Men’s Soccer: Notre Dame seeks to take down Wolverines
Kit Loughran | Tuesday, September 17, 2013
After their first ACC victory, the No. 4 Irish return to the field for a non-conference battle against Michigan on Tuesday at Alumni Stadium.
The Irish (2-0-2, 1-0-1 ACC) shut out then-No. 25 Syracuse in a 3-0 victory on Friday to secure their first ACC win as a new member of the conference.
Irish coach Bobby Clark said the team was excited to clinch its first ACC win as they head into the rest of the season.
“We were happy with the win because we knew that it would be a tough game after having played Syracuse last year in the quarterfinals of the [Big East] tournament,” Clark said.
With the team’s first conference win under its belt, the Irish are ready to take on the Wolverines (1-1-2, 0-0-0 Big Ten) on Tuesday, in what Clark said will be a competitive matchup.
“They are a very good team,” Clark said. “Every year we play them it is a very challenging game.”
Last season, the Irish beat the Wolverines in overtime on a goal scored by departed forward Ryan Finley. The Irish look to repeat their victory from last year, especially because of the high expectations competing against Michigan, Clark said.
“Any time Notre Dame plays Michigan in any sport there is always a lot at stake,” Clark said. “We have to get a little revenge for last week’s football game.”
While the Irish enter the matchup coming off of a win, Michigan heads into the game after suffering a tough 1-0 loss against Marquette on Friday. The Wolverines held the Golden Eagles at bay throughout the game, but Marquette pulled through with a goal in the 90th minute to claim the victory.
Although Michigan is led by senior midfielder Fabio Pereira (one goal) and sophomore forward James Murphy (two goals and one assist), the Irish look to themselves, rather than their opponents in their preparation for game time, Clark said.
“Michigan has good players, but no one specific we are looking out for,” Clark said. “We focus on ourselves more than on the opposition.”
Despite the Irish controlling the game against Syracuse, outshooting the Orange 17-4 with a 10-1 margin in shots on goal, Clark said there is room for improvement against Michigan.
“I think there are a few things to work on,” Clark said. “Each game we take something that makes us a little better.”
The Irish look to continue the cohesive relationship between their offense and defense, Clark said.
“The whole team attacks when we attack, and the whole team defends when we defend,” Clark said.
Clark said this cohesion was exhibited by senior defender Andrew O’Malley’s first-career goal against Syracuse on Friday.
“Everyone is involved,” Clark said. “O’Malley scored one of the goals, so everyone defends and all attack to score some goals.”
The Irish return to the field for a non-conference home contest against Michigan on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at Alumni Stadium.
Contact Kit Loughran at email@example.com