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    Northwestern and Notre Dame Play to 1-1 Draw at Toyota Park

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM Drew Kotler was stellar in goal, recording a career-high 11 saves.
    NUSPORTSDOTCOM
    Drew Kotler was stellar in goal, recording a career-high 11 saves.
    NUSPORTSDOTCOM

    Sept. 29, 2010

    Box Score |  Photo Gallery 

    Site: Bridgeview, Ill. (Toyota Park)
    Score: Northwestern 1, Notre Dame 1 (2OT)
    Records: NU (3-4-1, 0-1-0 Big Ten), Notre Dame (3-2-3, 1-0-0 Big East)
    Next NU Event: Sunday, Oct. 3 -- vs. Missouri State (Lakeside Field), 1 p.m.

    BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. - Drew Kotler made a career-high 11 saves for Northwestern as the Wildcats played Notre Dame to an entertaining 1-1 draw at Toyota Park Wednesday evening. Matt Eliason notched NU's goal in the 48th minute of play.

    Though the matchup was the first regular-season meeting between the schools since the 2000 campaign, there has still been a meaningful rivalry between the squads of late. The Wildcats have eliminated the Fighting Irish from the NCAA tournament each of the last two seasons, winning 2-1 in South Bend in 2008 and 3-1 in Evanston a year ago.

    Neither squad was able to create an outstanding scoring chance during a fairly evenly played first half. Notre Dame recorded the lone two shots on goal over the opening 45 minutes of play, but Kotler was up to the task on both occasions despite having to deal with a beat-up goal mouth.

    Northwestern notched the lone two corner kicks over the opening half, while the Irish had a 9-4 edge in shots.

    The Wildcats struck first in the early stages of the second stanza when they earned a corner kick two minutes into the period. Piero Bellizzi's service found Eliason waiting at the back post. The senior forward's first shot was partially blocked, but the rebound came right back to him and he deposited it past Notre Dame keeper Philip Tuttle for his 32nd career goal.

    Northwestern continued to keep the pressure on and the Wildcats nearly added to their lead in the 67th minute of play. A handball was called on Notre Dame just outside the box and Eliason was narrowly denied of his second goal when Tuttle made a diving save following a free kick from 19 yards out.

    The Irish nearly tied the match moments later after they earned a corner kick. Michael Rose got a solid header off of Jeb Brovsky's service, but Kotler's cat-like reflexes allowed him to punch the ball over the top of the cage.

    A turnover in the Northwestern defensive third allowed Notre Dame to get the equalizer at 78:02. Kotler was able to make a pair of terrific diving saves, but Steven Perry was able to eventually post his team-leading fourth goal of the year

    The match eventually went through a pair of 10-minute overtime sessions, but neither side was able to tally the game-winning goal. Oliver Kupe had NU's best chance after regulation in the second OT, but Tuttle was able to come up with the save.

    Notre Dame finished the wide-open match with a 30-16 edge in shots on the large pitch. The Wildcats owned a 6-5 advantage in corner kicks.

    The contest continued a recent tradition of Northwestern athletic teams playing at professional sports venues. In the last two years, the Wildcat baseball team has played at U.S. Cellular Field, the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome and Miller Park. On Nov. 20, the NU football team faces Illinois at Wrigley Field, while the men's basketball program is set to play two games at Madison Square Garden Dec. 20-21.

    The Wildcats return to action at 1 p.m. Sunday when they host Missouri State at Lakeside Field.

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