Sept. 8, 2016
by Tony Jones
2016 NOTRE DAME MEN’S SOCCER – Match 5#1 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (4-0-0) vs. #15 Virginia Tech Hokies (4-0-0)
DATE: Sept. 9, 2016
TIME: 7 p.m. (ET)
LOCATION: Notre Dame, Indiana (Alumni Stadium — cap. 2,500)
BROADCAST: ACC Network Extra
TICKETS: UND.com/tickets; (574) 631-7356
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – A second successful tournament weekend has led the University of Notre Dame men’s soccer team back home to begin the 2016 Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) schedule. The Irish and No. 15 Virginia Tech are set to clash on Friday at 7 p.m. (ET) inside Alumni Stadium, with live coverage available via ACC Network Extra.
No. 1 Notre Dame (4-0-0) returned to the front of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Top 25 poll for the seventh time since 2013 earlier this week. The Irish will face their third straight top 25 opponent on Friday when Virginia Tech (4-0-0) makes its third appearance on the Notre Dame campus.
Season and single game tickets for the 2016 Notre Dame men’s soccer season remain on sale. Visit und.com/tickets or call the Murnane Family Ticket Office at 574-631-7356 for more information or to purchase tickets.
Irish Stay Undefeated With IU Sweep
A goal on the scoreboard within the first minute of play essentially told the story for Notre Dame on Sept. 4 against No. 22 California. The Irish would add four more goals as part of a 5-0 rout of the Golden Bears at the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic at Armstrong Stadium.
Notre Dame enjoyed its largest margin of victory against a top 25 foe since blanking then No. 21 Michigan 5-0 on Sept. 1, 2009 at Alumni Stadium. The Irish remained unbeaten against Cal (1-2-1) in three meetings all-time at the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic, improving to 2-0-1 against the Golden Bears.
Notre Dame, finishing as tournament champion, led all entrants with four selections to the all-tournament team, with Jon Gallagher, Brandon Aubrey, Thomas Ueland and Chris Hubbard each being recognized. Gallagher was also chosen as the Offensive MVP, while Hubbard claimed Defensive MVP accolades.
Panken Delivers Lightning Fast ND Goal Against Cal
Tri-captain Evan Panken wasted little time in getting the Notre Dame offense up and running in the match’s very first minute against California. After a shot attempt soared over the net and a stolen goal kick clearance sent the ball back to the Irish, Panken received a cross from Jon Gallagher along the right end line on the ensuing possession and drilled a strike into the right corner of the mesh past Cal goalkeeper Jonathan Klinsmann for the Irish goal at 0:38.
It was the second fastest Notre Dame goal to open a match since 1995, surpassed only by Bob Novak (0:26) against Bucknell on Sept. 11, 2011. Gallagher now has the primary assist on two of Notre Dame’s three fastest goals on record, after also serving a cross to a diving Max Lachowecki at 1:12 in a 4-0 win at Michigan State on Sept. 22, 2015.
Gallagher’s Hot Start Continues
Striker Jon Gallagher was recognized as the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Offensive Player of the Week and the College Soccer News National Player of the Week on Sept. 6 following a six-point performance at the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic in Bloomington. Gallagher was the first Notre Dame player to earn conference weekly accolades during the 2016 season.
Gallagher broke through for the tying goal for Notre Dame in the 86th minute against defending NCAA champion Stanford on Sept. 2, as the Irish ultimately defeated the No. 15 Cardinal 2-1 in double overtime at the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic. The Dundalk, Ireland native was a force for Notre Dame once more in the tournament finale against No. 22 California (Sept. 4), logging the primary assist on the game-winning goal just 38 seconds into the match. Gallagher would add a goal and a second assist in a 5-0 Irish shutout of the Golden Bears to secure tournament Offensive MVP honors.
Through four starts in 2016, Gallagher is the Notre Dame leader with four goals, three assists and 11 points. He has attempted 15 total shots, with 11 tries officially finding goal (.733) to pace the Irish attack.
Hubbard Notches Historic Assist
Goalkeeper Chris Hubbard logged his second career collegiate assist by finding dynamic striker Jon Gallagher alone behind the California defense with a bounding goal kick in the 13th minute. Gallagher finished the breakaway pass for his fourth goal in four matches at 12:57, with Hubbard receiving credit for the primary point with the lead pass on Sept. 4.
Hubbard (2) and Bert Bader (’94, 5) are believed to be the only Notre Dame goalkeepers with two or more career helpers in the program’s 40-year history.
Ueland Catches Fire Against Cal
There were no signs of a sophomore slump for Thomas Ueland during Notre Dame’s final match of the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic against No. 22 California on Sept. 4. Ueland registered his first collegiate multi-goal game by scoring twice in 30 minutes in a 5-0 Irish triumph against the Golden Bears.
Ueland created his first goal by securing possession from the Cal defense in the 40th minute, building up possession toward the Golden Bears goal before opening his 2016 goal account with a 15-yard strike inside the right post at 39:31. Ueland was on the spot to clean up a saved shot off the foot of tri-captain Evan Panken in the 61st minute, shoveling the rebound home from eight yards out to extend the Notre Dame lead at the time to 4-0.
Scouting Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech enters Friday’s ACC opener with a 4-0-0 record after downing No. 24 Georgetown 1-0 on Sept. 5. Marcelo Acuna leads all Hokies offensive players with four goals, while five other players have notched one goal each.
Coach Mike Brizendine is 45-73-18 (.397) in his eighth season at the helm of Virginia Tech.
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.