Sept. 27, 2009
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – A late flurry from Notre Dame could not produce the equalizer and the 21st-ranked Fighting Irish men’s soccer team fell to Cincinnati, 1-0, in BIG EAST play on Sunday afternoon at Alumni Stadium. Mark Konitsch netted the game winner for the Bearcats in the 50th minute.
Notre Dame (4-4-1, 2-2-0) produced 11 corner kicks in the second half compared to none for Cincinnati (6-3-0, 2-2-0). The Irish also enjoyed a 9-4 advantage in shots in the second period. The Fighting Irish kept the pressure on until the final seconds ticked off the clock. The last gasp was a Michael Thomas (Olathe, Kan./St. Thomas Aquinas) shot that was saved by a Bearcat defender.
Thomas nearly scored with 13:16 left in regulation, yet his free kick from the top of the 18-yard box was punched over the crossbar by Cincinnati goalkeeper Matt Williams. Williams had four saves in the match, while Notre Dame’s Andrew Quinn (Silver Spring, Md./DeMatha) also had four stops.
“Their goalkeeper (Matt Williams) came up very big for them,” said Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark. “Cincinnati is a good team and you have to give them credit. They’re a well organized team and they stayed firm. As I always say, a game like this can either be a stumbling block or a steppingstone for us. Hopefully it’ll be a steppingstone for us for the rest of the season.”
The Fighting Irish came to life once they surrendered the Konitsch goal with 49:12 left in the second half. Notre Dame produced some excellent looks in the 56th minute. The first opportunity was a John Schaefer (Troy, Mich./Detroit Jesuit) header that was saved by a Cincinnati defender who was positioned at the far post. Steven Perry (Edmond, Okla./Bishop McGuinness) followed with a header that deflected off the near post. The final attempt was a Josh Thiermann (Stoughton, Wis./Stoughton) shot that sailed wide of the net.
“I felt we were very sluggish until we were down a goal,” stated Clark. “After we lost a goal, it was like a wake-up call. That was disappointing because it clearly showed we had the capability to handle the game. We must take a look at this and figure out why it’s happening because it’s been a trend in the four Sunday games that we’ve played so far.”
Cincinnati held a 7-6 edge in shots in the first half in addition to gaining five more corner kicks (6-1) in the period.
Notre Dame nearly scored in the first minute of the match when Bright Dike (Edmond, Okla./Edmond North) headed a Dave Donohue (Reading, Mass./Cushing Academy) free kick just over the crossbar. Three minutes later, Dike got his head on the ball once again, but Williams saved the shot. Dike had a game-high four shots.
The Bearcats threatened midway through the first half but Quinn came off his line to stop an attempt from Tristan Watson.
With just under 16 minutes remaining in the first half, Notre Dame’s Jeb Brovsky (Lakewood, Colo./Green Mountain) lobbed a shot over Williams, yet the ball was cleared away from the goal by a Bearcat defender. The Irish nearly connected again when Perry took a pass from Bilal Duckett (Peachtree City, Ga./McIntosh) and sent a shot across the mouth of the goal and wide of the far post with 7:19 left in the stanza.
The Fighting Irish return to action with a home BIG EAST showdown versus Seton Hall on Friday, Oct. 2. Game time is slated for 7:00 p.m. (ET).
Alumni Stadium â€¢ Notre Dame, Ind.
Sept. 27, 2009
Cincinnati (6-3-0, 2-2-0) 0 1 – 1
#21 Notre Dame (4-4-1, 2-2-0) 0 0 – 0
UC: Mark Konitsch (Nick Weightman) 49:12
Shots: UC 7-4 – 11, ND 6-9 – 15
Corner Kicks: UC 6-0 – 6, ND 1-11 – 12
Saves: UC 7 (Matt Williams – 90:00 – 0 ga – 4 svs – W; 3 team svs); ND 4 (Andrew Quinn – 90:00 – 1 ga – 4 svs – L)
Fouls: UC 8, ND 10
Offsides: UC 0, ND 1