Men’s Soccer: Triple Play
Molly Sammon | Thursday, October 27, 2011
Though Providence’s only goal of the night just 38 seconds before the final horn prevented a shutout for the Irish, it was not enough to keep Notre Dame from its third conference win in a row during Wednesday’s 2-1 victory over the Friars.
The win secured a spot for No. 14 Notre Dame (8-3-4, 4-2-1 Big East) in the upcoming Big East Tournament.
“It is our fourth consecutive road game and our third consecutive win,” Irish coach Bobby Clark said. “They are a tough team, so I am pleased.”
The smaller and rougher field at Providence (9-6-1, 4-3-1) added an extra challenge to the game, Clark said.
“I knew this was going to be a tough venue,” Clark said. “Their bumpy field adds to the difficulty of playing there. There is not much grass up the middle. There was some unevenness of the surface. They had to be more careful with their control. It is also three to four yards shorter, so we had to play a much tighter game.”
The Irish took the lead in the 10th minute as sophomore forward Leon Brown passed the ball to senior midfielder Brendan King, who scored 12 yards away from the goal.
“The first goal was a beauty,” Clark said. “Brendan struck it home with a real hard shot. He just hammered it.”
Notre Dame’s two-goal lead was forged in the 80th minute of the game as sophomore forward Harry Shipp put the Irish up another point off a pass from senior defender Greg Klazura and offensive pressure from junior forward Ryan Finley.
“[The second goal] was a really great combination from a bunch of people,” Clark said.
The late goal was Shipp’s fifth of the season, four of which were accumulated between this game and Saturday’s against Pittsburgh. Shipp is tied with Finley for the most Irish goals this season.
Though the Irish converted one more goal in the 90 minutes of play, Providence outshot the Irish in both halves, 6-5 in the first period and 11-8 in the second.
Much of Notre Dame’s offensive success was a direct result of a powerful midfield, Clark said.
“Both of our midfielders played very well, both [junior] Dillon Powers and [senior] Chris Sutton,” Clark said. “They prompted the attack very well.”
With just two games left in the regular season, both Big East competitors had added pressure to win before the conference tournament begins Nov. 2.
“It was still a very competitive game, and [the Friars] were playing with a lot of momentum, Clark said. “They came into the game with a 4-2-1 record in the Big East, so they were pretty excited. It was a tough game, but I thought we controlled the ball the majority of the game.”
The Irish will test their win streak against West Virginia on Saturday at noon at Alumni Stadium.
Contact Molly Sammon at email@example.com