The Rakes of Mallow's Voice of the Supporters

Monday, September 13, 2010

Irish finish weekend 3-1

It was a nearly perfect weekend for the soccer teams of Notre Dame. Both going up against nationally ranked teams in their respective tournaments. The men's team got the weekend going with a 2-0 victory against nationally ranked Drake. The Irish battered the Drake defense with large chunks of possession and over 30 shots. This constant battering came through as Steven Perry came through with a brace scoring the Irish's first goal of the season. This dominating performance by the Irish was a nice follow up to Cal Poly's upset of our rival Indiana just hours before at Alumni Stadium.

Meanwhile, the women were just short of a another victory against a top ranked opponent. While playing against #13 UCLA, the Irish seemed to struggle mightily throughout the first half, but ended it with a goal by Erica Iantorno. Inspired by the goals, the Irish came out with fire in the second to outplay the Bruins, but it was all for nothing sadly. The Bruins, like their male counterparts had done just a week before managed to parry an attacking Irish team. The Irish were then sent into overtime where UCLA got the Golden Goal.

Saturday came, and something happened, but in the end no one really remembers what. Something about one eyed quarterbacks, one man teams, and misery.

Returning to the pitch on Sunday, both the men's and women's teams, though 3 time zones apart, would play at the same time. The women played Loyola Marymount. Melissa Henderson scored in the second minute of the match. The team went on to dominate the lions and in the end wound up winning the match by Henderson's tally.

At Alumni Stadium, the men took advantage of a Cal Poly team that was a bit proud of their performance against the 6 time national championship on Friday. The first half went scoreless as both teams had their chances, but neither could convert in what seemed like a potential battle. As the Voice had previously pointed out, the Irish seemed to just be missing that extra inch to put the ball in net. And there was a worry among some fans that if Perry was the lone source of goals, what would happen if he went down with an injury. All these worries were flushed away when the flood gate opened in the 50th minute. The Irish continued to pass the ball around the box and the Mustangs packed it in making crosses extremely difficult to put in; but Cal Poly was not closing down that quickly on players at the top of the box. Defender Aaron Maund was the first to take advantage of this as he sent in an absolute scorcher from 20 yards out. This strike, if you ever get a chance to see it, watch. USA U-20 captain and Milk Cup MVP Dillon Powers decided to open his scoring account as well. As the pass from Jeb Brovsky settled at his feet, Power let a shot go. From behind the net one could see the Jubulani ball dance as it hit the ground and went in another direction to give the Irish a 2-0 lead. Then it was followed up by King's wicked strike from 35 yards out and Klazura's shot from 17 yards out and finally a goal by VanDeCasteele from a corner. Bringing the tally to 5-0. Coach Clark then made some changes to give individuals experience and the match settled down. Cal Poly did manage to draw one back in the 90th minute, but it could not help scale a now Everest of a lead.

Overall the Voice would say it was a good weekend for the Irish. The Women went 1-1 on their west coast tour. The loss was difficult, but it's not like it was against a truly weaker team. UCLA was #3 before losing last week, so they are expected to be very good. The Irish showed gusto getting back on the saddle and beating LMU. The Irish men, meanwhile, had pushed back after a shaky opening weekend to get their first win and goal on the season, all while winning the Berticelli Memorial Tournament.

Both Irish teams are due to play local rivals this weekend. We'll give our preview sometime later this week.

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