Men’s Soccer: Conference Clash
Molly Sammon | Friday, October 1, 2010
The Irish welcome Providence to Notre Dame with hopes of earning their second Big East win of the season.
“Every Big East game is always a very different game, you’ll find out,” Irish coach Bobby Clark said. “They’re off to a really good start this year, off to a very strong start — this will be a very difficult game for us.”
Notre Dame (3-2-3) left the Chicago Fire’s Toyota Park Wednesday with a 1-1 overtime tie against Northwestern (5-2-1). Despite 30 shots on goal, the Irish offense was unable to connect with the winning goal. The Irish look to turn their offensive dominance on the field into goals.
“I think the teams knows they’re playing really well,” Clark said. “It’s just a matter of getting the right results. I think they feel good about how they’re playing.”
Notre Dame started conference play with a good start last week with its first conference win against St. Johns 1-0 at home.
“It’s another conference game, the second conference game,” Clark said. “You hope that we can build on last week’s success against St John’s and hope that we can build on that and get a victory. We’ll have to work for that, and well’ know that. But we feel pretty confident that we can do that.”
In order to prepare to take down Providence’s strategy, Clark and his coaching staff will analyze Providence’s previous games. The Friars are coming off a 2-1 victory over Harvard on Wednesday.
“We’ll start breaking down game tape today and tomorrow and have a good look at them,” Clark said. “At the moment, I don’t really know. This is one of the best starts they’ve had. I know it’ll be a tough game.”
Though the Irish beat the Friars in overtime last season, Clark will not focus on the team’s past success to predict a potential win.
“It’s a different challenge,” Clark said. “We won in overtime last year, but I don’t look too far beyond one season because the teams have changed much this year.”
In the final practices leading up to the Providence game, the Irish took Thursday off to recover from Wednesday night’s away game by conducting concise team practices. This weekend marks the second game for team captain and senior goalkeeper Philip Tuttle, as he has fully recovered from a meniscus injury during summer training.
“The big change we made last night was that Phil Tuttle made his first game back of the season,” Clark said on Thursday. “That was a big event for the team to get their captain back. He’s coming back at a good time.”
The championship game of Lose the Shoes, a charity soccer tournament in which students play barefoot, will take place at halftime during the game. The tournament benefits Grassroot Soccer, an organization that uses soccer to promote AIDS awareness to young Africans.
The game will take place at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at Notre Dame’s Alumni Stadium.