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Men’s Soccer: Held in check

Molly Sammon | Monday, September 6, 2010

After battling for 110 minutes of playing time, including two overtimes, neither No. 18 Notre Dame nor California was able to score, concluding this weekend’s Adidas/IU Credit Union Classic at Alumni Stadium with a 0-0 tie Sunday.

“It’s disappointing that we tied. We were the better team for sure,” junior midfielder Adam Mena said. “There were spells in the game where we were really good, but we couldn’t finish. It’s disappointing when you play well and you can’t get a win.”

The Irish (0-1-1) seemed to be the more dominant team offensively from the beginning of the first home match of the regular season, as senior forwards Steven Perry and Jeb Brovsky and junior midfielder Chris Sutton each had quality attempts in the first half, though none materialized into an Irish goal. The Irish outperformed the Golden Bears (1-0-1) on offensive in the first half with 12 shots taken to California’s four.

However, the Irish offensive took a blow 10 minutes into the contest when Brovsky injured his foot and sat out the rest of the game.

“We were connecting our passes really well, and we have been getting better since the preseason,” Mena said. “But I can’t stress enough that tonight we just couldn’t finish.”

Sophomore midfielder Dillon Powers said: “[The Golden Bears] were really disciplined, and they’re organized on defense. They’re tough to play against, they’re very compact and they looked to transition very fast.”

The Irish lost some of their momentum in the second half of the game, as the Bears turned the game around and outshot the Irish 6-5.  

“I think in the second half, as a team, we lost a little belief that we could win,” Powers said. “We found it towards the end, and had a good overtime.”

Though the Irish performed well in the preseason with three wins and no losses, they lost their first game of the year against No. 5 UCLA Friday during the first game of this weekend’s tournament in Bloomington, Ind. Despite ending their winning streak, the Irish have only allowed three goals through five contests.

“Defensively, we have a lot of new guys out there playing, and I think it’s working to our benefit,” Powers said. “We’re pretty fast in the back, as far as organization, and we have not changed much since last year, only the personalities have changed.”

The main goal for the Irish this week will be to focus on following through on offense to put points on the board.

“I thought we created a lot of chances this game, and eventually some of those chances are going to turn into goals,” Powers said. “That’s what we can take from this game.”

The Irish will search for their first win of the regular season in the Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament Friday, where the Irish welcome Indiana, Drake and California Polytechnic to Alumni Stadium.

“We’ll need to get stronger all around and become more confident with the ball,” Mena said. “It’s just a fact of repeating it, defending, attacking, and finishing. We’re going to work on all aspects of the game this week.”