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Men’s Soccer: Defending home turf

Eric Prister | Monday, September 13, 2010

The Irish had a successful weekend as they hosted the Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament, winning a pair of games against No. 22 Drake and Cal Poly.

Notre Dame’s offense, which had not scored in two regular season games, turned it around this weekend, scoring seven goals in two games, including a five-goal second half against Cal Poly Sunday afternoon.

Senior forward Steven Perry was the star of Notre Dame’s Tournament opener against Drake. Perry scored both goals as the Irish defeated the Bulldogs 2-0 Friday night. Notre Dame outshot Drake 32-9, and though Irish coach Bobby Clark said he was pleased with the outcome, he said that it could have been even more lopsided.

“I thought we played very well,” Clark said. “We put two shots on the board, and we should have had more in many ways. But at the end of the day we were happy we had two. I think we need to work on finishing, but I thought that it was a very good game, with just a couple of little lapses.”

The Irish had no trouble finishing in their second game of the tournament, a 5-1 blowout against Cal Poly Sunday afternoon. After a scoreless first half, Notre Dame came out firing, scoring five straight goals, each tallied by a different player. Junior Aaron Maund started the onslaught in the 51st minute, and sophomore Dillon Powers capitalized six minutes later off of a pass from senior Jeb Brovsky to give the Irish a two-goal lead.

Junior Brendan King scored the third goal for the Irish, and was followed by senior Greg Klazura and sophomore Grant Van De Casteele, who each scored their first career goal.

“I thought it was a game of two halves,” Clark said. “I was worried at halftime that we were getting into a malaise. We were just slowing down and just going through the motions, but we talked about a few things at half time, and I thought the second half was just terrific. They took the tempo up, put a lot more pressure on than earlier, and they didn’t let them settle.”

It was also a successful weekend for junior goalkeeper Will Walsh, who gave up only one goal in two games over the weekend. The goal came six seconds before the end of regulation against Cal Poly. Walsh, who is filling in for senior Phil Tuttle, has given up only two goals this season, and added seven saves to his tally this weekend.

The Irish will be tested once again this weekend as they take on Michigan Friday in Ann Arbor before returning home to face No. 23 Michigan State Sunday at Alumni Field.