Notre Dame Edges Connecticut 1-0 in BIG EAST Championship Semifinals


Chester, Pa. - Notre Dame defeated Connecticut 1-0 in the BIG EAST Men's Soccer Championship semifinals at PPL Park on Nov. 9. The Fighting Irish advance to the title game, where they will play Georgetown.


Notre Dame took an early lead, as senior Dillon Powers scored his fifth goal of the season in the 11th minute. Powers, a first team all-conference selection, took the pass from junior Alex Priede to put the Irish in the lead. The assist was Priede's first of the season.


In the 35th minute, UConn's Mamadou Diouf tried to tie the game, but his shot sailed high.


"It was a hard-fought contest between two good teams," said Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark. "There were a lot of talented players on both sides."


Notre Dame held a 13-7 edge in shots and 5-4 in corner kicks. Sophomore Andre Blake made four saves between the posts for Connecticut, while senior Will Walsh made two saves for Notre Dame.


Notre Dame had earned a bye to the quarterfinal round, defeating Syracuse, the No. 2 seed in the Red Division, 4-2 before meeting the Huskies in the semifinal. The Irish are ranked No. 7 in the most recent NSCAA poll.


Connecticut won a share of the Blue Division regular-season title and, after earning a bye to the quarterfinals, defeated No. 4 Red seed Villanova 1-0 to advance.


"Congratulations to Notre Dame," said Connecticut head coach Ray Reid. "I think we have three of the best five teams in the country in this league. This match was like a final four game."


Earlier in the evening, No. 2 seed Georgetown defeated No. 4 seed Marquette 2-1 in double overtime. The title game between Georgetown and Notre Dame will be played on Sunday, Nov. 11 at noon at PPL Park.


"Georgetown is one of the best teams we have played this year," said Clark. "We know each other very well." Clark coached Georgetown head coach Brian Wiese at Dartmouth before the two coached together at Stanford.


Only three of the eight games in the BIG EAST Men's Soccer Championship have been decided by more than one goal.