Notre Dame plays impressively against Jackson in championship

Sunday, September 3, 2006

Four games is not enough to judge a team by, but if Notre Dame's boys soccer team can play as well as it did in this weekend's Notre Dame Soccerfest at the end of the season, the Bulldogs could be in for a long playoff run.

The Bulldogs received a little more competition from Saturday's opponent, Jackson, than they had in their previous two games, but still managed to roll by the Indians 4-1 to claim the title.

Notre Dame outscored its three Soccerfest opponents 17-2, and is 4-0 this season with a 27-2 scoring edge. The title was the first for Notre Dame since 2000 according to coach Brad Wittenborn.

From the start the Bulldogs set the tone. Ryan Willen, a 6-foot-6 junior, pushed a header just wide on a corner 5 minutes in. Less than two minutes later, Willen got another header off a corner, and after the ball was knocked down by Jackson's defense Willen was able to poke the ball home for a 1-0 lead.

After the Bulldogs grabbed the lead, they continued to hound Jackson's defense.

One of Notre Dame's biggest weapons in the first half was junior forward Ty Williams. Williams continually made things happen with his feet, and would set up the second goal for Notre Dame. With the help of a few deft dribbling moves, Williams sprang senior forward Abe Dirnberger who buried a turnaround shot with his left foot.

Almost before Notre Dame fans had time to stop applauding Dirnberger, sophomore defender Joda Holloway took a feed from Jack Wedemeier and scored from nearly 25 yards out on a one-timer for a 3-0 lead.

Jackson answered with a goal from Spencer McCormack late in the half.

Wedemeier put the game away with a volley goal midway through the half on an assist from Zach Capriola.

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