Men's Soccer Ties No. 9 Notre Dame In Preseason Match
Aug. 28, 2004
CHICOPEE, Mass. - The UMass men's soccer team played No. 9 Notre Dame to a 0-0 tie in the final preseason exhibition match for both teams Saturday night at Szot Park. The Minutemen battled one of the nation's premier programs as the defense starred all night long.
"I was very pleased with the performance," said head coach Sam Koch. "The three players in the back, Tim Kitchell, Todd Skelton and Ian O'Donnell played very well and made it easy for our goalkeepers to keep th shutout. I think both goalkeepers (Colin Burns and Nick Billman) did a good job when they had to. I was very, very pleased with the defense."
The game action was relatively even for the first half with each team taking three shots. Burns made one of the biggest saves of the night to keep the shutout in tact midway though the first half as he stopped Irish forward Tony Megna. Burns and Billman each finished with two saves for the Minutemen.
UMass had its best scoring chance with 33 minutes left in regulation as Gabe Barnard back-kicked a ball from three yards out that was stopped by Notre Dame keeper Chris Sawyer.
Throughout the night, the trio of Kitchell, Skelton and O'Donnell worked hard to deny the Irish scoring chances, as they finished with just nine shots. Defensive midfielder Craig Canavan, playing in his hometown of Chicopee was also strong.
The Minutemen open the 2004 regular-season against preseason No. 5 Santa Clara at the USF Tournament in San Francisco, Calif., on September 2 at 2:30 p.m. UMass opens its 2004 home schedule against Maine at 1 p.m. on Sept. 11 at Rudd Field.