No. 8/7 Irish Rally For 3-1 Win Over No. 5/3 Marquette
Oct. 24, 2012
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - No. 8/7 Notre Dame scored three unanswered goals in the second half en route to 3-1 win over No. 5/3 Marquette in thrilling, high-paced BIG EAST Blue Division match-up Wednesday night at Alumni Stadium.
Both of Marquette's (14-2-0, 5-2-0 BIG EAST) losses this season have come on the road against top-10 nationally ranked division opponents, while the Irish (13-3-0, 5-2-0) will close out the regular season undefeated on their home pitch.
As a result, there is now a four-way tie for first place in the Blue Division standings heading into the final day of the regular season this Saturday with MU, Notre Dame, Connecticut and Georgetown all with 15 points in league play.
Central defender Axel Sjoberg scored the opening goal in the 25th minute on MU's first corner kick of the game. Junior defender Paul Dillon served it in from the right side to the middle of the six-yard box and the 6-foot-7 redshirt freshman headed it from point-blank range past Notre Dame goalkeeper Patrick Wall to give the Golden Eagles an early 1-0 advantage.
Sjoberg's fifth goal of the season swung the momentum in the first half to Marquette's favor. Notre Dame had opened up with eight of the first 10 shots of the match, but then was held without a shot for nearly a 20-minute stretch until a half chance with just over one minute remaining in the first period.
Marquette goalkeeper Charlie Lyon stayed busy keeping the Irish of the board in the first 25 minutes play, including a save in the 24th minute in which the redshirt sophomore left his line and laid out horizontally to deflect a shot from 10 yards out; Notre Dame also had a shot hit the crossbar in the 14th minute.
Notre Dame turned up the pressure from the opening kickoff of the second half. A failed clearance from the backline resulted in the equalizer as Kyle Richard ripped a shot from the top of the box to make it 1-1 in the 55th minute.
The Irish's second goal was the result of a penalty kick that was awarded after the linesman on the bench side called a foul when Lyon left his line to disrupt a one-on-one with Finley, and Lyon made contact with attacking player.
Finley, the leading scorer in the BIG EAST with 16 goals on the season, went on to convert from the spot to make it 2-1 in the 60th minute, and he quickly made it 3-1 with another goal in the 61st.
MU had some chances in the second half to pull back to within a goal, but couldn't convert when it had the opportunity. An innocuous cross from Dillon at the 81:25 mark nearly did the trick when the ball curled into the box and hit the cross bar. Senior Andy Huftalin had back-to-back shots in the 88th minute, including one that bounced off the keeper.
Marquette wraps up the regular season on Saturday, Oct. 27, at Valley Fields with a rematch against the Irish. Kickoff is set for 7:05 p.m. Central time. There will be a brief ceremony prior to "Marquette vs. Notre Dame -- Part 2" honoring the senior class.
Marquette Starters: Lyon (GK), Dillon, Sjoberg, Ciesiulka, Robb, Selvaggi, E. Pothast, Jansson, Hermsen, J. Pothast, Islami (Subs: Huftalin, Lysak)