Rams' Run Ends In Semifinals Of NAIA Men's Soccer Nationals
posted on December 03, 2010 21:06
ORANGE BEACH, Ala. - Notre Dame junior Luke Holmes was the difference as the fourth-seeded Falcons eliminate No. 9 Mobile (Ala.), 1-0 in the first Semifinal of the NAIA Men's Soccer National Championship final site from the Orange Beach Sportsplex. He scored an unassisted goal in the 59th minute for the game-winner. The Falcons win in their first-ever Semifinal appearance and will next play on Saturday at 7 p.m. CST. The Championship finals opponent will be the winner of the second Semifinal between No. 3 Hastings (Neb.) and No. 7 William Jewell (Mo.).
The men’s soccer team will be making its first appearance in a National Championship final. The Falcons join the wrestling program as the only teams to advance this far in school-history. The wrestling team won the 2010 National Championship.
“To keep a clean-sheet (shutout) was a surprise but a pleasant one,” said head coach Michael McBride, whose team has now compiled 13 shutouts this year. “The guys from front-to-back were tremendous today. They left everything on the field.”
There was not much play on the offensive end in the first half. Notre Dame had just two shots-on-goal while Mobile offered one opportunity on the net.
In the 59th minute, Holmes weaved his way around the Mobile defense and put away his 21st goal of the season. That score stood up as the Notre Dame defense shut down a Mobile team that tallied a mere four shots-on-goal. The Rams had gone 18-straight matches in scoring at least one goal.
“The feeling hasn’t sunk in yet,” said Holmes. “I put myself in the right position (to score goals) and there are good balls coming into me. We have beaten a lot of great teams to get to this point and Mobile is one of those great teams.”
When asked about his star Notre Dame player, McBride had this to say.
“He (Holmes) is a big-match player. He is very competitive and regardless of what situation he is in, the pressure does not get to him. He makes things happen.”
Notre Dame junior goalkeeper Alex Klein went the distance to earn his 23rd win on the year. Mobile's Jason Williams finished with 3 saves in goal.
Mobile ends its season with a 17-4-2 overall record. The Rams fall to 1-3 all-time when playing against Notre Dame.
(Story courtesy of NAIA Sports Information Office)