published Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

David Lipscomb ousts Notre Dame Irish in soccer state match

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- David Lipscomb soccer coach Nathan Proffitt said after Tuesday's match that his Mustangs were going to "face the sun, because all behind us is the shadows."

Somewhere in those shadows lies Notre Dame.

The Irish held a one-goal advantage at halftime, only to watch the Mustangs gallop to a 3-1 victory in the Class A/AA state quarterfinals at the Richard Siegel Soccer Complex. Lipscomb will face Memphis Kingsbury, which defeated Greeneville 2-1, in today's semifinals.

Notre Dame's Tyler Robertson angled in a corner kick in the 31st minute for the 1-0 advantage. It was a lead the Irish held for about 16 minutes of match action, when Curtis Hunt headed in a Jackson Boonstra corner kick.

The match looked as though it was heading into overtime until another Boonstra corner kick was headed in, this time by Reid Weber in the 76th minute.

Michael Oruma put the match away, countering after a Notre Dame corner kick was cleared in the final two minutes.

"We came out nervous and played that way for about 20 minutes," Proffitt said. "I'm excited for our boys, though; we changed our format during the half, and I was impressed with our effort."

Proffitt said his team puts a lot of emphasis on set pieces, which led to the Mustangs' first two goals.

"We just stress to them to do whatever works," he said. "We don't try to get too fancy -- we actually get mad at them if they do try to do too much.

"Nobody picked us to win this match. They talked about how we didn't play anybody, but we have some tough teams in our district."

The end came a little too soon for the Irish. The usual slow start record-wise that comes from Notre Dame coach Jim Schermerhorn's difficult scheduling practices was turned around midseason. Still, the 12-win total for the 2012 season is three wins less than what they'd hoped and expected.

"It's not the way we wanted our season to end," Schermerhorn said. "It's tough to win at the state tournament. We really couldn't find out anything about them, but you have to be prepared because anybody you play up here is tough. It's about how we've prepared; there are plenty of games that we go in blind. You can't always have the convenience of a scouting report.

"We got to the tournament we wanted to, but we didn't get the finish we wanted. Those are good kids, and they were committed to do something special. As a coach, you can't find words to say. They've worked their butts off and it's hard for them, and whatever you say won't make things any better."

Contact Gene Henley at ghenley@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6311. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/genehenleytfp.

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