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Men’s Soccer: Team continues to struggle on Sundays

Laura Myers | Monday, September 28, 2009

What a difference a day makes.

A Sunday, to be more precise.

What is regarded as a day of relaxation for the rest of the Notre Dame campus has become a day of heartbreak for the Irish after they lost 1-0 to Cincinnati Sunday, falling to a record of 0-4 on the Sabbath Day.

Notre Dame (4-4-1, 2-2-0) defeated No. 7 Louisville 4-0 Friday before stumbling against Cincinnati. This was the fourth straight weekend series in which the Irish won the first match only to lose in the second.

“It seems to be the trend on these double-game weekends,” Irish coach Bobby Clark said. “We get something out of the Friday game and nothing out of the Sunday game.”

Bearcats player Mark Konitsch made the winning goal in the 50th minute after a teammate stole ball from Irish senior midfielder John Schaefer.

“To be honest we really were very sluggish until we lost the goal,” Clark said. “After we lost the goal it was like a wake-up call and we played very well.”

From that point on, the Bearcats were content to let their defense do the work, allowing the Irish to attack – unsuccessfully – for the next 40 minutes. Though Notre Dame had many chances, including two corner kicks in the 89th minute, the offense was unable to score.

“Their goalkeeper [Matt Williams] was very good, he made some phenomenal saves,” Clark said. “You’ve got to hand it to the good goalkeeper.”

The second half was very different from that against Louisville on Friday. The game also began as a 0-0 tie in the first half, but the Irish offense exploded for four goals in the second period.

Junior Steven Perry and seniors Jeb Brovsky, Michael Thomas and Bright Dike each contributed a goal for the Irish in the victory.

The game was the first game in which Louisville had given up more than one goal, and only the second in which the Cardinals did not shut out their opponent.

“On paper we did the harder job very well,” Clark said. “Well, there’s no easy games in the Big East, but what on paper looked easier was Cincinnati and obviously we didn’t finish the job. Such a pity because we got the weekend off to a great start.”

The weekend pushed the Irish to fourth in the Big East Blue Division, while Louisville and Cincinnati stand in third and fourth, respectively, in the Red Division.

Perhaps fortunately for the Irish, Sunday’s game was the team’s last – they play Seton Hall on Friday, then begin a Wednesday-Saturday rotation for the rest of the season.

“If we’re going to do something we’ve got to get it going right now,” Clark said. “There’s not a lot of time left, and we’ve got to get our lot together.

“Physically, we’re strong enough. I think it’s the mental part. I think whatever way, if the new format of the Wednesday-Saturday games helps us, we’ll be ready.”

The Irish next play Seton Hall Friday at 7 p.m. at Alumni Stadium.


During halftime of Sunday’s game against Cincinnati, two teams played the final match of the Lose the Shoes Tournament. The tournament, a 3-on-3 barefoot tournament played to benefit Grassroot Soccer, fielded 30 teams on Saturday and raised approximately $1,200, according to organizer Luke Scullion.

The winning team, Barefoot, was comprised of four players from the Siegfried interhall soccer team. They defeated the Hot Spurs 6-1.