Notre Dame Scores 2-0 Victory Over Drake In Men's Soccer Play
NOTRE DAME, IND. - A pair of Steven Perry goals lifted Notre Dame to a 2-0 men's soccer victory over No. 22 Drake on Friday (Sept. 10) in opening round play of the Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament.
In the first meeting between the two schools since 1987, the Fighting Irish parlayed a decided shot advantage into their first victory of the season moving to 1-1-1, while dropping the Bulldogs to 1-2 on the campaign.
"Today was a confirmation of the fact that we have lots of work to do," Drake head coach Sean Holmes commented. "The inexperience of our team was exposed constantly over the course of the 90 minutes and that the game only yielded nine total fouls is a testament to good soccer but also perhaps to the fact that we have some physical toughening up to do."
Despite being outshot in the affair, 32-9, the Bulldogs had golden scoring opportunities to score in the game's first 10 minutes as redshirt junior Michael Noonan's (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Xavier) attempt at the 3:02 mark was blocked and junior Thomas Ostrander (Fort Dodge, Iowa/St. Edmond Catholic) shot in the ninth minute (8:51) sailed high.
"In stretches we were very good going forward and creating opportunities as we arguably had the best two scoring chances early by Thomas (Ostrander) and Michael (Noonan), but we failed to convert," said Holmes. "The level at which we have to play if we aspire to once again be a ranked team one day will need to be far superior to tonight's effort."
Notre Dame scored what proved to be the game-winner when Stevens converted a cross from Michael Rose past redshirt junior goalkeeper Jordan Kadlec (Hiawatha, Iowa/Cedar Rapids Kennedy) in the 27th minute (26:52) to provide the Fighting Irish with a 1-0 advantage.
Steven capitalized again at the 77:24 mark scoring when he nailed a shot off a rebounded Kadlec save.
"Again Jordan (Kadlec) was very good in goal and a difference maker," Holmes explained.
"Garrett (Crall) for the third time played with maturity beyond his years and Charlie (Schwartz) for the better part of 90 minutes demonstrated that he can be a legitimate threat going to goal."
Noonan paced Drake with a team-high three shots, while Ostrander added two shots. Perry led all players with nine shots for Notre Dame.
Kadlec finished the game with nine saves to match a season- and career-high, while Will Walsh collected three stops for the Fighting Irish.
"I'm only moderately disappointed with tonight's result," Holmes commented. "I'm encouraged by sparks of the team we can be and now it's our job to coach the heck out of these guys and make them better. Notre Dame is a very solid team and will definitely be a force to reckon with in the Big East this season. I have a feeling we'll play with a little more fire Sunday against Indiana."
Drake concludes its stay at the Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament on Sunday (Sept. 12) with a showdown versus No. 22 Indiana at 10:30 a.m. The encounter will be only the second regular season meeting between the two schools and first since 1994.