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Men’s Soccer: Flying past the Eagles

Molly Sammon | Monday, November 8, 2010

The Irish won their third game in a row Saturday to extend their unbeaten streak to five games in the home-hosted Big East championships quarterfinals. The squad’s 2-1 victory over Marquette moves it one step closer towards the ultimate goal of becoming the conference champion.

“It was a very good game, and I think the team played very well,” Irish coach Bobby Clark said.

“It was an excellent result — good performance, a good result and it’ll take us into the Big East Final Four. That’s a nice situation to be in.”

Sophomore defender Grant Van de Casteele scored the winning goal for No. 12 Notre Dame (10-4-4, 5-2-1 Big East) in the 66th minute as he headed in a shot set up by junior midfielder Brendan King.

“It was good offense throughout the game,” Clark said. “We had changes, and their goalkeeper played really well. It was a very competitive game, a very exciting game.”

Notre Dame played well in the first half and headed into halftime with a 1-0 advantage. Senior forward Jeb Brovsky opened the scoring in the match with an unassisted goal only eight minutes into the contest.

“For them it was a crucial game — that will be the end of their season.”In the first round of the tournament, Marquette (7-8-4, 3-4-2) upset Saint John’s before traveling to South Bend, where they again found themselves as the underdogs on the field.

“They were firing,” Clark said. “It was never going to be an easy game, but I thought we handled it well. I thought we matched their energy and we controlled the game really from start to finish. It was a tight game, it was a close game.”

The Irish held the Golden Eagles to one goal throughout the game by battling for every loose ball and forcing them out of their style of play. Marquette managed to level the score at one in the 53rd minute of play on a Bryan Ciesiulka score, but never posed a serious threat afterwards.

“Defending starts with [senior forward Steven] Perry up front — that’s where the whole thing begins,” Clark said. “It really starts with the forwards, and then whole team defends. That’s the key to the way we play. We’re doing that very well at the moment.”

The Irish tallied 25 shots, including 12 on goal, while the Golden Eagles only managed to get off 12 shots in total and only two for Irish goalie senior captain Phil Tuttle to take care of.

“[Tuttle] wasn’t overworked as far as shots were concerned,” Clark said. “I think he controlled the penalty box really well. He was very calm and confidence throughout the game.”

The Irish will face Louisville Friday in the semifinals at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J., in their fourth consecutive conference semifinals appearance.