Apr 8, 2014, 9:54 PM EDT
Playing at Notre Dame for the first time all spring, the men’s soccer squad earned wins against both Western Michigan and Valparaiso on Sunday afternoon.
“It was great to get outside on our campus, to actually see the sun,” head coach Bobby Clark said. “Everyone was excited.”
Clark divided his group into two equal teams in an effort to give every player a sizable amount of time in either scrimmage. Notre Dame’s first match was against Western Michigan. Sophomore midfielder Connor Klekota opened the scoring with a rocket from thirty yards out that put the Irish up one heading into intermission. Early in the second half, senior forward Leon Brown was able to sneak behind the defense and calmly push the ball past the Western Michigan keeper. Junior midfielder Robby Gallegos tallied a strike late to round out the scoring.
Valparaiso provided a bit of a stiffer challenge in the second game. The Crusaders are coached by Mike Avery, who was an assistant to Clark for five years at Notre Dame. Needless to say, Avery therefore has a strong grasp on what Clark-led teams try to do, and this was reflected in his squad’s performance. The Irish scraped by the Crusaders, 1-0, on a goal by freshman midfielder Oliver Harris. Clark stressed that the win did not come easy.
“I thought they made us work for our victory,” Clark said. “It was a good test for us. Valparaiso can beat almost any team in the nation. They had a well-drilled and well-schooled attack.”
Notre Dame will travel to Fort Wayne next weekend to play in its annual spring tilt with Indiana. The Irish have a long history with the Hoosiers, most recently winning a mid-season game last year at home 2-0. Clark is looking forward to the tough match, one that is always played in front of a packed house.
“Every time IU plays Notre Dame, it’s a big game,” Clark said. “There will be several thousand at the game, as there has in the past.”
Instead of fixating on preparing for Indiana, Clark said that the Irish’s main focus will be on playing its style rather than responding to its opponent’s tactics.
“We are more interested in ourselves,” Clark said. “We’ve got to see if a few guys can actually play in a big game, in an atmosphere like that. We definitely want to get some of the less-experienced players into a game like that and see how they react.”
Notre Dame will battle the Hoosiers at 2:00 P.M. on Saturday at the Fort Wayne Sport Club.
About Irish United
- M. Tennis. Irish Pair Advance To Round of 16 At NCAA Doubles Championship
- M. Basketball. Coach Brey May 25, 2016 Media Session
- W. Tennis. Gleason's Comeback Bid Falls Short In NCAA Singles First Round
- Baseball. Summer Ball Provides Key Development Opportunities For Players
- M. Tennis. Monaghan Advances To Round of 32 At NCAA Singles Championship
- W. Basketball. Irish, Hawkeyes To Meet In ACC-B1G Challenge
- M. Basketball. Ingelsby Accepts Delaware Head Coach Position
- W. Volleyball. Irish Volleyball Adds Klein & Truett To 2016 Roster
- W. Tennis. Irish Insights: NCAA Singles Championship
- M. Basketball. Irish To Welcome Hawkeyes In 'Challenge' Rematch
Fighting Irish on YouTube
- RT @NDMenSoccer: .@NDsoftball we're partial to this Alumni Stadium. Good luck this weekend! https://t.co/le1FYhGWk8 6 days ago
- Awesome to see @cari_roccaro getting back on the field with @HoustonDash!! Great read: houstonchronicle.com/sports/dynamo/… 1 week ago
- RT @NDRomagnolo: Congrats to the class of 2016!!! @NDSoccer great student athletes and even better people! Onto the next challenge! 1 week ago
- ICYMI Matt Besler ’09 named to #USMNT @CA2016 roster twitter.com/ussoccer/statu… 1 day ago
- Great speech from Chris Hubbard, rising senior goalkeeper, at first time @NDMonogram winner’s event in April! twitter.com/NDMonogram/sta… 2 days ago
- RT @NDPDX: Thanks to @BickisBack for taking the time to meet with us after the match! Go Timbers! @TimbersFC @NDPDX #RCTID https://t.co/L… 3 days ago