Mens Soccer: Irish pound Panthers on road
Justin Schuver | Monday, October 6, 2003
Notre Dame made a statement early and then added an exclamation point at the end as the Irish defeated Pittsburgh on the road Sunday in a key Big East game.
The No. 4 Irish (7-1-3, 3-1-1 in Big East) scored less than three minutes into the game and added some insurance later to come away with a 2-0 win against the Panthers (3-8-0, 1-4-0).
The Irish came into the game having lost to the Panthers in the last two matches against the teams. Notre Dame’s last win against Pittsburgh came on Oct. 13, 1996.
“I thought this was a very big win,” senior defender Kevin Richards said. “We haven’t beaten Pitt in a while, so it was a big win for the program.”
Coming off a 1-1 tie to Syracuse Thursday despite dominating the Orangemen offensively, the Irish were hoping to come away with a much-needed road win. They got it in their fifth shutout of the season.
For the second straight game, Notre Dame goalkeeper Chris Sawyer only needed to make two saves in the contest. His Pittsburgh counterpart Justin Lowery had to make nine.
“Shutting a team out is definitely one of the most important goals for this team,” Richards said. “We figure that once we’ve scored one goal, no team should be able to beat us.”
The Irish outshot the Panthers 13-5 in the contest, and led in corner kicks 8-2, again dominating the offensive stats. This time, however, they also ended up leading on the scoreboard, thanks to seniors Justin Detter and Chad Riley.
Riley had a goal and an assist, to lead the team with three points.
Notre Dame scored its first goal of the game just three minutes in when Riley’s corner kick was headed down by Kevin Goldthwaite. Goldthwaite headed the ball right to Detter’s foot, and the senior forward kicked it into the net for his fourth goal of the season.
“It’s especially big on the road to score the first goal, because it kind of demoralizes the home team,” Richards said. “It really takes the crowd out of the game.”
The Irish maintained their one-goal lead into the second half, until Riley put the game away for his team in the 62nd minute.
Riley took a long shot from over 20 yards out and knocked it past Lowery. It was the senior’s first goal of the season, while his assist on Detter’s goal was his sixth of the year.
Fellow seniors Greg Martin and Richards assisted on Riley’s goal.