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Men’s Soccer: ND drops conference contest to Marquette

By Joseph Monardo | Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Irish let loose more total shots, directed more shots on goal, earned more corner kicks, committed fewer fouls and had fewer offside calls than their opponent on Wednesday. In other words, they did everything but win the game.

No. 12 Notre Dame suffered a disappointing 1-0 loss at Marquette, the first Irish loss to the Golden Eagles (6-5-2, 4-0-0 Big East) in the teams’ last eight matchups. Although the Irish (5-3-4, 1-2-1) came up short on the scoreboard, they put forth an impressive performance, senior midfielder Brendan King said.

“Just talking to [Irish] coach [Bobby Clark] after the game, he was telling us that that was the most we have ever dominated Marquette at Marquette,” King said. “We created loads of chances, played very well, definitely out-possessed them, but we just didn’t put together the final product, and sometimes in the game of soccer that’s just how it happens ⎯ you just can’t put it all together.”

The Irish fell behind early after they allowed Marquette to break onto the scoreboard in the 15th minute of the game.

“They were able to get a good ball in, kind of just drop it into our danger area right there in the six-yard line, and the player just kind of tapped it in,” King said. “So it was pretty unfortunate to go down early in the game.”

Despite unleashing 17 total shots, seven of which were directed on goal, Notre Dame was not able to net the equalizer. Junior goalkeeper David Check had seven saves for Marquette, this after Connecticut freshman goalkeeper Andre Blake recorded nine saves in Notre Dame’s 0-0 draw with the Huskies on Saturday.

“The last few games, the [opposing] goalies have been playing really well,” sophomore midfielder Harry Shipp said. “Today we hit the post three times.

Some of it is just bad luck. We are creating chances. Towards the beginning of the season the ball was going in, whereas now [with] the same shots, the goalie is making a great save or it is hitting the post.”

The Irish hope things will start to go their way when they travel to No. 20 Georgetown (8-2-3, 3-1-0) for Saturday’s matchup.

“If we can create chances again [like we did Wednesday] and out-possess them, but just put together the final performance and just score some goals, that’s basically all we need to do,” King said.

Notre Dame will be the first ranked opponent to play at Georgetown this season, where the Hoyas are 5-1-0. After upsetting then No. 3 Louisville on Oct. 1, the Irish have gone 0-2-2, a streak that has created a sense of urgency, Shipp said.

“I think it’s pretty urgent considering we started off the season well. We were 5-1-2, and we haven’t won in four games. It’s kind of frustrating,” he said. “I think the most important part of the season is yet to come.”

With only five games remaining, all of which are conference matchups, the Irish will focus on cashing in on their opportunities.

“We’ve been playing well, we just can’t finish right now,” Shipp said. “We are just having a problem scoring goals, [but] we are getting chances. It’s just doing the little things to make sure the ball goes in the back of the net, because if we score two goals each game, we are going to win because we are outplaying pretty much every team we play against right now.”

The Irish take the pitch of North Kehoe field at Georgetown hoping to begin what will be a strong finish to their season. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Saturday.

Contact Joseph Monardo at jmonardo@nd.edu