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Team recovers, sets sights on Big East

Kate Gales | Friday, November 5, 2004

Recovery isn’t an easy road – and neither is winning a Big East Tournament title.After a week dedicated to recuperating from a severe stomach virus, the men’s soccer team is ready to lace up the cleats and take the field against eighth-seeded Seton Hall for the Big East Tournament title. “We aren’t all 100 percent yet,” coach Bobby Clark said. “They were [better] on Monday and a little better on Tuesday. Hopefully by Saturday we’ll be back to full strength.”It will be tough for the Irish to beat the Pirates on anything else – Notre Dame won at Seton Hall in October on a goal by Joe Lapira in the 80th minute.”It reminded us firsthand that they are a good team,” Clark said. “I look at that … game in New Jersey as one of our best wins of the season.”Seton Hall finished Big East conference play 5-5, but finished the season ranked at No. 21.”We know they’re a very good team,” Clark said. “They’re one of the strongest eight seeds I’ve seen in the conference.”Clark knows that beating the Pirates will be no easy task, despite having played them before in the middle of an unbeaten streak dating to Sept. 23.”You’ve seen them before, and you know what they do,” Clark said. “The same works for them – we know what they do but they certainly know more about us … it’s a double-edged sword.””Home court advantage is always a help, I think, [and] stats clue that out, but the home field certainly doesn’t win you the game,” Clark said. “You’ve got to win the game. The comfort of playing at home is always nice but it’s not going to win the game. “The team has got to win the game.”The Irish look poised to move on, however, with a final record of 13-2-2 after this week’s match against Michigan State was canceled. The first step will be Seton Hall this Saturday at 7 p.m.”We’ve got a lot of work to do before we get to the Final Four,” Clark said.