MORNING BRIEFING: Inspired Indiana fights back

Unranked after losing three of its last five games, including its first two Big Ten matches, Indiana recovered to knock off No. 16 Notre Dame, 3-1, on Thursday night in Bloomington.

With the win the Hoosiers improve to 7-4-2 on the season and are 2-0-2 against top-25 teams in 2008.

"Tonight we played a nice, even-keel game," said head coach Mike Freitag. "We played well defensively and took care of things offensively. Today we were balanced and took our chances well."

Kevin Alston got IU going with a blast from 25 yards in the 24th minute and Kevin Noschang added to the Hoosiers' tally less than three minutes later with a shot from point-blank range.

"As a team we felt we were underrated coming into this match," Noschang said. "We were the underdog and we are not used to that. We wanted to come out and show everyone in the country what we can do."

Michael Thomas reduced the deficit with Notre Dame's lone goal in the 38th minute, but the inspired Hoosiers answered right back in the 42nd minute as Andy Adlard and Neil Wilmarth connected to send Adlard through to make it 3-1 in favor of Indiana.

"Defensively I thought we had good organization and were talking with each other and shifting over at the right times," Alston said. "If the backs are communicating with everyone, I think you will see a good effort all round."

The only downside of the game came in the sixth minute when U.S. U-20 defender Rich Balchan had to leave the game after taking a blow to the nose. Freshman Tommy Meyer stepped in for the rest of the match.

Indiana is now 7-4-2, while Notre Dame fell to 8-4-1.

"I felt like it was a very close game," said Irish coach Bobby Clark. "I thought we opened the game as well as we've ever opened a game down here at Indiana. All three of their goals were very good. The first one was a heck of a hit and then they came back with another one. Michael Thomas had a fabulous goal to make it 2-1, but before we knew what happened they made it 3-1."

Next up for IU: another nonconference top-25 opponent in No. 10 Louisville at home next Wednesday. Notre Dame returns home for a Big East showdown with Providence on Sunday.

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