Aug. 25, 2008
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The third-ranked Notre Dame men’s soccer team played No. 16 Illinois-Chicago to a scoreless draw on Monday evening in front of 2,053 fans at Alumni Field. No overtime periods were played in the contest, which was the second and final preseason exhibition game for the Fighting Irish.
Both teams had opportunities to score in the first half. The first chance came from Illinois-Chicago just five minutes into the match as a blast was put on goal that was saved by Notre Dame senior goalkeeper Andrew Quinn (Silver Spring, Md./DeMatha). Quinn started and played the entire first half and made two saves.
The Fighting Irish responded with good looks from seniors Alex Yoshinaga (San Diego, Calif./Granite Hills) and Matt Besler (Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley West). Yoshinaga put a hard shot on goal at the 37:15 mark of the first half, yet Flames goalkeeper Jovan Bubonja was positioned well to make the save. Over six minutes later, Besler gathered the ball in the box off a corner kick and sent the shot just over the crossbar.
With just over 30 minutes remaining in the first half, Illinois-Chicago’s Charlie Trout hit the near post with a shot from the left side. A diving header from Phillip Mitchell nearly put the Flames on the board in the 35th minute, yet Quinn made the save.
Notre Dame out shot Illinois-Chicago 5-4 in the first half and 13-6 for the match. The Fighting Irish also held a 6-2 edge in corner kicks. Five of the Irish corner kicks came in the second half.
Junior Philip Tuttle (Hooksett, N.H./Brewster Academy) replaced Quinn in goal for the second half. Tuttle also made two saves for the Irish.
“Even though there were no goals, I thought it was a very entertaining game,” said Irish head coach Bobby Clark. “They hit a couple posts and we also hit a couple posts. Both (Andrew) Quinn and (Philip) Tuttle did very well. They are both looking good. They’ve done well this preseason.”
Notre Dame held a decisive 8-2 advantage in shots in the second stanza, yet none of them could find the back of the net. The Irish showed good fitness as they pressured late into the match and it nearly paid off as freshman midfielder Brendan King (Naperville, Ill./Edison Academic Center (Fla.)) hit the near post off a nice feed from sophomore Jeb Brovsky (Lakewood, Colo./Green Mountain). The game nearly went in the win column for the Irish in the 90th minute as senior forward Bright Dike (Edmond, Okla./Edmond) put a hard blast on frame that was saved. Dike and King both had a game-high three shots.
“I felt the second half was a much better situation than the first half,” stated Clark. “We were very hesitant in the first half. I thought we pressured much better in the second half. Our two wide midfielders (King and Josh Thiermann) were terrific in the second half. They got at them and made things happen.”
Admission to the match was $1 with all proceeds benefiting Grassroot Soccer, an international AIDS awareness and education organization that reaches youth in Africa through soccer clinics. Further donations were welcome and the final amount will be matched dollar-for-dollar by a Notre Dame soccer alumnus, who wishes to remain anonymous, along with the Notre Dame men’s soccer camp.
Notre Dame will open the regular season against No. 12 Akron on Friday, Aug. 29 at the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic in Bloomington, Ind. Game time is slated for 5:00 p.m. (ET). The Irish will square off against Duke on Sunday, Aug. 31 at 11:30 a.m. during the second day of the tournament.
#16 Illinois-Chicago 0 0 – 0
#3 Notre Dame 0 0 – 0