October 9, 2012
Northwestern defeats ranked Irish
EVANSTON, Ill. - Joey Calisti had a goal and an assist, setting up Lepe Seetane as Northwestern defeated Notre Dame 2-1 at windy Lakeside Field on Tuesday.
The win for the Wildcats is their first over a top-10 opponent since defeating No. 4 Akron in the 2008 NCAA Tournament.
“Notre Dame is a great team,” Northwestern head coach Tim Lenahan said. “They’re one of the top, probably five teams in the country, but I think we played pretty evenly with them in terms of possession and things like that until that wind kicked up in the second half and then we just couldn’t get out of our half and we managed to hang on a little bit.
“The one good thing (with the wind) was we had a two-goal lead. (In the second half) we had little margin for error and (Patrick Hodan) made a really great play on their goal. He actually was their best player, and he really gave us some fits down there. The final 20 minutes of the game took a long time, we were nervous on the sidelines, but our guys dug in and we got a signature win for this team.”
NU broke through in the 14th minute with a pinpoint pass and a clinical finish. Chris Ritter put Calistri through the Notre Dame back line on a perfectly timed run at the far corner of the 18-yard box. Using one touch to put the ball onto his right foot, Calistri calmly tucked the shot into the far post past a diving Notre Dame goalkeeper Patrick Wall to give the 'Cats a 1-0 lead. Calistri's fifth goal of the season makes him the Wildcats' leading goal-scorer on the year.
Just five minutes later, Grant Wilson sent a long ball deep into the Notre Dame half, which Calistri was able to track down and tackle away from the opposing center back. Seetane received Calistri's cross at the top of the box, made his defender miss with a deft first touch, and fired a lethal left-footed strike into the top left corner. The goal was Seetane's first of the year, and put NU up 2-0 in the 19th minute.
The wind picked up considerably with 20 minutes to go, making it difficult for Northwestern to hold onto possession. The rain followed with under 10 minutes on the clock, as Notre Dame began to push forward aggressively for an equalizer.
The Fighting Irish pushed through in the 86th minute as Patrick Hodan collected the rebound off his own shot that was saved by Miller and deposited the ball into the back of the netting. It was the third goal of the season for the freshman midfielder.
Tyler Miller was huge down the stretch for Northwestern, finishing with six saves. Notre Dame outshot the `Cats 21-9. Notre Dame goalkeeper Patrick Wall made two saves.
NU also had the 5-3 edge on corner kicks in the match.
The Wildcats return to Big Ten action Sunday at Lakeside Field, hosting Ohio State at noon. Sunday's match will air live on the Big Ten Network.