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Men’s Soccer

Notre Dame captures IU Classic title

| Monday, September 1, 2014

The Irish earned a share of the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic title at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Ind. this weekend.

No. 1 Notre Dame (1-0-1) and Indiana (1-0-1) posted the same records over the weekend and finished as co-champions of the tournament, which marks Notre Dame’s third straight IU Classic title. No. 9 Georgetown (0-0-2) and No. 12 Marquette (0-2-0) came in third and fourth, respectively.

The Irish beat Marquette, 2-1, on Friday and tied Georgetown, 0-0, on Sunday. Indiana and Georgetown tied, 1-1, in the opening round, and Indiana beat Marquette, 1-0, on Sunday for a share of the title.

“We played two tough opponents, and I thought we played very well,” Irish coach Bobby Clark said. “[Sunday] against Georgetown, we played exceptionally well against a very, very good team, and that was a good test for us.”

The Irish and Hoyas drew 0-0 in a defense-oriented game. The first shot on goal of the game occurred in the 34th minute, when junior midfielder Patrick Hodan crossed to freshman forward Jon Gallagher. Junior midfield Connor Klekota had another solid shot on goal in the 69th minute from the top of the penalty box, but Georgetown senior goalkeeper Tomas Gomez made the save.

Notre Dame graduate student goalkeeper Patrick Wall also made an impressive save in the 57th minute. Georgetown junior forward Brandon Allen delivered a direct shot on goal on a cross from sophomore forward Alex Muyl from eight yards out that Wall stopped.

Klekota had Notre Dame’s best opportunity at a goal in the second overtime with a shot just slightly wide of the far post. Wall had another tough save on a close-up shot in in the 96th minute of the match and again a minute later off a header. Though scoreless, the Irish had a 23-9 lead in shots and an 8-3 lead in shots on goal.

Prior to Sunday’s game, the Irish opened their season with a 2-1 victory over Marquette on Friday. Klekota and graduate student forward Leon Brown posted the two goals to surpass Marquette’s ninth-minute 1-0 lead.

“Marquette has some very good players, [as seen] by the fact that they scored in the first nine minutes, but we played well,” Clark said. “For us to come from behind and win made was more difficult [and] there was more pressure.”

In the 28th minute, Klekota tied the game at one with his second career goal. Brown had a chance with a shot in 54th minute to take the lead, but it wasn’t until the 66th minute that Brown capitalized on cross from senior defender Luke Mishu to post his sixth career goal. The Irish outpaced the Golden Eagles, gaining a 17-11 advantage in shots and a 6-3 advantage in shots on goal.

Though the Irish had a solid season-opening weekend, the team can learn from its mistakes and improve going forward, Clark said.

“I think we can improve on our errors, which came from our own game,” Clark said. “We need to give the other team less opportunities, which I think is easily improved upon. We need to eliminate those errors.”

With their season opener under their belt, the Irish move on to host the Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament next weekend. Notre Dame is slated to play Dartmouth at 7:30 p.m. Friday, followed by a match against Kentucky at 2 p.m. Sunday.

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About Kit Loughran

My name is Kit Loughran, and I am a senior at the University of Notre Dame. I am a Marketing major and Journalism minor. I write for the Sports Department of The Observer and cover Men's Soccer, Lacrosse, and Golf.

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