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Strong ties

Pat Leonard | Friday, October 3, 2003

The Notre Dame men’s soccer team dominated in ball control and in every statistical category, but the Irish could not capitalize on chances and Thursday’s game at Syracuse ended in a 1-1 tie.

The Irish (6-1-3, 2-1-1) received a goal in the second half from junior defender Jack Stewart, his first of the season. Notre Dame out-shot Syracuse 22-10 and played up to par with its No. 4 national rank.

“We played exceptionally well,” coach Bobby Clark said. “We dominated most facets of the game, except perhaps the hardest – goals. But we out-shot them, out-cornered them. We actually played very well.”

Syracuse moves to 2-5-3 overall and 0-2-2 in the Big East.

Neither team scored in the first half. The Irish went into halftime with a 7-2 advantage in shots.

“[Syracuse’s] record doesn’t show it, but they have a great team,” Clark said. “They gave us some problems in the first half.”

Orangemen goalie Alim Karim gave the Irish the most problems, making eight saves and keeping his team in the game.

Stewart was the only Irish player to sneak one by Karim, heading a Chad Riley free kick into the net for a 1-0 lead at the 73:40 mark.

Riley is now just one assist away from tying for second on the all-time assist leaders list for Notre Dame.

Later in the half, Syracuse forward Jeff Evans was dragged down in the box. The Orangemen tied the contest at 1-1 on Ilias Calaitzidis’ penalty shot.

The 20 minutes of overtime saw three shots from each squad and relatively even play.

Notre Dame did not get the victory, but Clark and the Irish remain positive.

“It would have been nice to get the three points [for a win], but we just try to learn from every game,” Clark said. “We still have to look and see what happened on the game tape.”

The Irish have six wins on the season so far. That number easily could have been increased to nine if Notre Dame had made the final score reflect its dominant play in all three of its ties.

The results of the game, however, is not Clark’s first concern.

“We never talk winning or losing,” he said. “We talk about how we play. Obviously it’s a disappointment because we did enough but didn’t finish the game. But sometimes you play well and lose, and sometimes you can play badly and win. We can sometimes criticize wins more than losses.”

Junior defender Kevin Goldthwaite and senior forwards Justin Detter and Devon Prescod had four shots on the night.

Irish goalie Chris Sawyer made two saves.

Notre Dame now heads to Pittsburgh to take on a Panthers squad that has a 3-1-3 all-time series lead on the Irish. Notre Dame’s only win in the series came in a 3-0 victory at Alumni field in 1996. The Panthers have won the last two meetings, 3-2 and 1-0, respectively.

“Syracuse was a tough game,” Clark said. “Pittsburgh will be a different game altogether. We just take it one game at a time.”

Notre Dame faces Pittsburgh on Sunday at 1 p.m.