momentum now, the Irish came back to score 15 minutes later when Ian Etherington got his first career goal on a similar play like Martin’s. Chad Riley came clear down the right sidelines and sent a perfect cross into the goal, which Etherington easily headed in to cut the lead down to 4-2 at 66:05.
Rutgers put the game away, however, when Brian Johnson took a Jason Pelletier pass through the ND defense and scored his second goal of the season (80:42).
Rutgers’ victory breaks Notre Dame’s streak of eight matches with a victory or tie. The Irish last suffered a loss to St. John’s at Alumni Field back on Sept. 6.
Notre Dame will return to action on Tuesday, Oct. 14, at Cleveland State.