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Men’s Soccer: Notre Dame beats Seton Hall

Eric Prister | Tuesday, October 26, 2010

In a week filled with difficult competition, the Irish achieved moderate success on the field while improving off the field as well.

Notre Dame (7-4-4, 4-2-1 Big East) began the week losing to No. 2 Louisville (12-0-2, 7-0-0) 2-1 before traveling to South Orange, N.J., where it defeated Seton Hall (3-11-1, 1-6-0) 3-1. The Irish capped off the week against No. 5 Connecticut (10-1-4, 4-0-3), fighting the Huskies to a 0-0 draw in overtime.

“It was a great eight days together,” Irish coach Bobby Clark said. “We drove lots of miles, so we were road warriors, but it was fun. They are a good group of guys. I was pleased with the trip.”

Neither team was able to score in the first half when the Irish took on the Cardinals, but freshman midfielder Dylan Mares was able to put the ball past Irish fifth-year goalkeeper Phil Tuttle in the 55th minute off an assist from junior midfielder Nick DeLeon. The Irish threatened, but were unable to score, and Louisville sealed the game in the 84th minute on a DeLeon goal from 25 yards away.

“The Louisville game was a hard start,” Clark said. “They were good, especially on that night, and they were ready for us. The crowd there was great, and we struggled in the first half. In the second half I thought we were going to tie it up, but their second goal ended the game. It was a tough place to start, but I thought we handled it well moving forward.”

Three separate goal scorers led the Irish to victory over Seton Hall three days later. Senior forward Steven Perry started the action, scoring off of an assist from freshman forward Harrison Shipp, who picked up another helper later in the game, giving him a team-high six assists on the season. Junior midfielders Michael Rose and Brendan King sealed the game early in the second half, each scoring in the first 14 minutes after the break.

“The team played very well against Seton Hall,” Clark said. “They did a lot of good things, and they were able to get a nice result. It was nice to see Rose and King getting goals, and Shipp continues to get assists for us, which is really impressive from a freshman.”

The final contest of the break was the most closely contested. In a match that saw 34 total shots on goal, the Irish were able to pull out a draw against Connecticut. Both teams had excellent opportunities to score, and Clark thought that his team was the better one despite the tie, especially late in the game.

“We started the Connecticut game well, but we lost our grip for about the last 20 minutes of the first half,” Clark said. “I thought we edged them in the second half, and we certainly played better in overtime, but we just couldn’t get one in the net.”

Overall, Clark was pleased by his team’s performance and in particular the attitude of the reserves who made the trip, along with the rest of the Irish squad.

“We had some good team performances overall,” Clark said. “There were positives in all the games. We brought the entire team along, and the backup squad had a fabulous attitude. They compete every day at practice, and they were fabulous on the road. I have to give them a big pat on the back for that. It was a great bonding experience.”