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Miller gives third-ranked Irish a 1-0 decision over No. 12 West Virginia in Big East battle.

Ryan Miller
Ryan Miller, who leads Notre Dame with four goals, put away the winner against West Virginia woth a header.
-- Notre Dame web site photo by Trevor Ruszkowski --

NOTRE DAME, Ind. (Saturday, October 6, 2007) --- Senior defender Ryan Miller struck midway through the first half to lift No. 3 Notre Dame to a 1-0 triumph over 12th-ranked West Virginia in a Big East Blue Division match before 1,571 at Alumni Field tonight.

Notre Dame (8-1-2, 5-0-1 in conference) outshot the Mountaineers 12-3 in the first half, but could not take a lead.

WVU (6-4, 2-3) came out strong after intermission. Senior midfielder Mike Anoia put a shot on frame in the 47th minute, but Irish senior goalkeeper Chris Cahill turned it away with a diving save. In the 62nd minute, Anoia sent a shot sailing wide left.

Moments later, the Irish scored on one of its eight corner kicks (to one for WVU). Senior forward Joseph Lapira, who led NCAA Division I with 22 goals last season, but only has two this year, placed a ball on Miller's head for the decisive tally with 62:11 elapsed.

"I thought this was one of our best performances of the season," ND coach Bobby Clark said. "We controlled the game. We maybe could have gotten a couple more goals, but the game was tight and that kept us honest."

Miller, who leads Notre Dame with four goals, had two in Wednesday's 3-0 victory over No. 18 Michigan. Lapira does lead his team with four assists.

In the 62rd minute, Lapira sent a diving header just wide off a cross from junior defender Jack Traynor.

In their 11 outings, the Irish have scored only 17 goals, but are unbeaten in their last nine games (7-0-2) because they have conceded only seven all year. It is Notre Dame's longest stetch without a loss since a streak of 11 in a row in 2004.

West Virginia's best scoring chance came late in the first half when sophomore midfielder Chase Dewese sent a shot skimming off the top of the crossbar.

"We gave up a disappointing goal on another set piece," WVU coach Marlon LeBlanc said. "We didn't take advantage of the chances we had."

Overall, Notre Dame outshot the Mountaineers 23-12 with red-shirt freshman Zach Johnson making 15 saves for the losers. Cahill recorded six stops for his fourth clean sheet.

"Everyone played well for us tonight," Clark said. "Our attitude was tremendous."

There were only 18 fouls, -- 10 against WVU, which was the recipient of the only yellow card -- both low totals for a Big East clash.

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