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Men’s Soccer: West Virginia overcomes Notre Dame in Morgantown

Molly Sammon | Monday, October 11, 2010

Despite a momentum burst in the second half, the No. 22 Irish lost their first Big East match of the season 2-1 Saturday against West Virginia in Morgantown.

“Of all of the teams in the Big East, they take the most out of us. It’s one of the hardest places we’ve visited out of the Big East,” Irish coach Bobby Clark said. “They’re a good team, opened the game very well, and didn’t let us settle, but I was very pleased with how we responded.”

West Virginia took an early lead in the game with their only two goals of the night up on the board in the first 21 minutes. The final result ended Notre Dame’s four-game win streak.

“I was obviously disappointed with the result, but I was very pleased with how the team fought back after being two goals down,” Clark said. “A lot of teams would surrender at that point, but I thought we really responded well. I felt sorry for the team, I thought they deserved more.”

The Mountaineers were the more dominant team in the first half of the game, putting up three shots on goal, and leading in saves.

“They’re athletic, and they’re a good team,” Clark said. “It was a combination of maybe the goalkeeping on their part and some bad luck on our part. They were economic with their scoring.”

Though they were outplayed in the first half of the game, the team started to pull together in the second half.

“I think we just set up the pressure. We knew we had to get back in the game,” Clark said. “We pressed very hard, which was successful to some extent, but we weren’t able to finish.”

With only eight minutes left in the game, the Irish offense was able to connect to break away from a potential shutout. Senior forward Steven Perry made a shot off an assist from sophomore midfielder Dillon Powers in 82nd minute.

“Perry has been playing very well,” Clark said. “During the last four or five games, he has put tremendous effort in.”

From this game, Clark wanted to take away the lesson that they need to start becoming dangerous during all portions of the game to ensure more wins in the future.

“We’ve got to start the game well, play the middle of the game well, and finish the game well. That’s the challenge, to play the complete 90 minutes together,” Clark said.

The Irish will welcome the Golden Eagles from Marquette to Notre Dame’s Alumni Stadium at 7 p.m. Wednesday with to redeem themselves in the Big East Conference.