Oct. 28, 2006
PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Adam Sternberger netted two goals, including the game-winner in double-overtime, to give Rutgers a 2-1 victory over No. 8 Notre Dame in quarterfinal action of the BIG EAST Men’s Soccer Championship on Saturday evening at windy Yurcak Field. The loss drops the Fighting Irish to 13-5-2 on the season, while the Scarlet Knights improve to 10-6-1 with the win.
Notre Dame got on the board first as sophomore midfielder Cory Rellas (Plano, Texas/Plano West) netted a goal in the 35th minute. It was his second goal of the season. The Fighting Irish out shot the Scarlet Knights 9-4 in the first half and would take a 1-0 lead into the locker room.
“It was a very, very windy night and I actually thought we played better into the wind,” said Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark. “We opened the game well going into the wind and Cory Rellas had a fantastic goal. He picked up the ball from 25 yards out and hit a fabulous shot. I felt we kind of tried to hold on with the wind at our back.”
Rutgers tallied the equalizer in the 80th minute when Sternberger scored off a Kyle Grato free kick. Neither team could find the back of the net during the rest of regulation or the first 10-minute overtime period.
As the match was entering the 106th minute of play, Sternberger tallied the game-winner off a Zach Simi corner kick to advance Rutgers into the semifinals of the BIG EAST Tournament. The Scarlet Knights are the No. 2 seed from the league’s Red Division, while the Irish are the third seed from the Blue Division.
“It’s always disappointing to lose, but we will get a break now before the NCAA Tournament,” stated Clark. “We’ve been playing two games a week since August so it’ll be nice to get a little break both academically and with soccer.”
The Irish held a 13-12 edge in shots for the match, yet could not register a shot in either overtime period. Rutgers had a 5-3 advantage in corner kicks for the game. Notre Dame senior goalkeeper Chris Cahill (Louisville, Ky./DeSales) made five saves on the night, while Matt VanOekel had three stops for the Scarlet Knights.
The Irish will wait to hear their NCAA Tournament destination when selections are announced on Monday, Nov. 6.
To stay up to date on the 2006 Notre Dame men’s soccer season, please log on to und.com or call the official Notre Dame athletics hotline at (574) 631-3000.
#8/8 Notre Dame (13-5-2) 1-0-0-0 – 1
Rutgers (10-6-1) 0-1-0-1 – 2
ND: Cory Rellas (unassisted) 34:55, RU: Adam Sternberger (Kyle Grato) 79:32, RU: Adam Sternberger (Zach Simi, Tomislav Barisic) 105:00
Shots: ND 9-4-0-0 – 13, RU 4-4-1-3 – 12
Corner Kicks: ND 2-1-0-0 – 3, RU 2-1-0-2 – 5
Saves: ND 5 (Chris Cahill 5), RU 3 (Matt VanOekel 3)
Fouls: ND 9, RU 11
Offsides: ND 0, RU 4