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Men’s Soccer: Irish seek first victory at annual Mike Berticelli Memorial

Eric Prister | Friday, September 10, 2010

The Irish will host the ninth annual Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament this weekend, playing against No. 22 Drake Friday and Cal Poly Sunday.

The tournament honors Berticelli, a former Irish soccer coach, who led the team from 1990-99 before suddenly passing away during the 1999-2000 season.

The Irish (0-1-1) are coming off a 0-0 draw with Cal, a game in which the Irish lost senior Jeb Brovsky to injury. With his status uncertain, others will need to step up this weekend to fill a large whole in an offense, which has been unable to score in their first two matches of the year.

“We opened the game well and then got impatient when we did not get anything tangible out of our good play,” Irish coach Bobby Clark said. “We must hold firm to our beliefs and be patient”

The 0-0 result was a good sign for one Irish player. Junior goalkeeper Will Walsh was able to record his first clean sheet against Cal, and has recorded nine saves in 200 minutes of play.

Junior Aaron Maund and sophomore Dillon Powers were both named as Soccer America Preseason All-Americans, and the Irish will look to them for on-the-field leadership.

Drake came into the season after a 16-7-2 2009 campaign where they reached the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament, and are 1-1 so far this season.

They defeated Michigan 1-0 in their first game, and then lost 1-0 in overtime to Oakland leading up to this weekend. Junior goalkeeper Jordan Kadlec leads the team with 13 saves, and senior Kenan Malicevic netted their lone goal.

The Cal Poly Mustangs come into the weekend with a 1-1 record, coming off of a 2-1 overtime loss to Air Force. They defeated Denver 1-0 in their first match of the season. Sophomore Chris Gaschen and junior Tim White have scored for the Mustangs, while junior goaltender Patrick McLain has 15 saves in two games so far.

“We respect all our opponents as we play a very strong schedule but we concentrate mainly on what we will do rather than our opponents,” Clark said.

Cal Poly will open the tournament against No. 18 Indiana, the fourth competitor in the Mike Berticelli Memorial, at 5 p.m. Friday, followed by Notre Dame’s matchup against Drake at 7:30 p.m at Alumni Field. The tournament will wrap up Sunday with Indiana playing Drake at 11:30 a.m. and the Irish facing Cal Poly at 2 p.m., also at Alumni Field.