ND MEN'S SOCCER: Irish muzzle Hoyas
Half the battle for the Notre Dame men's soccer team on Friday was enduring the elements and conditions brought on by Mother Nature. The other half was enduring a pesky Georgetown offense.
Battling wind-driven rain and a game time temperature hovering in the low 40s, a large crowd at Alumni Field saw the Irish defeat the Hoyas in a key Big East showdown, 3-1.
Irish forward Erich Braun scored two goals and midfielder Justin Detter added another to round out the Irish scoring. Chad Riley contributed two assists for Notre Dame.
"It was a great game tonight, and we had a great defensive effort as well," Braun said. "The [final two] goals we scored were just like drills in practice. I think Coach will be proud of us."
Irish goalie Chris Sawyer finished with six saves for the Irish, one shy of his personal best of seven, set earlier this season against Seton Hall. Sawyer, a freshman, has made three consecutive starts in goal for the Irish.
"[Sawyer]'s done a terrific job," Irish head coach Bobby Clark said. "He's getting better every game, and I'm very pleased with what he's been doing."
The Irish opened the scoring just before halftime, when defender Kevin Richards took possession after two Hoya defenders collided.
Richards, taking advantage of a seemingly frozen Hoya squad, passed to midfielder Kevin Goldthwaite, who found Braun in front of the net. Braun's shot grazed off the hand of Georgetown goalie Brian O'Hagan and found its way into the net, giving the Irish a 1-0 lead with 2:33 left in the first half.
The Irish received a bit of a scare early in the second half, as Georgetown came back to tie the game.
After a shot by Hoya forward Kaiser Chowdhry was blocked by Sawyer, Chowdhry passed the deflection to teammate Kenny Owens, who found the right corner of the net just eight minutes into the second half, evening the score at one goal apiece.
However, as the second half wore on, the Irish slowly took over the game. With just under 22 minutes left in the second half, Riley drove undefended down the right side of the field. He then launched a lead pass to a wide-open Braun, who shot a bullet from 15 yards out to the top right corner of the net.
"It was a great effort by the team tonight, not giving up after getting [our] first goal," Braun said.
Just 10 minutes later, Riley made another lead pass, this time to Detter, who redirected the pass past O'Hagan from point blank range to provide the final goal for the Irish.
"It was a great victory because it gets us back on track for the Big East," Clark said.
The win landed the Irish in seventh place with six conference games remaining.
The Irish face a key stretch of their schedule up ahead, with their next three games on the road, including a match-up with in-state rival and national powerhouse Indiana on Oct. 17.
Next up for the Irish is Big East rival West Virginia from Morgantown, W.V., Thursday at 7 p.m.
At halftime of Friday's game, a memorial was dedicated in memory of late Notre Dame men's soccer coach Mike Berticelli. Berticelli passed away on Jan. 25, 2000 from a heart attack.
At the ceremony a plaque was presented to Berticelli's widow, Cinda, and children, inscribed with the words that appear on the memorial that now stands at the entrance to Alumni Field.
Notre Dame captains Griffin Howard and Andreas Forstner also presented Mrs. Berticelli with bouquets of flowers. The ceremony was originally scheduled for the Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament on Sept. 14 and 16; however, those games were cancelled due to the terrorist attacks on the United States.
All Sports Stories for Monday, October 8, 2001