Aug. 17, 2006
DES MOINES, Iowa – Freshman Tamba Samba (Indianapolis, Ind./Ben Davis) netted an unassisted goal in the 64th minute to give No. 15 Notre Dame a 1-0 victory over Drake in the Irish’s exhibition opener on Thursday evening. The crowd of 1,310 at Drake’s Cownie Soccer Complex marked the largest crowd ever to watch a collegiate soccer match in the state of Iowa, eclipsing the previous mark of 1,017 when Drake faced Stanford last season.
After both teams went scoreless in the first half, freshman Justin Morrow (Cleveland, Ohio/St. Ignatius) played the ball to his classmate Samba and he scored to give the Irish a 1-0 advantage with just over 26 minutes remaining. Samba, who was playing his first game in a Notre Dame uniform, collected three shots on the night, which tied a team-high. Sophomores Bright Dike (Edmond, Okla./Edmond North) and Matt Besler (Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley West) also notched three shots in the match. Notre Dame out-shot Drake, 19-12, while the Bulldogs held an edge in corner kicks, 6-5.
“We tried to mix things up tonight by playing different guys so we could get a look at different people,” said Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark following the match. “We had some positives, but there are also things that we still need to work on. I thought the three freshmen (Samba, Morrow and Michael Thomas) played well.”
Sophomore Andrew Quinn (Silver Spring, Md./DeMatha) started in goal for the Irish and played the first half. He made three saves during the match as did senior Chris Cahill (Louisville, Ky./DeSales), who played the second half.
The Bulldogs threatened to score twice. Drake senior Ryan Samuelson had a shot inside the box deflect off the outstretched hands of Quinn at the 36-minute mark. Late in the match, Drake’s Alex Bollinger had a shot stopped by Cahill.
“It was a good atmosphere to play in,” stated Clark. “The game was good because it kept us honest right up until the end. I saw some good things, but hopefully we step it up a notch when we play again.”
Notre Dame returns home to face St. Francis (Pa.) in exhibition action on Monday, Aug. 21 at 7:00 p.m. (ET). All proceeds from the contest will benefit GrassrootSoccer, an international AIDS awareness and education organization that reaches youth in Africa through soccer clinics. Admission to the match is $1, with further donations welcome.
That game will be the final tune-up for the Irish before they begin regular-season play on Friday, Aug. 25 in the Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament at Alumni Field. Notre Dame meets UAB at 7:30 p.m. in day one of the tournament and will face No. 8 Creighton on Sunday, Aug. 27 at 2:00 p.m. in the final match of the two-day event.
To stay up to date on the 2006 Notre Dame men’s soccer season, please log on to und.com or call the official Notre Dame athletics hotline at (574) 631-3000.
#15 Notre Dame 0 1 – 1
Drake 0 0 – 0
ND: Tamba Samba (unassisted) 63:32