Notre Dame drops men’s soccer team, 2-0

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Men's soccerIt was a tale of two halves at Valley Fields as the Marquette men’s soccer team fell 2-0 to Notre Dame.

After an even first half, Notre Dame scored two quick goals to take control of the game and down Marquette. The loss was the team’s second in as many games. The Golden Eagles now fall to 2-6-2 for the season (1-3-2 Big East).

Marquette played a tough first half, not allowing Notre Dame any space to possess the ball. The pressure kept Notre Dame contained in the midfield and locked down save for a few shots.

Notre Dame raced out in the second half, putting the ball in the back of the net in the 48th minute and again in the 55th minute.

“For large portions of the first half we played a good college game,” coach Louis Bennett said. “I think those two goals were very timely for Notre Dame. We made mistakes and they capitalized on them.”

Notre Dame started things off in the first minute when junior Jeb Brovsky sent a shot sailing. Marquette would respond in the sixth minute when a Michael Greene shot from outside the area sailed high.

The closest either team came to scoring in the first half came from a Notre Dame cross that deflected off Paul Monsen and smashed into the side post in the 22nd minute.

The game got physical after Notre Dame tried to out-muscle the Golden Eagles with a couple of hard tackles. A two-footed tackle in the 26th minute had the Marquette coaching staff yelling for a yellow, but one was not given.

Notre Dame defender Bilal Duckett came off the pitch bleeding from the side of his eye in the 32nd minute after colliding with Amilcar Herrera. Both were going for the ball but no foul was called.

The second half was a different story as a quick goal only three minutes in by senior Tamba Samba, a halftime sub, gave the Fighting Irish both confidence and space to control the field.

The goal came after bad clearance by Paul Monsen, who mis-timed his header. The ball fell to the feet of the Fighting Irish attacker, who dribbled into the six-yard box and beat the keeper on a low shot.

“We made a major error in our own box and they capitalized on it,” Bennett said. “I think that put a crack in our armor.”

The goal opened up the left side of the field for Notre Dame, which based its attack off that flank. This barrage of shots led to two crosses in the 55th minute, the second of which was headed by senior Bright Dike over the head of Marquette goalkeeper Matt Pyzdrowski for a Fighting Irish goal.

“I think that goal that we gave up at the beginning of the second half got us going a different way,” sophomore Amilcar Herrera said. “They scored again and we just couldn’t keep up with them.”

Marquette switched up the lineup, going with two strikers up top and putting senior Michael Greene at right back for senior Tom Lynn, who played his first game after recovering from a foot injury.

The changes did not make much difference as the Fighting Irish used the two-goal advantage to keep possession and down Marquette.

Notre Dame outshot the Golden Eagles 15-8, with seven of those shots on goal. Marquette will travel to Seton Hall on Saturday.

“Obviously we’re disappointed right now with the loss,” sophomore Scott Miller said. “We just weren’t good enough in the second half unfortunately. They outplayed us.”

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