Oct. 3, 2016
by Tony Jones
2016 NOTRE DAME MEN’S SOCCER – Match 10#1/2 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (8-1-0) vs. #6 Indiana Hoosiers (6-0-4)
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Bragging rights in the Hoosier State are up for grabs on Tuesday night when the University of Notre Dame men’s soccer team and Indiana resume a classic in-state rivalry on the pitch at Alumni Stadium. The 7 p.m. (ET) nonconference matchup will air live on ACC Network Extra.
No. 1/2 Notre Dame (8-1-0) looks to continue a hot start that most recently featured a 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) win at Pittsburgh on Sept. 30. The Irish are a perfect 5-0 thus far in 2016 in nonconference matches, outscoring the opposition 13-1 in those contests.
Notre Dame and No. 6 Indiana (6-0-4) will clash for the first time since the Irish emerged in the second overtime period with a 1-0 win over the Hoosiers in Bloomington on Aug. 30, 2015. Indiana won its previous matches this season (1-0 over New Mexico on Aug. 26, 3-1 over UC Irvine on Aug. 28) at Alumni Stadium during the Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament.
Single game tickets for the 2016 Notre Dame men’s soccer season remain on sale. Visit und.com/BuyTickets or call the Murnane Family Ticket Office at 574-631-7356 for more information or to purchase tickets.
Irish Stall Pitt Behind Gallagher Double
A pair of goals from conference scoring leader Jon Gallagher and a strong defensive performance enabled Notre Dame to emerge with a convincing 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) victory over Pittsburgh on Sept. 30 at rainy Ambrose Urbanic Field.
No. 1/2 Notre Dame claimed its second straight conference win behind the second multi-goal performance of 2016 from Gallagher. The junior striker vaulted into the ACC lead with eight goals (19 points) over his first nine starts this season.
Notre Dame finished the contest with an 11-3 shots edge over Pittsburgh, including a perfect 7-0 mark in the first half. The Irish also enjoyed a 10-3 margin in attempted corner kicks on the night, including an 8-2 tally in corners during the second half alone.
Gallagher Seizes Control Of ACC Points Lead
As of the most recent ACC statistics update on Oct. 1, Notre Dame’s Jon Gallagher assumed the conference points lead following his two-goal performance in a clean sheet victory at Pittsburgh.
Gallagher took over the top slot in goals among all ACC players with his seventh and eighth tallies of 2016 in the win over the Panthers. Along with his team-high three assists, Gallagher also paces the ACC with 19 points entering play this week.
Teammate Brandon Aubrey is third in points with 13 (six goals, one assist) to lead all ACC defenders.
Townes Facilitates Both ND Goals At Pitt
Midfielder Blake Townes was the key distributor for both Notre Dame goals in the win over Pittsburgh, claiming both primary assists in the 2-0 Irish shutout win over the Panthers.
Townes received a great through ball from striker Thomas Ueland to hit Jon Gallagher in front of the Pittsburgh frame for the first Notre Dame goal of the match in the 22nd minute before serving a perfect volley to a breaking Gallagher for the insurance score late in the contest. Townes moved into a tie with Gallagher and tri-captain Evan Panken for the Notre Dame assists lead with three total helpers thus far in 2016.
ND Win #200 For Coach Clark
The 2-1 win over No. 2 Syracuse on Sept. 23 was the 200th win at Notre Dame for head coach Bobby Clark. In his 16th season, Clark improved to 200-80-51 at Notre Dame with the victory.
Clark, the all-time wins leader among Irish men’s soccer mentors, joined legendary women’s coach Randy Waldrum (292) as the only Notre Dame soccer coaches to surpass 200 wins at the University.
ACC The Dominant League In College Soccer
Notre Dame was one of seven ACC teams included in last week’s National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) top 25 poll that was released on Sept. 27. The seven ACC teams included in the current NSCAA rankings lead all conferences in terms of ranked members.
The ACC is a combined 51-11-5 (.799) in nonconference play to pace Division I soccer as of Oct. 3. Notre Dame (Sept. 6 and Sept. 13) and North Carolina (Aug. 30) have previously been the top team in the NSCAA rankings during different weeks of 2016. The Irish are currently the national number one team in two other polls (College Soccer News and TopDrawerSoccer) entering this week’s matches.
Irish Narrowing Gap With IU
Although Indiana arrives at Notre Dame with a 26-9-2 all-time series lead before Tuesday’s match, closer examination of the history between the teams shows that the Irish have gained significant ground on the eight-time NCAA champion during the new millennium.
Since 2001 Notre Dame and Indiana are 8-8-1 against one another, meeting on three different occasions in the NCAA Championship. Dating back to 2010 alone, Notre Dame has inched ahead of Indiana with a 4-2-1 mark.
Indiana enters Tuesday’s contest at Alumni Stadium as one of three unbeaten teams in Division I soccer, compiling a 6-0-4 record fresh off a 3-2 win over No. 6 Butler on Sept. 29. The Hoosiers previously beat New Mexico (1-0 on Aug. 26) and UC Irvine (3-1 on Aug. 28) during Notre Dame’s Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament, claiming runner-up honors.
Tanner Thompson and Richard Ballard have each scored four goals and added two assists to share the Indiana lead in points (10) after 10 starts thus far this season.
Head coach Todd Yeagley led Indiana to its eighth national title at the 2012 NCAA College Cup.
Tony Jones, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2012 and coordinates all media efforts for the Notre Dame softball and men’s soccer programs. A native of Jamestown, New York, Jones is a 2011 graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and prior to arriving at Notre Dame held positions at the University of Louisiana Monroe and with the National Football League’s Buffalo Bills.