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Men’s Soccer: Irish defeat Ohio State, IPFW

Chris Allen | Monday, August 30, 2010

The No. 18 Irish wrapped up preseason scrimmages over the weekend with two wins at the National Soccer Festival in Fort Wayne, defeating No. 14 Ohio State 2-0 Saturday and besting IPFW 3-0 on Sunday.

The Irish (0-0) opened up play against the Buckeyes with an immediate goal in the sixth minute from senior forward Jeb Brovsky, who scored from well inside the penalty ox after working through the Buckeye defense.

Brovsky’s strike remained the only scoring in the match until well after halftime. In the 63rd minute, sophomore midfielder Dillon Powers found senior forward Steven Perry on an aggressive run forward and Perry converted to put the Irish up 2-0. Notre Dame’s defense held on from there.

The defense and junior goalkeeper Will Walsh were looking to rebound from a performance against Illinois-Chicago in which they surrendered two goals. Walsh made seven saves and Irish coach Bobby Clark said he was impressed with the group’s improvement.

“I thought [Ohio State] was a good test,” Clark said. “They’re a very direct team, they play the ball forward quickly. It took the defense awhile to get a hold on things, but in the second half our defense was good, and it was nice to see that.”

Sunday’s game against IPFW gave Clark the opportunity to play some of his younger players while their more experienced teammates rested from the day before. The fresh squad did not disappoint as junior midfielder Adam Mena’s two goals in the 30th and 90th minutes and freshman forward Harrison Shipp’s 35th minute strike, were enough to easily put away IPFW as the Irish concluded preseason with a 3-0 record. Clark said he was particularly happy to see the depth of the Irish squad displayed on the pitch.

“The starting 11 for the Ohio State game didn’t even dress for the second match,” Clark said. “It’s a nice positive to see some decent depth on this squad.”

Freshman goalkeepers Patrick Wall and Adam LaPlaca each played a half and did not surrender a goal.

“With a freshman goalkeeper, you like to have them come in an take a year to get acclimatized,” Clark said. “But with [starting goalkeeper Phil Tuttle] being injured, we now have a situation where one of them needs to be the back up to Will Walsh. Things changed quite a bit. The freshmen did a good job, both of them.”

With the preseason now behind them, the Irish will look forward to their Friday season opener against No. 8 UCLA in Bloomington as part of the Adidas/IU Credit Union Classic. Their home opener will take place 7 p.m. on Sept. 5 against California at Alumni Stadium.