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Men’s Soccer: Stating their claim

Laura Myers | Thursday, October 15, 2009

The usually-prolific Notre Dame offense was unable to get anything going Wednesday against No. 18 Indiana.

The Irish defense only wishes it could say the same.

Mistakes on the defensive end of the ball led to three goals late in the game for the Hoosiers (7-4-1) and a 3-0 loss for No. 22 Notre Dame (7-5-1).

“It was three strange goals we conceded,” coach Bobby Clark said. “You might concede one bad goal in a game but to concede all three is strange. We dug a hole for ourselves.”

The scoring began for Indiana in the 65th minute, when mass confusion in Notre Dame’s box ended with the ball glancing off junior defender Bilal Duckett and into the net. The goal shifted momentum in Indiana’s direction, as the Hoosiers retained possession for most of the half after that point.

In the 78th minute, another miscommunication, this time between senior defender John Schaefer and senior goalkeeper Andrew Quinn, found Quinn out of the goal and unable to do anything as the ball slowly rolled through the goal posts after being tipped by Hoosier Darren Yeagle.

“The first goal wasn’t great, but I think the bubble really burst with the second goal,” Clark said.

The Hoosiers’ third goal came just four minutes after the second, when the defense turned the ball over to a wide open Will Bruin, who beat Quinn to put the ball inside the right post.

“We scored a goal for them,” Clark said. “Really we scored the first two goals for them to be honest with you, and we helped with the third goal as well. I don’t see any other way to describe it. The first goal was tough but the second goal was the one that kind of killed everything.”

Indiana and Notre Dame both played tight defensive games in the first half with the Irish taking five shots and the Hoosiers just three. The two teams went to the lockers tied 0-0 in what was looking to become a very close game.

“Statistically I think it was a very even game in many ways,” Clark said. “To be fair I thought we did better in the first half and then in the second half we never really came out hungry the way we did in past games.”

The Irish have scored 17 goals in the second half this season and before Wednesday had given up just four in that period. However, they were unable to mount any kind of offensive threat in the second half.

“We came out and I don’t know what we were thinking,” Clark said. “We were flat. The first half we got into the game, we were going places, but the second half we were just very flat. We never really got started and I don’t know why that was.”

The loss gives Indiana a 24-5-1 lead in the all-time series against Notre Dame in what has become an annual non-conference battle.

The Irish will resume Big East play Saturday with home game against West Virginia. The Mountaineers are currently fourth in the Big East Blue Division, directly behind Notre Dame.

Clark said he hopes the team will be extra motivated after Wednesday’s tough loss.

“I hope they will be affected positively,” he said. “I think we’re all very disappointed tonight.”

The match against West Virginia is scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m. at Alumni Stadium.