Oct 25, 2012, 8:08 AM EDT
Notre Dame 3 – Marquette 1
It was in the mid 70s, as #7 Notre Dame kicked off against #3 Marquette. The Golden Eagles have been having a wonderful season, having only lost at Georgetown coming into the game at 14-1-0. The game opened brightly for the Irish with Danny O’Leary, Leon Brown and Alex Priede all going close. Notre Dame seemed to be enjoying their home advantage but things changed in the 25th minute. Paul Dillon swung in a perfect corner kick and the 6’7″ Axel Sjoberg rose perfectly to head past Pat Wall in the Notre Dame goal. This rattled the Irish confidence and the Golden Eagles came much more into the game. Their quick attacks unsettled the Irish defense and Notre Dame was happy to go into the locker room for a halftime break.
The second period took on a completely different look. The Irish were re-energized and they soon began finding the free pockets of space and were creating all sorts of chances. Ten minutes into the second period saw one of these opportunities falling to Kyle Richard. Kyle latched onto a free ball and hammered home his first-ever goal in a Notre Dame uniform. It was a beautiful right-footed drive from the edge of the penalty area and it was certainly a goal he will never forget. Five minutes later, Patrick Hodan played Ryan Finley through only for Charlie Lyon, in the Marquette goal, to come sweeping out and take him down. Ryan got up, dusted himself down, and slammed a hard, low penalty kick past the diving keeper. Two minutes later it was pretty much all over. Patrick Hodan again played Ryan Finley through, and this time Ryan slipped it pass the advancing ‘keeper to make it 3-1 for the Irish.
This six-minute amazing spell pretty much finished the game. There were several other close things at the Marquette end but, to be truthful, Pat Wall, in the Irish goal, also had to be sharp on several occasions. All in all, a very entertaining match with the Irish outshooting the Eagles, 22–16.
This now sets up a fantastic finish with four teams all locked on 15 points going into the final match of the season. All four teams (Marquette, Connecticut, Georgetown, and ND) can win the league and all four can also be fourth. All four teams are in the top-10 in the national polls, so expect fireworks in Milwaukee on Saturday night when the Irish finish out their regular season at Valley Fields, kick-off 8:05 pm ET.
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