To beat the top-ranked team in the country, Indiana needed something that senior defender Patrick Doody said he had not done since he was 12 years old.
Score directly off a corner kick.
Doody’s goal in the 19th minute lifted No. 8 Indiana to a 1-0 victory over No. 1 Notre Dame Wednesday at Bill Armstrong Stadium. It’s the Hoosiers’ first home win over the Fighting Irish since 2008.
>”Rarely do you see it go directly in,” IU head coach Todd Yeagley said. "Certainly that’s the part you don’t see often. We train that particular play and thought it was going to be effective. That ended up being the difference today.”
After IU sophomore midfielder Tanner Thompson’s shot was blocked, Thompson earned a corner kick which was deflected out of bounds for another corner kick. Doody lined up to take the second kick and sent it to the far post, where it bounced untouched off the post into the net for the lone goal of the game for Indiana (9-2-3).
IU head coach Todd Yeagley credited associate head coach Brian Maisonneuve and the rest of the coaching staff for the set piece off the corner kick which resulted in the goal.
”They (Notre Dame) put a lot of numbers in the goal box,” Yeagley said. “We felt we could cause some problems just on that. So, ironically, Coach Mais called that one and really asked for us to do that particular set piece.”
Yeagley probably didn’t expect his team to end up with 21 shot attempts while limiting Notre Dame (8-4-2) to nine. After practice on Monday, Yeagley had said that he didn’t expect his team to get 15 shot attempts.
”We had a lot of good attacking performances,” he said. “I thought all of them had, not their super A-games, but they were pretty darn close to it tonight. That’s what we can do when all of those guys are in a good flow, and we had that.”
While the Hoosier offense fired on all cylinders and recorded its second-highest shot total of the season, the defense provided pressure to keep the Fighting Irish attack at bay.
Notre Dame, which entered the game holding opponents to 10.8 shots per game and averaging 15.1 attempts itself, did not record its first shot attempt until the 22nd minute of the first half.
”At one point, I remember thinking, ‘have they had a really good look yet?,’” Yeagley said. “This is a team that there’s no way you’re going to hold them to one or two. Certainly they had a couple good chances as the game went on, (but) you expect that against a championship level team as Notre Dame is.”
A large part of the defense’s success was due to the performance of IU sophomore goalkeeper Colin Webb, who recorded his sixth shutout of the season and needed only three saves to do it after giving up two goals against Maryland.
”You can say he had a rough game (against Maryland), but he had a few saves (on goals) that could’ve made that game a lot worse,” Doody said. “He’s been great all year and I expect nothing less.”
Webb said the team was frustrated with last Sunday’s loss to Maryland.
”A couple of decisions defensively cost us that game,” Webb said. “The boys refocused and we did a lot better job with the details tonight. We really took it to them and they couldn’t get a rhythm going.
Because of Webb and Doody’s efforts, Indiana defeated a Notre Dame team which was ranked fifth in the NCAA’s Ratings Percentage Index (RPI). The Hoosiers were number four.
Yeagley said the victory was an important one.
”We knew this another great opportunity, and if it didn’t go our way tonight, we wouldn’t hit the panic button,” he said. “Our body of work is good, we move on to the next one and that’s a good mental strength of this team. They don’t get as fazed on some setbacks, and fortunately we haven’t had many this year.”