Notre Dame was the big winner on a weekend that saw three Big East teams fall from the unbeaten and untied ranks.
The Irish downed Rutgers, 2-0, getting a goal and an assist from senior Ryan Miller in a nationally televised match that drew a crowd of 6,309 fans at Yurcak Field on Friday night.
Miller sent a cross to Dave Donohue, who scored on a diving header past Scarlet Knight goalkeeper Matt VanOekel in the 35th minute.
The second Irish goal came in the 65th minute as Hermann Trophy winnerJoseph Lapira fed Miller, who beat a defender before sending the ball low off the far post and into the back of the net for his first goal of the season and the second of his career.
"It was a fabulous atmosphere to play in front of 6,400 fans on a beautiful night and on a nice field," said Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark. "It was a lot of fun, especially because we played well. It's always nice to play like that in front of a big audience and a television audience."
Two days later, Lapira and Donohue teamed up to spring Jeb Brovsky for his first goal of the season that gave the Irish a 1-0 win at Villanova.
The victory gave No. 2 ranked Notre Dame its first 3-0 start to Big East play. St. John's and Cincinnati (both 2-0-0) are the only other unbeaten Big East teams in conference play.
BIG EAST REPORT. Here's how the three unbeaten and untied Big East teams fell:
-- Chukwudi Chijindu scored his fourth goal of the season to secure Connecticut a 2-1 win over South Florida in Friday's battle of unbeaten and untied teams that drew a USF-record crowd of 2,431.
-- All-American Ryan Maduro scored the first and assisted the second goal on Friday to lead Providence to a 2-0 victory over DePaul, which had won its four previous games by shutouts.
-- Connecticut entered Sunday's match at DePaul undefeated at 7-0-0 but left Lincoln Park on the short end of a 1-0 decision after Steffen Vroom scored the game's lone goal in the 86th minute.