Oct 22, 2012, 9:32 PM EDT
Senior Day is always bittersweet for the athletes it honors. Players take the field or court in front of their home crowd one last time, an occasion that sparks both pride at what they have accomplished during their careers and sorrow at the prospect of these careers coming to an end. It was Senior Day on Saturday at Alumni Stadium, where Notre Dame’s men’s soccer team hosted Providence in a weekend matinee. Irish senior striker Ryan Finley made sure that one of his last game in the home whites was a source of more fond memories than sad ones, as he netted three goals in less than ten minutes to give Notre Dame a 3-0 win.
Heading into the latter portion of the second half, the Irish and Friars were knotted in scoreless grudge match. Providence entered the game with a paltry three victories on the season but hung tough with the Irish from the outset. Finley opened the scoring in the 70th minute with a picture-perfect header off a cross from sophomore defender Max Lachowecki. The senior struck again four minutes later when captain Dillon Powers sent a gorgeous ball into the box from the left flank, which Finley powerfully volleyed past the Providence goalie. He completed the hat trick with a penalty kick in the 80th minute.
Finley leads the BIG EAST in goals with 14 and points with 31. He has tallied multiple goals in four games this season. His hat trick is Notre Dame’s second in as many games, as junior forward Harry Shipp tickled the twine three times against Seton Hall on October 13th.
Though the Irish struggled at times against a weak Providence squad, they earned a conference win nonetheless. Notre Dame is now 12-3-0 and ranked seventh in the nation. The Irish will conclude with two matches against No. 4 Marquette, the first in South Bend and latter in Milwaukee.
Notre Dame will kick off with the Golden Eagles at 7:00 P.M. on Wednesday at Alumni Stadium.
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