MENS SOCCER: Continuing their winning ways
Pat Leonard | Monday, September 22, 2003
Devon Prescod notched his fourth goal of the season Sunday as Notre Dame knocked off Big East opponent West Virginia 1-0 at Alumni field.
The win marks the second consecutive victory for the Irish after defeating in-state rival Indiana by a goal in double overtime Thursday night.
Prescod scored with 5:46 remaining in the first half against a Mountaineer defense that had not given up a goal in its four previous games. Prescod won a free ball in the box and drilled a low shot past goalkeeper Nick Noble.
“They play a 4-5-1, with just one forward,” coach Bobby Clark said. “If you don’t get the goals early, you’ll keep them hanging around.”
The Irish out shot the Mountaineers 16-4 and had numerous chances to put the game away. Defender Kevin Goldthwaite hit the joint of the crossbar on a shot, and forward Justin Detter flicked a Nate Norman crossing pass off the crossbar. Other shots sailed just over the net. West Virginia’s Noble made eight saves.
“We’re doing our best not to get frustrated on offense,” captain and center-midfielder Greg Martin said. “I thought Detter played very well. [Tony] Megna started and played well for us. The forwards are all doing a good job. The goals are going to come.”
West Virginia brought pressure late in the game, inserting goalkeeper Adam Shutler with 3:36 remaining to push up and join the offense on crucial plays inside the Irish box.
“If you let them hang around, then in the last four or five minutes they become very direct,” Clark said. “But it’s important that our team did not give them any chances today.”
Clark was pleased with his team’s dominance.
“I thought we controlled play from start to finish,” he said. “We could have won by a lot more, but I guess you get the same amount of points for a 1-0 win as you do for a 5-0 win, and a win’s a win.”
Midfielders Martin and junior Luke Boughen made smart decisions distributing the ball.
Senior outside midfielder Chad Riley won a significant number of tackles, and defenders Jack Stewart, Kevin Richards and Goldthwaite were too fast and too aggressive for the West Virginia attackers.
“In the first 30 minutes, we just tried to overwhelm them with our work ethic,” Martin said. “[West Virginia] is a team that has won its last four games and given up no goals. I think this is another step in our team play.”
Notre Dame is 1-1 in Big East conference play. The Irish lost to St. John’s earlier in the season.
u Forward Justin Detter and midfielder Greg Martin felt “under the weather” but still played the entire game.
“There’s a little bug going around and a couple of us weren’t feeling too good, so we’re glad we could come out and play the way we did,” Martin said.
Freshman forward Ian Etherington saw significant action for the second straight home game, at one point taking a through pass and rocketing a shot past the right side of the net.