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MEN’S SOCCER: Irish give up 3-3 tie to WVU

Kate Gales | Monday, October 3, 2005

Two overtime periods weren’t enough for a decisive conclusion on Sunday, as the Irish squandered a high offensive output and settled for a tie.

Each time the Irish went ahead by a goal, West Virginia managed to answer almost immediately, resulting in a 3-3 tie through two overtime periods. The tie put the Irish at 6-3-1 on the year (2-2-1 Big East).

“We could consider ourselves a little unlucky not to take all the points, because I thought we played well throughout with the exception of a 15 minute spell through the first half,” Irish coach Bobby Clark said.

Joe Lapira led the Irish out of the gates with a goal in the fifth minute. He collected a free kick from John Stephens and put the Irish ahead 1-0 early in the game.

The lead didn’t last long, however, as a messy goal-line situation resulted in the Mountaineers tying the game for the first time since play began. After a shot deflected off the crossbar, Chris Cahill attempted to punch out the ball, but West Virginia’s Zak Boggs put into the net.

“I thought we in many respects played very well,” Clark said. “At the start we had a very good goal, it got us going.”

After halftime, the Irish again started out strong. Lapira fed Justin McGeeney a pass, which the forward put away less than two minutes into the period.

The Irish offense appeared poised to explode, as several golden chances to get a game-sealing goal were missed.

“We made the chances very well, but if we had taken just one of these chances – and there were good chances – it would have put the game at 3-1, and I think that would pretty well have sealed the result,” Clark said.

The lead would stand for nearly 40 minutes, until Cahill gave up the Mountaineers’ second goal on a corner kick.

With less than five minutes remaining in regulation, midfielder Nate Norman sent home his third goal of the season to give the Irish their last point.

But the Irish attempt to bunker down for four minutes of defense failed, as the Mounatineers found the net for the final time. West Virginia’s Jarrod Smith tallied his second goal of the contest only 27 seconds after Norman’s score.

Throughout two overtime periods, neither team was able to gain a game-winning advantage. The contest ended in a 3-3 tie.

“You make your own luck,” Clark said. “[But] having been ahead three times in the game and losing the lead on each occasion, we maybe should have done a better job at that – at holding onto the lead.”

The tie takes some momentum out of Notre Dame’s play in the middle of the conference season. However, Clark thinks the team can rebound on the road against Marquette on Wednesday.

“It’s disappointing not taking all the points, but at the same time I think we’ve got to keep in mind it’s certainly one of our better performances of the year,” Clark said. “Hopefully we can take some of the quality play into Wednesday’s game with Marquette.”