Notre Dame soccer coach Jim Schermerhorn realizes that no team in Tennessee's A/AA classification presents the challenges that McCallie does.
And from the outcome of Tuesday's match between the neighbor schools, that might be a good thing.
The Division II-AA top-ranked Blue Tornado scored two goals in each half and cruised to a 4-0 victory at Notre Dame. The game served as a tune-up for both teams as they head into postseason play next week.
Arturo Rocha scored twice for the visitors, while Hunter Brock and David Barnes also scored. The McCallie defense limited Notre Dame to one attempt on goal.
"We wanted to stress the fundamentals and basics of team defense," McCallie coach Tony Meyers said. "Our back four has played well, obviously, but we wanted the defense all over the field to be a factor. We realize that if you improve not only your individual defense but also your team defense, you'll be better all around the field."
Rocha got the Blue Tornado (15-2) on the board in the ninth minute on a free kick that sliced past Notre Dame keeper Tim Barnes. They added to that total when Marek Stout headed the ball to Brock, who slotted the ball for another goal.
The lead grew to 3-0 when Rocha finished off some fancy dribbling with a goal, and Barnes finished the scoring with a goal assisted by Jonathan Azan.
Even with the loss, Schermerhorn found positives. The Irish have been battling some injuries but got two of the five affected players back Tuesday.
"I was looking for our guys to compete tonight, and I thought we did," Schermerhorn said. "McCallie is easily the toughest team we've played, and keeping up with their speed is a challenge. I don't like that it was 4-0, but the guys played hard. We could have possessed a little better, but we needed to play quick because of the pressure they put on you.
"They have speed that you just can't duplicate in practice, so it was good to see that tonight."
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