Oct. 7, 2004
The ninth-ranked University of Notre Dame men’s soccer team continued its best start to a season in 16 years with its fourth consecutive shutout on Thursday night, defeating Pittsburgh 3-0 at Alumni Field. The Irish improve to 8-2-1 on the season and 4-1-1 in the BIG EAST Conference, good enough to assume first place in the standings. The Panthers fall to 3-3-3 and 1-2-1 in conference play.
Junior forward Tony Megna was the offensive star for the Irish once again, netting two goals to post his second straight two-goal performance. Megna started the scoring at 38:06, picking up a loose ball at the top of the Pittsburgh box and driving in a shot from 19 yards.
Megna’s second goal was the last of the contest at 83:08, as he tapped in a shot attempt by Luke Boughen from an oblique angle, just getting the ball into the left side of the goal. Boughen and freshman Joe Lapira picked up assists on the play.
Boughen also assisted on Notre Dame’s second goal on a great combination play with senior Christopher High. As Boughen played with the ball on the right side of the field, High caught the Panther defense flatfooted while Boughen played a perfect cross to him. High headed in the great touch from 12 yards out, nabbing his second goal of the season at 80:31.
Megna was active the entire evening, leading the Irish with three shots (all on goal) while pushing his season goal total to a team-best five.
Notre Dame’s defense was strong once again, holding Pittsburgh to six shots with just one coming in the second half. Goalkeeper Chris Sawyer was asked to make just one dangerous save, snuffing out a shot from Pittsburgh’s Keeyan Young with two minutes to go in the first half.
Sawyer pushed his scoreless minute streak to 363 as Notre Dame has picked up four shutouts in four games.
The Irish have matched the 1997 season for the best BIG EAST start in school history, when Notre Dame opened conference play with four wins in its first five conference games (4-0-1). Notre Dame has never won five of its first six BIG EAST games.
Notre Dame will continue BIG EAST play on Sunday, Oct. 10, when Syracuse visits Alumni Field at 1:00 p.m.