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Leaders of the Pack

Matt Puglisi | Monday, September 20, 2004

Now that’s more like it.Freshman forward Alex Yoshinaga snapped a 235-minute Irish scoring drought with his first of two goals as No. 14 Notre Dame beat up on Big East rival Georgetown, 4-1, Saturday night at Alumni Field.Prior to their four-goal performance against the Hoyas, the Irish had experienced some difficulty converting prime scoring opportunities.Notre Dame (4-1-1, 1-0-0 in Big East) took 34 shots against Evansville Sept. 10 before finding the back of the net and failed to score against both Cal State Fullerton and Indiana on 36 combined shots Sept. 12 and Wednesday, respectively.”A lot of folk had been worried about getting goals,” coach Bobby Clark said. “It was nice to see a few lads getting on the score sheet, and hopefully we’ll get a few more games when we’ll get some goals.”In yet another contest where the Irish dominated the peripheral stats, outshooting the Hoyas 22-5 and taking seven corner kicks to Georgetown’s two, it was the Hoyas that struck first.In the 34th minute, midfielder Danny McAnally slotted home a feed past the outstretched left hand of Irish goalkeeper Chris Sawyer from point blank range to stake Georgetown to a 1-0 advantage. “It was a disappointing goal,” Clark said. “To be honest, from our point of view, we shouldn’t be allowing serves in, but goals happen.”The lead didn’t last long.Less than a minute after Georgetown (3-4-0, 0-1-0) broke the 0-0 tie, Yoshinaga’s chip from the right edge of the box sailed over Hoya goalkeeper Andrew Keszler’s head and into the left post side net to knot the game at 1-1.”The nice thing is that we got the reply very quickly,” Clark said. “That got us back in the game.”Following Yoshinaga’s equalizer – his first career goal – the Irish continued to produce scoring chances, constantly putting pressure on the Hoya defense until freshman forward Joe Lapira put the Irish in front for good at the 71:47 mark.Taking a pass from forward Brian Murphy, Lapira beat the last Hoya defender before firing past an approaching Keszler at the top to the box for the eventual game-winning goal.Yoshinaga picked up his second goal of the night, drilling a shot from 18 yards into the upper right corner to double the Irish lead with 14:07 remaining.Forward Tony Megna finished off the Irish scoring deluge with his first goal of the season on a through ball from midfielder Ian Etherington just over three minutes after Yoshinaga found the back of the net, pushing the Irish advantage to 4-1.Megna’s tally capped off a three-goal, seven-minute Irish run.”I thought in the second half we were brilliant.” Clark said. “Once we went ahead – once we got the second goal – I felt it was just a matter of time, and if the game had gone on much longer, we would have possibly scored another couple of goals.”Notre Dame returns to action Thursday when it travels to Morgantown, W.Va. to battle West Virginia before visiting Villanova Sunday afternoon.The Irish finish off their four-game stretch against Big East opponents when they welcome Boston College to Alumni Field Oct. 1.