Sept. 14, 2003
The 16th-ranked University of Notre Dame men’s soccer team (2-1-2) fought through mist, rain and sun for a 0-0 tie with Akron (3-1-1) in the final game of the 2003 Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament. Notre Dame claimed the tournament title, as both Akron and the Irish each finish the tournament 1-0-1, but Notre Dame outscored Akron two goals to one during the weekend.
The weather on Sunday afternoon started out as a light mist, transformed into a bright sunny day, then changed yet again into downpour throughout the first overtime. Notre Dame was by far the aggressor on offense for most of the game, getting off 19 shots compared to 13 for the Zips. Akron goalkeeper Justin Christafaris, who earned all-tournament honors, stopped seven shots – while Irish keeper Chris Sawyer made two saves for his second shut out of the season.
Notre Dame had four players on the all-tournament team, senior forward Justin Detter, senior defender Kevin Richards, junior defender Jack Stewart and senior midfielder Chad Riley.
The first significant scoring chance for either team in the contest came nine minutes into the first half. Riley sent a corner kick into the box, but Notre Dame’s Greg Martin was unable to get his foot on it. He did get his hand on it, however, and the intentional hand ball (which ended up in the goal) earned the Irish captain his first yellow card of the season.
Akron came back 14 minutes later with a solid give and go combination between Brendan Murphy and Kirk Harwat. Notre Dame’s Sawyer was there to distract the shot, however, and it sailed wide right of the goal.
Sawyer made another spectacular save with 11 minutes left in the first half, robbing Akron’s Hans Haugland high in the opposite corner of the net.
A quick look at the scoreboard at halftime showed that Akron had actually out-shot Notre Dame 7-2 in the first period. The Irish quickly turned that statistic around, however, uncorking 14 shots in the second half alone.
Riley came clear at the top of the goal box with 22:45 remaining, but Christafaris made a great diving save to preserve the scoreless tie. Notre Dame even increased the pressure with 10 minutes remaining, putting four straight dangerous shots on goal without getting a ball in the net.
Notre Dame was led on offense once again by an aggressive Justin Detter. He was able to get off five shots, including two on goal. Ian Etherington, Devon Prescod and Riley each had three shots for Notre Dame as well.
The Irish now head into three days of preparation before its showdown with in-state rival #14 Indiana on Thursday, Sept. 18 at 7:00 p.m.
2003 Mike Berticelli Memorial All-Tournament Team