Men’s Soccer: Unbeaten
Greg Arbogast | Monday, November 5, 2007
With a 0-0 draw against Georgetown Saturday, No. 9 Notre Dame concluded its Big East season undefeated for the first time in program history.
But it was not enough to garner the top seed in the league’s Blue Division.
The Irish headed into Saturday’s contest sitting two points ahead of Connecticut, the No. 1 team in the country. Notre Dame’s tie against Georgetown, however, combined with the Huskies’ 1-0 victory over Seton Hall, left the two teams tied for top spot in the division with 25 points apiece. Connecticut will receive the No. 1 seed in the Big East tournament because the Huskies scored more points against Blue Division opponents.
“Obviously they’re disappointed in not taking the whole league,” Irish coach Bobby Clark said. “The disappointment was not winning the league outright because that’s what we wanted to do.”
In terms of seeding, however, Notre Dame loses little from failing to obtain the No. 1 spot. Both the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds will host a first-round Big East tournament game, and the only difference for the Irish will be their opponent.
“From a seeding point of view, it’s no great problem,” Clark said. “Mentally, it’s such that you’re going to be playing a tough game one way or another. If it was between the second and third seed, it could annoy because you’d have to go away for a game.”
In the first half of Saturday’s game, Notre Dame looked like it would have no problem grabbing the regular season title. The Irish outshot the Hoyas 11-0, but none found their way past Georgetown goalkeeper Joe Devine.
The second half and overtime periods were a different story, as Georgetown held a 9-6 advantage in shots. The Hoyas dominated the second overtime period, outshooting the Irish 7-2.
“We came out ready to play, and we had maybe four good chances in the period out of the 11 shots, but they didn’t go in,” Clark said. “Full marks to Georgetown. They certainly negated our play in the second half, and they had some flurries themselves. They carried the play in the second overtime.”
Claire referenced the team’s travel schedule to explain the team’s performance.
The Irish did not land in Washington, D.C until 1 a.m. Saturday morning. The players were required to stay until their classes ended Friday afternoon. Saturday’s game started at noon, giving the team only 11 hours to prepare after getting off of the plane.
“In the second half, I felt we were still the controlling team, but certainly by the second overtime they were the team that seemed to have the most energy,” Clark said.
Notre Dame will receive a bye in the first round of the Big East tournament, which begins Wednesday, and return to action next Sunday when they host a Big East quarterfinal match at Alumni Field.
u With its conference record of 7-0-4, Notre Dame was the only Big East team to finish its conference schedule undefeated. Connecticut finished with a conference record of 8-2-1.
u Saturday was Notre Dame’s ninth shutout of the season. It marks the fifth consecutive season that Notre Dame has recorded at least nine shutouts