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Men’s Soccer: Freshman Shipp shines with three assists in first start

Eric Prister | Thursday, October 14, 2010

The learning curve for freshmen can be difficult to overcome, but when freshman midfielder Harrison Shipp was given his first opportunity to start Wednesday night against Marquette, he made the most of it. Shipp recorded three assists in the first half, leading the Irish (6-3-3, 3-1-0 Big East) to a 4-1 victory over the Golden Eagles (4-4-4, 1-1-2).

“It’s always a little bit harder for freshmen because we only get them for a couple of weeks, and so they’ve got to get into it,” Irish coach Bobby Clark said. “And although [Shipp]’s been doing very well coming in in the second half of all the other games, I thought that today he got his start and he made his mark. Three assists is a pretty good way to start your starting career.”

Notre Dame struck early, as Shipp took the ball inside the 18-yard box in the third minute before kicking it back out to sophomore Dillon Powers, who one-timed it into the lower left corner, just out of reach of Marquette sophomore goalkeeper David Check.

“The tempo was fantastic,” Clark said. “The first half was superb. It was a clinic. They played fast, slick, great soccer.”

Just eight minutes later, the Irish struck again. Junior Michael Rose played the ball ahead to Shipp in the corner, who sent it into the box where it found a sliding Steven Perry, who scored his seventh goal of the season. Perry would score his second goal of the game and eighth of the year in the 62nd minute after an excellent goal kick from senior goalkeeper Phil Tuttle.

“[Perry]’s getting himself into goal scoring positions,” Clark said. “He’s making goal-scoring runs. One of the things he does better than anyone else is he just makes great runs, whether he’s running to the strong side or fading to the weak side. And he’s very busy just now, and he’s getting the reward with goals.”

Shipp’s third and final assist came in the 30th minute, when he once again took the ball into the box before sending it back out to junior Adam Mena. Mena connected and went top shelf into the back of the net, just a minute after entering the game.

Clark said he was disappointed by the way his team came out in the second half. The Irish allowed Marquette to get on the board in the 56th minute. A Golden Eagles corner kick was initially handled by the Irish, but the ball got loose and sophomore forward Chris Madsen sent the ball past Tuttle.

“I think we kind of took out foot off the gas in the second half,” Clark said. “We lost a goal, and that made a game of it for a little while. It’s hard to keep it going for 90 minutes. That’s the challenge. We ask for a 90-minute performance, and unfortunately we got a 45-minute performance. But there were good bits in the second half, but I felt we just sat back a little.”

Perry’s second goal of the night sealed the win for the Irish, who now begin a three-game Big East road trip. They will travel south to take on No. 2 Louisville on Saturday before heading to Seton Hall for a game on Tuesday. Notre Dame will then finish its road trip with a match against No. 6 Connecticut.

“The first half was absolutely great,” Clark said. “If we play like that all the time, we’re a great team.”