Men’s Soccer: Dike gives ND double OT victory
Jared Jedick | Monday, October 12, 2009
The Irish won a double-overtime thriller this weekend over Providence 1-0 in Rhode Island on Saturday, winning their third straight game and putting themselves right back into the thick of the race in the Big East.
“I believe that we were trying to win the game and Providence was just trying to settle,” head coach Bobby Clark said.
Scoring the game-winning goal with 51 seconds left in the second overtime period for the No. 24 Irish (7-4-1; 5-2-0 Big East) was senior forward Bright Dike. Dike’s team-leading eighth goal of the season was enough to prevent the game from ending in a tie with Providence (5-5-1; 2-4-1 Big East) and earned the Irish three points for the win. The win put Notre Dame in a tie with No. 19 Georgetown (8-3-1: 5-2 Big East) for second in the Big East Blue Division with 15 points, one point behind division leader No. 13 Connecticut (6-2-3; 5-1-1 Big East).
Dike’s goal was set up by a powerful shot from freshman midfielder Dillon Powers that deflected off of Providence senior goalkeeper Timothy Murray, who had nine saves on the day. Dike was able to collect the deflection and deposit into the back of the net for the game-winner.
“Powers drove forward to goal from 25 yards out and got a really good shot on target,” Clark said. “Bright got in on the rebound and hammered it in.”
The golden goal was the first for the Irish since the open of the 2007 season in their 2-1 victory against then top-ranked UCLA.
Clark believes that Dike can get a lot more goals than he already has if he keeps putting himself in good positions.
“If Bright [Dike] stays in the goal area he is going to find goals,” Clark said.
It was a strong outing for the Irish defense and senior goalie Phillip Tuttle, as the Irish posted their second shutout in as many games. The Irish did not allow a shot on goal in the entire second half and two overtime periods, and Tuttle earned his second shutout of the year to improve his season record minding the net to 5-2-0.
“I think Tuttle played exceptionally well,” Clark said. “He did not have a lot of saves, but he also came out of goal and took care of balls played behind.”
Notre Dame held an 18-14 advantage over the Friars in shots and Providence earned the nod with a slight 6-5 advantage in corner kicks.
The game began as a defensive struggle between the two teams, with Providence earning the first half advantage in shots 9 to 4, but neither team was able to put the ball in. The second half saw the momentum swing in Notre Dame’s favor with the Irish holding the 9 to 4 advantage in shots, but the game went to overtime tied 0-0.
“We kept pushing things harder as the game went on,” Clark said.
In the first overtime period, the Irish were the only team to threaten to score. The period opened with a strong shot from Powers that was saved by Murray. Quickly following up that shot in the 93rd minute was a strike from junior midfielder Jeb Brovsky that just could not beat the Providence keeper.
In the second overtime Dike attempted to sneak a header passed Murray off a corner kick but the Friar goalkeeper was again up to the task.
Throughout overtime the Irish dominated the chances on goal and the defense set the tempo of attacking the Providence goal, as the Friars appeared ready to accept a draw as the game wore on, according to Clark.
“The fullbacks played well,” Clark said. “Most of the fullbacks are doing a good job defensively and also getting forward.”
Clark wants to see more of an attacking philosophy from his defense, and he is impressed with the play of senior captain Justin Morrow, who is new to the position of attacking fullback for the Irish, but seems to be adapting well.
“Justin [Morrow] hasn’t played wing fullback until this year, but he is taking to it well,” Clark said. “He is a very attacking defender.”
Neither team was able to break through until Dike’s golden goal in the last minute to seal the victory 1-0.
“We still have to play a lot of the teams that are in position to threaten us, so it is all in our hands,” Clark said. “We cannot relax. We are very aware of the magnitude of the task.”
The Irish are next in action at home against Indiana on Wednesday.