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Peoria Notre Dame makes return to St. Louis triumphant

October 3rd, 2010
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2010 Gateway Classic TeamThe following is an excerpt from Sheldon Shealer’s ESPN RISE article covering the Gateway City Soccer Classic.

ST. LOUIS — The last time Peoria Notre Dame (Peoria, Ill.) boys’ soccer visited the St. Louis area, it left with a mixed bag of results.

First, there was a dramatic, 3-2 victory over then POWERADE FAB 50-ranked Christian Brothers College (St. Louis, Mo.) Sept. 3, followed by a crushing, 3-0 loss to unranked Chaminade (St. Louis, Mo.) the next day.

The Irish were back in Greater St. Louis this weekend — on the other side of the Mississippi River — for the Gateway City Soccer Classic, and this time walked away with a convincing bracket championship.

After handling Scott (Taylor Mill, Ky.), 4-1, Friday, the Irish defeated defending Indiana state champ Zionsville (Zionsville, Ind.), 4-2, and O’Fallon (O’Fallon, Ill.), 4-0, Saturday in the O’Fallon Bracket final.

“When we went to St. Louis [in September], we didn’t play to the level we could play, we weren’t ready for the speed of play,” Irish coach Mike Bare said. “We came back down, we were tested again and I think we’ve made some nice strides since our first trip to St. Louis.”

While Notre Dame’s title run did not pit the team against any ranked opponents, the bracket did include perennial Indiana power Evansville Memorial (Evansville, Ind.), Kentucky state-ranked Trinity (Louisville, Ky.) and FAB 50-ranked Marquette University (Milwaukee, Wis.), which was upset by O’Fallon.

Peoria Notre Dame’s 12 goals were the most scored by any of the 42 teams competing at this year’s tournament.

Notre Dame commit Vince Cicciarelli scored two goals in both the semifinal and final, while Kevin Whalen scored twice against Zionsville. Bradley commit Cody Gilfillan, who had a goal and two assists in the Friday win over Scott, assisted one of Cicciarelli’s goals in the final.

BOX SCORES

Friday 10/1 First Round
#38 PND 4, Scott (KY) 1

Halftime Score: ND 2, SCOTT 0
Shots on Goal: ND 12, SCOTT 5
Corners: ND 3, SCOTT 1
Fouls: ND 14, SCOTT 9
Offsides: ND 3, SCOTT 1
ND Goals: K. Whalen 6:20 (V. Cicciarelli), Garcia 15:06 (Gilfillan), D. Whalen 41:11 (Gilfillan/Lane), Gilfillan 47:13 (D. Whalen)
SCOTT Goals: Robbins 74:00 (unassisted)
Saves: ND Streid 4, SCOTT Supe 8

Saturday 10/2 Semifinal
#38 PND 4, Zionsville (IN) 2

Halftime Score: ND 0, ZION 1
Shots on Goal: ND 11, ZION 4
Corners: ND 6, ZION 3
Fouls: ND 21, ZION 13
Offsides: ND 0, ZION 2
ND Goals: K. Whalen 46:00 (Gilfillan), V. Cicciarelli 47:22 (K. Whalen), K. Whalen 71:26 (Garcia), V. Cicciarelli 76:49 (Garcia)
ZION Goals: #25 31:42 (#4), #9 41:22 (unassisted)
Saves: ND Auer 2, ZION #0 7

Saturday 10/2 Championship
#38 PND 4, O’Fallon 0

Halftime Score: ND 2, OFALL 0
Shots on Goal: ND 17, OFALL 2
Corners: ND 6, OFALL 1
Fouls: ND 28, OFALL 7
Offsides: ND 3, OFALL 4
ND Goals: V. Cicciarelli 19:02 (Gilfillan/K. Whalen), V. Cicciarelli 38:28 (Lazzari), Stockman 46:33 (Gilfillan/Lane), Frampton 78:09 (Olehy)
Saves: ND Streid 2, OFALL #0 13

Gateway City Classic Preview

September 29th, 2010
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Kevin Whalen

Senior midfielder Kevin Whalen dribbles past a Dunlap defender

The following is an excerpt from the Peoria Journal Star preps daily article.

When the Notre Dame boys soccer team made its first trip to the St. Louis area this season, in early September, it was looking to make its mark on the national scene.

But after a whirlwind 24 hours spent competing against some of the best teams in the country, the Irish left feeling a bit exposed.

Sure, they pulled off what was perhaps the biggest win in program history by defeating then-No. 7 St. Louis Christian Brothers. But a 3-0 loss to perennial power St. Louis Chaminade the next day put a bit of a damper on an otherwise successful trip.

“We put a lot of work in during the summer to get ready for those early tests,” ND coach Mike Bare said. “And I thought we were there. But when we went down to St. Louis I don’t think we played at the level we’re capable of playing. There’s a lot of things that go into playing down there with the speed of play, the speed on the ball, the defensive pressure and the quality of those teams. I think they exposed some things.”

That early wake-up call might have served the Irish well, however. Since that loss, they have gone 9-0 and outscored opponents 41-1.

This weekend, again in the St. Louis area, ND will get another chance to test its mettle against some of the country’s best teams. The Gateway City Classic features 42 teams, including nine ranked in the top 50 nationally, according to ESPN RISE.

ND, ranked 38th nationally, will face Taylor Mill (Ky.) Scott at 8:30 p.m. Friday in Belleville in one of six groups that make up the sixth annual competition.

“Since that loss to Chaminade, we’ve spent a lot of time working on the little things to try and correct them, so that when we go down there this weekend, we’ll be a bit more prepared,” Bare said. “And I think we’re where we need to be.”

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