Oct. 21, 2014
#1 NOTRE DAME
(8-3-2, 4-1-1 ACC)
(8-2-3, 2-2-1 Big Ten)
Wednesday, Oct. 22 – 7 p.m. (ET)
Armstrong Stadium – Bloomington, Ind.
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – It might be an in-state rivalry, but Wednesday’s showdown between Notre Dame and Indiana will have the nation’s attention as it showcases two top-10 teams that have taken home the last two NCAA titles.
Top-ranked Notre Dame will bring a season-best three-game win streak down to Bloomington for its annual encounter with No. 8 Indiana. The Fighting Irish are putting the pieces together at just the right time as their title defense approaches the postseason.
“We’re starting to come together as a team,” Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark says. “I think we’ve played well all year, but I feel we’ve taken it to a new level these last few games. There are a lot of games coming up that’ll test us. It’s around this time last year that we really started putting it together and we started getting a confidence within the team. We still have a lot of work to do before we start saying we’ve arrived, but there have been positive signs.”
Following five straight one-goal decisions, which included consecutive wins, the Irish had a little more breathing room in Friday’s 4-1 victory at Duke. The four goals matched a season-high total and they were the most tallies ever for the Fighting Irish in an Atlantic Coast Conference game.
A big reason for the recent success has been the play of junior midfielder Patrick Hodan, who has netted five goals in the last four contests. He will look to extend his four-game goal streak Wednesday against the Hoosiers. Hodan broke open the Duke match in the second half as he scored twice in a span of 2:14 to put the Irish up 3-0.
“The biggest surprise is that Patrick (Hodan) hadn’t scored more this season,” Clark states. “He’s been close and he’s been putting himself in a good position. Patrick is a goal scorer and he has the ability to score every time he takes the field. There’s no question that he has that ability. He’s a special player.”
The triumph over the Blue Devils placed the Fighting Irish alone on top of the ACC standings with two league matches left to play. The Irish will step away from conference action on Wednesday at Indiana, but they will still find themselves in a familiar environment.
The Fighting Irish are enjoying a successful stretch down in Bloomington. The Irish are 4-1 in their last five meetings with the Hoosiers at Bill Armstrong Stadium and Notre Dame captured a share of its third straight adidas/IU Credit Union Classic title back in late August. The Irish defeated Marquette, 2-1, and tied Georgetown, 0-0, to split the crown with Indiana.
“Indiana is a terrific team and they’ve had a great season,” Clark says. “We know them well and we have tremendous respect for them. We go to their tournament and they come to our tournament and we also play them in the spring. The big thing with them is that they have such a tradition within that program. You know you’re going to get a hard game every time you play them. They’re well coached, they’re tough and they work hard.”
Indiana owns a 25-8-2 advantage in the in-state series, yet Clark has guided the Fighting Irish to a 7-7-1 mark against the Hoosiers since coming to Notre Dame prior to the 2001 campaign.
“Notre Dame had stopped playing Indiana before I came here and the first call I made was to (former Indiana head coach) Jerry Yeagley and asked how we could get them back on our schedule,” Clark says. “It’s always been a good program to measure ourselves against and it’s grown into a terrific rivalry.
“It’s great that we both come from the state of Indiana and it’s great for soccer in this area (that the two programs have won the last two NCAA titles). We both play very, very strong schedules and we don’t dodge anybody and certainly Indiana doesn’t dodge anyone. Your players are very quickly made aware of the fine line between success and failure at this level.”
NOTRE DAME BACK AT #1
– Notre Dame is ranked No. 1 in this week’s National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) poll. The Irish were ranked 11th in last week’s poll. It’s the third time this season Notre Dame has been No. 1 according to the NSCAA. The Irish also topped the preseason poll and the rankings released Sept. 30.
FIGHTING IRISH ATOP THE ACC STANDINGS
– Notre Dame is in sole possession of first place in the ACC standings. The Irish have 13 points, while fellow Coastal Division member North Carolina has 12. Clemson, Louisville and Syracuse all lead the Atlantic Division with 12 points each.
– The Irish return to ACC action Saturday when they play host to Virginia Tech.
HISTORY WITH THE HOOSIERS
– Wednesday will be the 36th meeting all-time between Notre Dame and Indiana. The Hoosiers hold a 25-8-2 advantage in the series, but the Irish are 7-7-1 against Indiana during the Bobby Clark era (since 2001).
– Notre Dame topped Indiana, 2-0, last season at Alumni Stadium.
– The Fighting Irish are 4-1-0 in the last five meetings at Indiana. Notre Dame has won the last two showdowns at Bill Armstrong Stadium (1-0 in 2012 and 2-1 in 2010). Notre Dame is 5-12-1 all-time against Indiana in Bloomington.
A LOOK AT INDIANA
– Indiana is 8-2-3 overall and 2-2-1 in Big Ten play this season. The Hoosiers are coming off a 2-1 home loss to Maryland on Sunday.
– The Hoosiers are averaging 1.54 goals per game and allowing 0.77 goals per contest. Femi Hollinger-Janzen (Jr./F-M) has a team-high four goals. Colin Webb (So.) has every decision in goal. Webb carries a 0.74 goals-against average and a .804 save percentage with five shutouts.
– Last season, Indiana went 8-12-2 (2-4-0 Big Ten) and fell to Akron, 3-2, in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
– Head coach Todd Yeagley is in his fifth season at the helm of the Indiana program.
THE LAST TIME
– Notre Dame captured a 2-0 home victory over Indiana last season. Vince Cicciarelli (21′) and Patrick Hodan (35′) netted goals for the Fighting Irish. Patrick Wall made three saves in the shutout victory. Michael Soderlund had four stops for the Hoosiers.
HODAN ON A HOT STREAK
– Junior midfielder Patrick Hodan has scored five goals in the last four games and he will take a four-game goal streak into Wednesday’s match at Indiana.
– Hodan netted two goals in a span of 2:14 in the second half of Friday’s 4-1 win at Duke. The two tallies matched a career-best output that he’s achieved two other times.
– Last Tuesday, he converted a penalty kick in Notre Dame’s 1-0 win over Northwestern. Hodan notched the golden goal in the 3-2 victory against Louisville on Oct. 10. Hodan had an equalizer (2-2) in the 3-2 setback at Michigan on Oct. 7.
– Hodan has eight career game-winning goals (three this season).
– Hodan leads the Fighting Irish in goals (6) and points (14) this season. He has the most career goals (23) and assists (12) of any current Notre Dame player. His career-best goal streak is six games, which occurred last season.
HONORS FOR HODAN
– Patrick Hodan was named to the College Soccer News Team of the Week for his performances in the two Irish wins last week. Hodan scored the lone goal in a 1-0 win over Northwestern and he had two goals in the 4-1 victory at Duke.
BEATING THE BEST
– Notre Dame is 5-0-2 against ranked teams this season.
– The Fighting Irish are 21-3-8 (.781) versus ranked foes since the beginning of the 2012 season.
SECOND HALF SUCCESS
– Notre Dame has outscored its opponents 15-7 in the second half and overtime this season. The Irish own a 126-71 shot advantage in the second half and overtime.
– Freshman forwards Jeffrey Farina and Jon Gallagher combined for four points in Friday’s 4-1 win at Duke. Farina notched two assists, including one on Gallagher’s first career goal.
– Farina has two goals and a team-high four assists, while Gallagher has one goal and three assists.
– Gallagher has assisted on both of Farina’s goals this season.
— Sean Carroll, Assistant Athletic Media Relations Director