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Michigan knocks 2nd Irish squad from tourney

Pat Leonard | Tuesday, December 2, 2003

What secret formula does Michigan have?

Its football team trounced Notre Dame 38-0. Then its women’s soccer team ended the magical season for the Irish in a 1-0 defeat, and now this.

After advancing further into the NCAA tournament than any team in program history, the Notre Dame men’s soccer team fell 4-3 in penalty kicks to 12-seed Michigan in a third round match Sunday at Alumni field.

The teams ended regulation deadlocked at 1-1. Wolverine goalkeeper Peter Dzubay stopped penalty kicks by senior forwards Justin Detter and Devon Prescod, and a goal by Mike White – who also had the only Michigan goal in regulation – on the fifth penalty kick ended a historical playoff run by the fifth-seeded Irish.

“It’s not a loss, it’s a tie,” coach Bobby Clark said, since the defeat in penalty kicks does not appear as a loss in the standings. “But we had chances to win the game. We can blame all sorts of things, but soccer’s like that. When you have knockout stages of competition in soccer, some days it can be the other team’s day.”

The Irish (16-3-4) got on the board first when senior captain Greg Martin assisted on a goal by Detter at the 16:57 mark. The goal was Detter’s 14th on the season.

Michigan then tied the game at 1-1 with White’s goal at 20:11. The Wolverines played a fierce and aggressive style as they tried to take the lead, fouling the Irish 33 times to Notre Dame’s eight.

“They were disruptive,” Clark said. “It was a competitive game, and I was most proud when they were having fouls [that] our guys never once lost their discipline or composure. That was satisfying to see as a coach.”

Both teams would stay scoreless through the remainder of regulation and both overtime periods, even though Notre Dame managed 24 shots to Michigan’s total of 11.

Wolverines’ goalkeeper Peter Dzubay turned in a strong performance with nine saves. Irish goalkeeper Chris Sawyer made three.

“If you take away the first half, we outshot them 16-3,” Clark said. “But their goalie made several excellent saves.”

Michigan seemed to lay back in the two 10-minute overtime periods and play for the penalty kicks, Clark said.

The penalty shots came after 110 intense minutes of soccer, and the Irish seniors were put to the test. Midfielders Filippo Chillemi, Chad Riley and Martin all converted for Notre Dame, and Michigan’s Kevin Taylor, Adam Bruh and Brian Popeney scored as well.

On the fourth shot, Dzubay turned away Prescod, and Wolverine sophomore Michael O’Reilly hit his shot over the crossover to keep the score knotted at 3-3.

Dzubay, however, made his second consecutive save when he blocked the attempt by Detter, the Irish leading scorer and a first team all-Big East selection. White blasted a shot past Sawyer for the Michigan victory.

Michigan will either host Coastal Carolina or travel to Santa Clara for its next tournament game in the Elite Eight.

For Notre Dame, this season has been a strong and memorable one. Clark, who has been around soccer for a long time, said he recognizes how special this team has been.

“It was a fabulous season for the team, but winning isn’t the most important thing,” Clark said. “It’s trying to win, and our effort was tremendous. This has been a fabulous group to work with, speaking for myself and the assistants.

“The only thing I regret is that I don’t have another two weeks to work with the team.”

Notre Dame reached the third round by defeating Wisconsin-Milwaukee 4-1 in the second round Wednesday night.

The game was tied 1-1 at half, but goals by Prescod, Martin and Detter put the game away. Detter had two goals in the game, his twelfth and thirteenth on the season.

Notre Dame outshot Wisconsin-Milwaukee 18-7, ending Sawyer’s five-game shut out streak with a penalty kick goal.