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Men’s Soccer: Finley’s goals down Friars

Joseph Monardo | Tuesday, October 23, 2012

 

Before the past two contests, the last Notre Dame hat-trick originated from the feet of former Irish forward Bright Dike on Sept. 1, 2009. Now the Irish have recorded one in consecutive games.

A trio of late goals by Irish senior forward Ryan Finley alleviated early concerns of offensive stagnation and sealed a 3-0 win over Providence for the home team. One week after Irish junior forward Harrison Shipp recorded a hat-trick in No. 7 Notre Dame’s 6-1 victory against Seton Hall, Finley did the same on Notre Dame’s senior day.

Notre Dame (12-4-0, 4-2-0 Big East) entered Saturday’s game wary of Providence’s ability to deliver an upset, Irish coach Bobby Clark said.

“I was very worried about this game because … [Georgetown coach] Brian Weise, … he said they were really lucky to win,” Clark said. “And he said, including [their] game here, the hardest game he had was at Providence. And I have watched [the Friars’] videos against Marquette and … Seton Hall, and they lost all these games. And they actually are a pretty good team. So that was a game that we certainly weren’t treating lightly and we talked about it all week.”

After an opening stanza in which both offenses struggled, combining to unleash only five shots, both teams began the second half aggressively. 

“We talked about it at halftime and I felt Providence, to some extent, [was] trying to take the tempo out of the game,” Clark said. “And we had just to be careful we didn’t get frustrated to be quite honest with you. I wrote two words down – tempo and patience. We had to speed the tempo up … And then we’ve got to be patient, we’ve got to not get frustrated with ourselves. I knew we were going to make chances but you just have to be careful that you don’t end up beating yourself, because that is what happens when you get frustrated.”

Notre Dame unleashed several shots that tested Providence redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Keasel Broome in the second half’s opening 15 minutes. On the other end, the Friars (3-9-2, 1-5-0) succeeded in sending multiple balls across the face of the Notre Dame net. However, Providence failed to generate threatening shots on the finishing end.

Notre Dame finally broke through with the go-ahead goal in the 69th minute when sophomore defender Max Lachowecki connected with Finley. Lachowecki carried the ball down the left sideline before sending in a high-arching cross into Finley, who notched his 12th goal of the season with a forceful header. Finley added another goal in the 74th minute with a volley off a cross from senior captain Dillon Powers. Powers delivered the cross after tracking down a loose ball deep in Georgetown’s half. The final goal came off a penalty kick drawn by Shipp in the 80th minute and converted by Finley.

“The second goal, I was very happy with. It was a great goal. I mean, it was a fantastic goal,” Clark said. “It was a good performance and great for Ryan. It’s great to have a striker that is scoring goals for you. But I thought Dillon was terrific. That second goal, that all came from repressing from Dillon.”

Now with 14 goals on the season, Finley leads the Big East in the category. He also has three assists and leads the conference with 31 points.

Multiple Irish seniors came off the bench to take the field in the contest’s final 15 minutes, providing a chance to recognize the class’s leadership contributions to the team.

“I always say your senior leadership is so important and this has been a great class, a great group,” Clark said. “Obviously, we lost two of the fifth-years [midfielder and captain Michael Rose and midfielder Adam Mena, both to knee injuries], and that was tough. But everybody has been able to work hard and fit in and they’ve set really good examples both on and off the field.”

Notre Dame will host Marquette in Alumni Stadium on Wednesday at 7 p.m. for the final home game of the season. 

Contact Joseph Monardo at jmonardo@nd.edu