Aug. 22, 2011
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Ninth-ranked Notre Dame played No. 6 Creighton to a 2-2 draw in exhibition men’s soccer action on Monday night in front of 2,444 fans at Alumni Stadium. The Irish staged two comebacks as seniors Brendan King and Aaron Maund both netted equalizers.
The match was tied 1-1 at halftime after both squads converted penalty kicks in the opening stanza.
Creighton’s opportunity occurred in the 33rd minute after Jose Gomez was tripped just inside the 18-yard box and he then placed his penalty kick into the lower left side of the netting.
Notre Dame responded with one minute left in the first period after sophomore forward Harrison Shipp was tackled inside the 18-yard box. King, a midfielder, deposited his penalty kick try.
“I was very happy with the way we played in most of the first half,” said Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark. “I felt they (Creighton) stepped up the pressure in the second half and we struggled a little bit just to connect passes. I feel we can do a lot better than that. This was a very good test for us because a lot of teams coming up on our schedule will pressure us hard.”
The BlueJays went back on top in the 76th minute when Gomez notched his second goal of the match. Eric Miller assisted on the play as he sent the pass from near the right endline and Gomez scored from close range.
The Fighting Irish kept attacking and it paid off in the 84th minute as Maund corralled a ball sent into the box by Adam Mena and scored from 10 yards out.
Notre Dame scored on its only two shot-on-goal attempts of the evening. Creighton had four shots on goal. Senior goalkeeper Will Walsh played all 90 minutes and made two saves for the Irish. Notre Dame had three corner kicks compared to two for Creighton.
“They (Creighton) are a top-five team in the country,” stated Clark. “They are definitely a team that will be in the hunt for a national championship at the end of the season. It was good to test ourselves against them, because we feel like we can also be there at the end of the season.”
All proceeds from tonight’s match benefitted Grassroot Soccer, an international non-governmental organization that uses the power of soccer to educate, inspire and mobilize communities against the spread of HIV in Africa. Clark’s eldest son, Tommy, is the founder of Grassroot Soccer.
“To be able to publicize it (Grassroot Soccer) and raise some money for it is great,” added Clark. “It was a fantastic crowd and we hope they support us throughout the season, especially on Saturday when we open the season against Indiana.”
Notre Dame will begin regular-season play Saturday with a home showdown against instate rival Indiana. The Irish and the 15th-ranked Hoosiers will square off at 7:30 p.m. (ET) at Alumni Stadium.
All 2011 Notre Dame home matches that are not televised can be seen live on UND.com. The streaming broadcasts are free of charge. Log on to UND.com to stay up to date on the Fighting Irish men’s soccer team throughout the 2011 campaign.
To purchase a season pass or single-game tickets for Fighting Irish soccer, call the Murnane Family Athletics Ticket Office at (574) 631-7356, visit the tickets page at the official Notre Dame athletics web site, UND.com (UND.com/tickets) or stop by the Murnane Family Athletics Ticket Office windows inside the new Rosenthal Atrium at Purcell Pavilion (entrance via Gate 9). Tickets also can be purchased at Alumni Stadium on gamedays. For group discount pricing information call Rita Baxter in the Notre Dame Ticket Office at (574) 631-4165.
Alumni Stadium – Notre Dame, Ind.
August 22, 2011 (Exhibition)
#6 Creighton 1 1 – 2
#9 Notre Dame 1 1 – 2
Shots: CU 6-5 – 11, ND 2-3 – 5
Corner Kicks: CU 2-0 – 2, ND 2-1 – 3
Goalkeepers: CU: Brian Holt – 0 SV, 2 GA, 90:00, T; ND: Will Walsh – 2 SV, 2 GA, 90:00, T
Fouls: CU 16, ND 14
Offsides: CU 1, ND 4