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Notre Dame soccer

NOTRE DAME FIGHTING IRISH

November 25, 2012
NOT SO GOLDEN
No. 1 Irish knocked out


NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame’s No. 1 ranked football team is heading to a national championship, but it’s No. 1 ranked soccer team fell short of making the Elite Eight, losing a 2-1 overtime decision to in state rival Indiana at Alumni Field on Sunday.

A golden goal from Eriq Zavaleta in the 102nd minute gave No. 16 seed Indiana the win in the third round of the NCAA Men’s Soccer

Championship. Notre Dame concluded the season with a 17-4-1 record. The 17 wins are the most for the Fighting Irish since 1988.

Neither team produced many quality chances in the first half and the match was scoreless at halftime. The second half was a different story as both teams threatened on numerous occasions.

“As I’ve said before, anytime Notre Dame plays Indiana it’s going to be a great game and it was a great game today,” said Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark. “It ebbed and flowed. We had periods where we played very well and they had periods where they played very well. I thought they (Indiana) brought a lot of intensity. They opened the game well. We defended really well during that time and didn’t give up many chances.”

Irish goalkeeper Will Walsh made two key plays in the opening minutes of the second half. The first was when he came off his line to punch away a dangerous cross from Indiana and then in the 48th minute he used a diving save to negate a 20-yard blast from Harrison Petts. Walsh tied a career-high total with eight saves in the match.

Notre Dame went up 1-0 in the 54th minute when senior midfielder Kyle Richard, who came on at halftime, took a cross from Harrison Shipp and placed the ball into the lower right corner of the goal from 16 yards away. It was Richard’s third goal of the season.

Indiana (13-5-3) registered the equalizer just 56 seconds later when A.J. Corrado played the ball to Nikita Kotlov from deep on the right end and Kotlov deposited the shot from close range.

“They always say that the next five minutes after you score are a very important time in the match. We didn’t hold them and that was disappointing,” said Clark.

The Fighting Irish nearly went back on top seconds after the Indiana goal when freshman midfielder Patrick Hodan hit the near post with a shot. The Hoosiers threatened in the 68th minute when Patrick Doody drilled a shot on frame that was saved by a diving Walsh.

Notre Dame appeared to go ahead in the 81st minute when a free kick from senior midfielder Dillon Powers was deflected into the goal, yet a foul was whistled on the Irish. Notre Dame’s last chance of regulation was a header from sophomore midfielder Brendan Lesch that sailed high in the final seconds.

The Fighting Irish controlled much of the possession in the first 10-minute overtime period, yet could not find the game winner.

With just over a minute elapsed in the second overtime period, Indiana’s Matt McKain crossed the ball to Kotlov and he flicked it to Zavaleta, who headed home the golden goal.

“It was a great game and somebody was going to be heartbroken and I’m afraid in this case it was us,” said Clark.

Indiana outshot Notre Dame 19-11 for the match. The Hoosiers also held a 7-2 advantage in corner kicks.

Three of Notre Dame’s last five NCAA Championship appearances have ended on a golden goal. The Irish fell at Wake Forest, 1-0 in overtime, in the 2007 quarterfinals and Notre Dame suffered a 2-1 overtime loss at home to Dartmouth in the second round of the 2010 tournament.

   
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