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Preparing for the Hoyas

Oct 5, 2012, 8:08 PM EST

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On a cold and rainy Wednesday night, Notre Dame’s men’s soccer squad secured its elusive first BIG EAST win with a 7-1 pounding of the visiting Pittsburgh Panthers. Senior forwards Danny O’Leary and Ryan Finley spearheaded the offensive barrage with two goals apiece. The Irish desperately needed the conference win and improved to 1-2 in BIG EAST play.

“It’s about time,” head coach Bobby Clark said. “It came a little easier than I expected. We seemed to catch Pittsburgh a little bit cold tonight.”

With the monkey off their backs, the No. 10 Irish are gearing up for Saturday’s marquee matchup with the No 3 Georgetown Hoyas. Clark acknowledged that goals will likely be tougher to come by against the Hoyas.

“This is possibly the best Georgetown team ever,” Clark said. “It is going to be a hard game. Our goal scoring against Pittsburgh will give our guys confidence.”

Georgetown is 10-1-1, its only loss coming on Wednesday to the No. 2 Connecticut Huskies. The Huskies nipped the Hoyas 2-1 in Washington, D.C. Freshman Brandon Allen leads Georgetown in goals with eight and points with eighteen. Junior Steve Neumann tops all Hoyas with seven assists.

Georgetown head coach Brian Wiese and Irish gaffer Clark share a long history together. Wiese served as an assistant coach under Clark at Stanford from 1996-2000. The duo moved to Notre Dame in 2001 when Clark was named head coach here. Wiese coached under Clark until the conclusion of the 2005 season, upon which he was tabbed to lead Georgetown’s program. Wiese also played three seasons, from 1991-1993, for Clark at Dartmouth.

While Georgetown is a formidable opponent, they are certainly beatable, as Connecticut demonstrated this week. The Huskies were the first ranked opponent the Hoyas had faced all season; Notre Dame, on the other hand, has faced three teams ranked in the top ten. This big-game experience will hopefully give the Irish an edge.

Notre Dame and Georgetown will kick off at 2:00 P.M. on Saturday at Alumni Stadium. Watch it live, only on UND.com.

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