Freshman midfielder Matt Besler netted the penalty kick that gave Notre Dame a 4-2 shootout victory over Syracuse on Wednesday night.

Notre Dame Advances In BIG EAST Tournament On Penalty Kicks Against Syracuse

Nov. 2, 2005

Box Score

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Following 110 minutes of scoreless action at Alumni Field on Wednesday night, the Notre Dame men’s soccer team topped Syracuse 4-2 in penalty kicks to advance to the quarterfinals of the BIG EAST Championship. The match is officially scored as a tie. The Fighting Irish will now take on St. John’s in Jamaica, N.Y. on Saturday, Nov. 5 at 7:30 p.m. (ET). The Irish are the third seed from the Blue Division, while the Red Storm are the second seed from the Red Division.

Notre Dame (10-6-3) held a 30-17 advantage in shots during the contest yet could not get any attempts into the back of the net. Sophomore forward Joe Lapira (Lake Charles, La./Saint Louis Catholic) kept firing away for the Irish and had a few good looks among his game-high 11 shots.

Syracuse (7-8-4) held an 11-8 advantage in shots during the first half, yet Notre Dame would have an 11-3 edge in the second half plus an 11-1 advantage during the two overtime periods. Notre Dame’s Chris Cahill (Louisville, Ky./DeSales) collected five saves on the night to register his seventh shutout of the season. Syracuse’s Robert Cavicchia had six saves on the night.

Shootout Recap:

• Notre Dame’s Justin McGeeney went first and put the Irish up 1-0.
• Syracuse responded with a goal from Pete Rowley past Cahill to make it 1-1.
• Ian Etherington put the Irish up 2-1.
• The Orange’s Brad Peetoom sent his shot of the crossbar so the Irish still led 2-1 after two rounds.
• Notre Dame’s Kurt Martin put his shot away to make it a 3-1 advantage.
• Mike McCallion sailed his shot over the crossbar so the Irish were still up 3-1 after three rounds.
• Joe Lapira had his shot saved by Cavicchia to temporarily preserve the outcome.
• Syracuse’s Isaac Collings sent in his must-have goal to make it 3-2 Irish.
• Freshman Matt Besler tallied the goal that clinched the shootout victory for the Irish, 4-2.

Notre Dame was eliminated by Seton Hall on penalty kicks, 8-7, in last year’s BIG EAST tournament.

“We had a great performance in the second half of the first half and all during the second half,” stated Irish head coach Bobby Clark. “We had to suffer through penalty kicks and it was a little disappointing because I thought we deserved to win. But it’s still nice to advance.”

The Irish will now battle St. John’s for the right to go to Storrs, Conn. for the semifinals of the BIG EAST Championship. The Red Storm defeated the Irish, 2-1, earlier this season at St. John’s on Sept. 16.

“St. John’s will be a huge challenge for us,” said Clark. “It’s a game that we wanted to get back after we played out there earlier this year and now we have the chance to get it back.”

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Syracuse 0 0 0 0 – 0
Notre Dame 0 0 0 0 – 0

Notre Dame advances in penalty kicks 4-2

Shots: SU 11-3-1-2 – 17, ND 8-11-7-4 – 30 Corner Kicks: SU 8-0-1-0 – 9, ND 3-1-0-0 – 4 Saves: SU 6 (Robert Cavicchia), ND 5 (Chris Cahill 5) Fouls: SU 16, ND 11 Offsides: SU 1, ND 1