Oct. 17, 2009
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – An Alex Silva goal in the 48th minute was the only score of the day as West Virginia topped No. 22 Notre Dame, 1-0, in BIG EAST Blue Division men’s soccer action on Saturday afternoon at Alumni Stadium.
Notre Dame (7-6-1, 5-3-0) controlled much of the match. The Fighting Irish out shot the Mountaineers 12-1 in the second half and 18-3 for the game. Notre Dame also had 15 corner kicks compared to three from West Virginia (6-2-5, 5-1-2).
The Irish nearly cracked the scoring column less than 10 minutes into the match as senior midfielder Michael Thomas (Olathe, Kan./St. Thomas Aquinas) sent a free kick on frame from 20 yards out, yet West Virginia goalkeeper Zach Johnson punched the ball away.
Notre Dame had another good look with just under 30 minutes left in the first half as senior forward Bright Dike (Edmond, Okla./Edmond North) sent a Brendan King (Naperville, Ill./Edison Academic Center (Fla.)) corner kick to the near post, but West Virginia’s Shadow Sebele cleared the ball off the line.
The Fighting Irish had an 11-1 advantage in corner kicks in the first half in addition to producing four more shots (6-2). All six of Notre Dame’s shots in the first stanza were on goal, yet the match was still scoreless at the intermission.
“I don’t know when I’ve seen more effort from our team,” said Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark. “It was as a complete of a performance as we’ve put in, with everything except scoring a goal. We had opportunities. To be fair to West Virginia, they defended very stoutly. They hung on and fought, kicked and scraped and somehow pulled it off. Full marks to them.”
West Virginia’s only shot of the second half resulted in Silva’s goal. The sequence began with a Mountaineer corner kick and the ball was still loose near the goal and Silva sent a low shot into the left corner from eight yards out.
Notre Dame continued to pressure and threaten throughout the second half, yet could not find the back of the net. With 14:57 left in the match, Dike sent a blast on goal from the top of the 18-yard box and Johnson made a diving save to his left. Dike had a game-high three shots on goal. Johnson had eight saves on the day, while Notre Dame’s Philip Tuttle (Hooksett, N.H./Brewster Academy) had one stop.
“We out shot them 12-1 in the second half, yet the only one that counted was their shot,” added Clark. “That was pretty incredible. But that’s soccer sometimes. Soccer can be a cruel game.”
A three-game road trip now awaits the Fighting Irish. Notre Dame begins the trek at Georgetown on Wednesday, Oct. 21. The BIG EAST Blue Division match against the Hoyas is slated for a 3:00 p.m. (ET) start.
Alumni Stadium â€¢ Notre Dame, Ind.
Oct. 17, 2009
West Virginia (6-2-5, 5-1-2) 0 1 – 1
#22 Notre Dame (7-6-1, 5-3-0) 0 0 – 0
WVU: Alex Silva (unassisted) 47:48
Shots: WV 2-1 – 3, ND 6-12 – 18
Corner Kicks: WV 1-2 – 3, ND 11-4 – 15
Saves: WV 11 (Zach Johnson – 90:00 – 0 ga – 8 svs – W; 3 team saves); ND 1 (Philip Tuttle – 90:00 – 1 ga – 1 sv – L)
Fouls: WV 9, ND 10
Offsides: WV 1, ND 0