Nov. 22, 2005
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The Notre Dame men’s soccer team used a stellar second half performance to defeat Indiana 2-0 in the second round of the NCAA Championship on Tuesday night at Bill Armstrong Stadium. The Fighting Irish used goals by Justin McGeeney and Joe Lapira to secure the upset over the Hoosiers, who were the two-time defending NCAA champion and the No. 3 seed in this year’s tournament. Notre Dame will now travel to Clemson to take on the Tigers in the Round of 16 on Sunday at 2:00 p.m. This matches the furthest that the Irish have ever advanced in the NCAA Championship as they did so two other times, in 1996 and 2003.
Notre Dame (12-7-3) used solid goalkeeping by junior Chris Cahill to keep the Irish in the match despite the Hoosiers threatening early. Indiana (13-3-6) had several first half opportunities but could not convert. The Hoosiers out-shot the Irish 9-6 in the first half and 16-12 for the game, yet Cahill made six saves on the night to go along with two team saves.
“We have beaten Indiana before in the regular season but it was nice to make a statement in a game that meant a lot to both teams,” said Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark. “They (Indiana) are a terrific team, let’s be honest. We take a lot of pride in coming here. It takes two teams to make a good game and I thought it was a very exciting game today. I think a lot of people in the soccer world will look up and take notice to this win.”
The Irish came out of the locker room looking like a new team in the second half. Just over ten minutes into the second period, junior midfielder Ian Etherington sent a cross to McGeeney who headed it towards the far post and into the back of the net to put the Irish up 1-0.
“I came into halftime and I told my teammates, especially Greg (Dalby) and the guys in the back that if they could hold on, we would win this game,” said McGeeney. “It was the first time that I’ve looked around and seen smiles on our faces that we had the confidence to win this game. We came out and put the pressure on them.”
It did not take long for Notre Dame to notch another tally as senior defender Ben Crouse sent a long pass to Lapira and he chipped it over the Indiana goalkeeper Chris Munroe and into the net for a 2-0 lead in the 62nd minute. Lapira leads the team with with seven goals on the year.
A stunned Indiana crowd would witness the Fighting Irish play solid defense the rest of the way to preserve the 2-0 advantage and claim arguably the biggest win in program history. The Hoosiers had won 19 straight NCAA Tournament games at home and they were 45-3 at Armstrong Stadium during the tournament. This marked Notre Dame’s fourth-ever win against Indiana in 26 chances. Indiana defeated Notre Dame, 3-0, earlier this season on Oct. 26 at Alumni Field. The Hoosiers had been 2-0 against the Fighting Irish in NCAA games prior to Tuesday night.
In 2003, the Irish advanced to the Round of 16 for the first time since the NCAA Championship field was expanded to 48 teams. That year they were eliminated by Michigan on penalty kicks, 4-3, following a 1-1 tie. In 1996, Notre Dame made it to the Sweet 16 after a first round 1-0 upset win at UNC-Greensboro. The Irish were defeated 1-0 at UNC-Charlotte in the Round of 16.
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Notre Dame 0 2 – 2
#5/7 Indiana 0 0 – 0
Shots: ND 6-6 – 12, IU 9-7 – 16,
Corner Kicks: ND 4-1 – 5, IU 1-5 – 6
Saves: ND 8 (Chris Cahill 6, Team 2), IU 3 (Chris Munroe 3)
Fouls: ND 11, IU 11
Offsides: ND 1, IU 5