Oct 3, 2012, 9:02 PM EDT
Following a four-game road swing that saw the Notre Dame men’s soccer team drop its first two BIG EAST matches of the season, head coach Bobby Clark‘s tenth-ranked squad returned home for a Wednesday evening meeting with the Pittsburgh Panthers.
The Irish dominated this one from the beginning, controlling the ball early on a rain-soaked pitch at Alumni Stadium and downing their Blue Division foe, 7-1.
Senior Danny O’Leary got the attack started in the 15th minute, scoring his first goal of the season and fourth of his career. Just over five minutes later, the Naperville, Ill. native netted another, this time on an assist from junior Luke Mishu.
For the small crowd on a drizzly night in South Bend, the fun continued in the 33rd minute, as senior Ryan Finley added to his team-best tally, notching his seventh goal of the year.
And Notre Dame’s offensive onslaught did not stop in the second half.
Patrick Hodan entered the game in the latter frame, and it didn’t take long for the freshman’s impact to be felt. He found the back of the net in the 50th minute, good for his second score of the season.
Eight minutes later, Pittsburgh’s Ryan Myers got his squad on the board, and it looked like the Panthers might not go down easily.
But that all changed in the 68th minute, when Finley added another goal (his eighth of the year), on a pass from junior Connor Miller.
And finally, in the 88th minute, junior Alex Priede topped off the victory with his first goal of the season.
Seven goals marked the most for the Irish since a 7-1 win over Western Michigan in 1997, and 37 shots is a Notre Dame record during the BIG EAST era (since 1995).
Notre Dame (now 9-2-0) will be back at home this weekend, before heading to Northwestern for a non-conference match on Tuesday. It’s another big game for the Irish, as Georgetown comes to South Bend on Saturday at 2 pm ET.
Also a top-10 squad, the Hoyas just lost their first match of the season, at the hands of #2 Connecticut, and sit one game in front of Notre Dame in the BIG EAST Blue Division standings.
Remember to check out that game live on UND.com.
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