Sept. 23, 2005
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The 18th-ranked Notre Dame men’s soccer team ended up on the right side of another one-goal decision as the Irish downed Louisville 2-1 in BIG EAST action on Friday night in front of 2,136 fans at Alumni Field. Notre Dame overcame a 1-0 deficit when midfielders Alex Yoshinaga and Ian Etherington each netted goals in the final 15 minutes of the match. Forward Tony Megna assisted on both Irish goals. With the win, the Fighting Irish improve to 5-2-0 overall and 2-1-0 in BIG EAST play.
Neither team could find the back of the net in the first half. Notre Dame played the ball over the top to try and present some opportunities yet nothing materialized. The Irish would out-shoot the Cardinals 4-3 in the opening half but the score would be knotted at zero following the first 45 minutes of play.
Louisville (3-4-1, BE 1-2-1) struck first with a score in the 59th minute as they took advantage of one of their few opportunities of the match. Forward Frank Jonke recovered a ball from the Irish defense and played it to midfielder David Guzman, who beat Notre Dame goalkeeper Chris Cahill (Louisville, Ky./DeSales) one-on-one for the tally.
The Fighting Irish continued to attack after the Louisville goal just as they had all game. Notre Dame finally broke through in the 76th minute when Megna (Middleton, Wis./Middleton) played the ball to Joe Lapira (St. Charles, La./Saint Louis Catholic) and he dished it to Yoshinaga (San Diego, Calif./Granite Hills) who gathered it at the top of the box and blasted it past a rushing Louisville goalkeeper Steven DeGeorge. DeGeorge did get a hand on the ball but it was not enough to stop the shot.
After the equalizer, the Irish continued to attack the Cardinals and keep them on their heels. The pressure paid off again as Megna did a give-and-go with Etherington (Temecula, Calif./Chaparral) and the junior midfielder sent another shot of DeGeorge’s hands and into the net to from 10 yards out put the Irish up with exactly nine minutes left to play.
“This was a very nice follow-up to our game at Syracuse,” stated Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark following the match. “We had a lot of good energy tonight. The team played very well and they showed a lot of character as they came from behind against a very good Louisville team.”
Each goal was the first of the season for both Yoshinaga and Etherington. The assist gave Lapira his fifth point of the season, which ties him with junior midfielder Nate Norman (Rochester, Mich./Rochester Adams) for the team lead.
Notre Dame out-shot Louisville 12-2 in the second half and the Irish also had a 6-2 advantage in corner kicks on the night. Cahill collected one save during the match.
“We had to show patience and confidence after we were down and we did that,” Clark stated. “Those were very good goals. We had a lot of good combination plays tonight. Those were good goals to get and in the end it was a comfortable win for us.”
The 2-1 victory marked Notre Dame’s fourth one-goal win of the season and their second in a row after downing Syracuse 1-0 last Sunday. Six of Notre Dame’s seven matches so far this season have been decided by one goal. A 4-1win over No. 7 SMU in the season-opener was the only contest not decided by a single goal.
Notre Dame returns to action on Sunday as Cincinnati takes to the pitch at Alumni Field for a 2:00 p.m. match-up versus the Irish. Stay up-to-date on the Notre Dame men’s soccer team by logging on to und.com or by calling the Notre Dame Athletics Hotline at (574) 631-3000.
Louisville 0 1 – 1
#18 Notre Dame 0 2 – 2
Shots: UL 3-2 – 5, ND 4-12 – 16
Corner Kicks: UL 2-0 – 2, ND 3-3 – 6
Saves: UL 3 (Steven DeGeorge 3), ND 1 (Chris Cahill 1)
Fouls: UL 15, ND 7
Offsides: UL 1, ND 0