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ND Men’s Soccer: Senior Day culminates in upset of No. 21 Georgetown

Chris Allen | Monday, November 1, 2010

Before Notre Dame’s Sunday night clash in chilly weather, the Irish honored the seven seniors on their roster in a Senior Night ceremony. In the second half, one of the seniors — forward Steven Perry — returned the favor with two goals in the span of two minutes to lead the Irish to a 3-0 win over the Hoyas.

The win, the fifth in a row for the Irish (9-4-4, 6-2-1 Big East) at home, clinched a bye for Notre Dame in the upcoming Big East tournament, a fact that head coach Bobby Clark said is a testament to his team’s play throughout the season.

“I think the team is playing really well,” he said. “RPI-wise, this is the highest we’ve been in a number of seasons. I don’t know where we’ll be tomorrow in the RPI’s. This should push us hopefully a little bit further up. It’s a good team all the way through.”

The game began with both teams failing to find the back of the net in the first half. Strong defensive performances from junior center back Aaron Maund and senior left back Greg Klazura helped the Irish keep Georgetown from getting off a shot in the first half. As halftime approached, Clark made a number of substitutions for key players in the hopes of keeping them fresh for the second half in the cold conditions.

“I thought the first half we did well, and then we brought the subs on,” Clark said. “Just because, we felt the game was going to be won in the second half and we did try to rest some key players.”

Clark’s strategy was rewarded when Perry netted two goals early in the second half. Perry scored in the 55th minute and again two minutes later in the 57th hooked in his second goal of the game in from the 18-yard line.

“Perry, he’s as hot as ever,” Clark said. “He keeps scoring goals. It’s terrific when your main striker is scoring goals.”

The scoring continued for the Irish 20 minutes later when junior midfielder Brendan King lobbed in a cross that was headed in by sophomore midfielder Dillon Powers off a deflection to give the Irish the 3-0 lead. King also assisted on Perry’s two goals.

Notre Dame continued to play stout defense all the way through the final whistle, securing the win in their final regular season game of the season. The game, which was supposed to be contested on Saturday morning before the football game versus Tulsa, was moved to Sunday after a Georgetown make-up game versus Connecticut, resulting in a lower attendance of 327. Clark said the reduced crowd and colder conditions didn’t affect his team.

“If they played yesterday, obviously there’s always a big crowd for football games,” Clark said. “That’s one of the hard things, but we talked about that. You just take the same enthusiasm from practice and bring it into the game and forget about the crowd. We’re well-focused team that loves to play.”

The Irish will now host a home quarterfinal in the Big East tournament Saturday against the winner of South Florida vs. Marquette.