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Friday, March 1, 2024
The Observer

Men's Soccer: Irish offense held in check

The No. 24 Irish had a difficult time scoring over the weekend, tying Michigan 0-0 Friday night before falling to No. 15 Michigan State 2-0 Sunday afternoon.

"We're not putting the ball in the net," Irish coach Bobby Clark said. "I wish there was something we could do. We had 22 shots on Friday and 22 today, so you feel like we should be getting some goals out of these somehow. They're making their shots count. It's a concern obviously, but I don't know. We've been generating offense but we're not making it count."

Though both teams had 22 shots and seven shots on goal in Friday's match-up, the Irish (5-2-2) had some excellent opportunities against Michigan (3-1-5) that they were unable to capitalize on. But it was the atmosphere of the game that Clark focused on.

"At Michigan we should have had the game over and done with at half time," Clark said. "We had three really good chances that we didn't take advantage of. Friday night was one of the best college soccer atmospheres that I've experienced in my 25 years. The place was rocking, and it was spilling over out of the stands. Both teams had chances, and I thought we had the better of the chances, but it was a terrific game in every respect."

The energy of Friday's game may have affected the play of the Irish on Sunday, who Clark said showed some fatigue and lethargy.

"I think it might have taken a lot out of the team mentally going to double overtime, but I never felt like we came out with that same intensity that we had Friday," Clark said. "Friday's atmosphere made it easy to find an intensity. There was a certain amount of a letdown on Sunday. It's hard for them to generate that kind of intensity, and we somehow weren't able to do that. It's quite difficult to have the two games back to back