Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Notre Dame's seniors get another shot
December 6th, 2007 8AM

TAGS:  college men


Paul Kennedy continues the Men's Elite 8 Countdown
Everyone knows about Notre Dame star Joseph Lapira, the Ragin' Cajun who came out of nowhere to win the 2006 Soccer America Player of the Year award and Hermann Trophy and earn a callup from the Irish national team last spring, becoming the first amateur to represent Ireland in 43 years.

Last year, he dominated, scoring 22 goals for the Irish, who advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division I Tournament for the first time.

This year, Notre Dame is back in the Elite 8, thanks to Lapira and a lot of help from the rest of the Fighting Irish's outstanding senior class.

To be sure, Lapira's numbers are down -- nine goals and 10 assists -- but he has been sensational in the NCAA Tournament, scoring or setting up all four goals in the Fighting Irish's first two games.

Lapira is one of five senior starters for Notre Dame, which plays at Wake Forest Saturday in the quarterfinals.

"This group of seniors really want this," said Notre Dame coach Bobby Clark. "They worked really hard from the minute we lost last year at Virginia [the quarterfinals]. The group as a whole, especially the seniors, has worked really hard."

Here's a look at Lapira's classmates:

RYAN MILLER. The right back from Barrington, Ill., recovered from a knee injury in his freshman season to become a four-year starter for the Irish. This has been his best season. He's second behind Lapira with six goals and four assists and earned first-team All-Big East honors. The extra year has allowed Miller to pursue a master's degree in accounting, but he might hold off entering the work force to pursue a career in MLS.

ALEX YOSHINAGA. Yoshinaga missed the majority of the 2006 campaign, which included the NCAA Tournament, with a collarbone injury. He scored the first Irish goal in a 2-1 win over Oakland in the second round and followed that up with an assist on the first Notre Dame tally in the a 2-0 victory over Santa Clara in the third round. Yoshinaga is part of the Irish pipeline from San Diego that included former stars Greg Dalby and Ian Etherington.

CHRIS CAHILL. The Kentucky product didn't play a game his first two seasons at Notre Dame but started every game in goal in 2005 and has been the primary starter every since. This year, the 6-foot-6 Cahill was a second-team All-Big East selection. With the 2-0 win at Santa Clara in the third round, Cahill set a Notre Dame record with his fourth NCAA Tournament shutout.

KURT MARTIN. After playing a reserve role this first three season, Martin won a starting job in 2007 and has contributed two goals, both scored on the second weekend of the season. The McAllen, Texas, product plays as the Irish's second forward behind Lapira.

No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now



Recent College Soccer Reporter
Video Pick: Virginia's Foss dials long distance    
Virginia players know how to score goals. Last week, Derrick Etienne went through half of the ...
U.S. Merchant Marine's Smolens earns 300th win    
U.S. Merchant Marine Academy men's coach Michael Smolens earned his 300th career victory when the Mariners ...
Wake Forest is first in opening Men's Soccer RPI    
Wake Forest is No. 1 in the NCAA's first Rating Percentage Index (RPI) of the 2015 ...
POTW: Division III star selected for second straight week     
Caitlin Golden of Division III Penn State Berks picked up her second consecutive NSCAA College Player ...
Soccer America Men's Top 25    
There is no change at the top of the weekly Soccer America Men's Top 25 rankings ...
Soccer America Women's Top 25    
North Carolina (10-0-1) moved into first place in the Soccer America Women's Top 25 rankings. The ...
Unbeatens: UNC tops ACC, Cornell's shutout streak ends    
No. 2 North Carolina (10-0-1) and Cornell (8-0-2) remained the only unbeaten women's teams in the ...
Conference Watch: South Carolina takes charge in SEC    
South Carolina moved into first place in the SEC when it rallied to beat defending champion ...
Men's Week 5: Three things we learned this weekend    
A coaching change has not slowed down Wake Forest, which has been led by Jon Bakero ...
Conference Watch: Pac-12 women's race is wide open    
The Pac-12, one of three conferences that decides its conference champion based on the regular-season standings ...
>> College Soccer Reporter Archives