Sept. 29, 2011
#10 NOTRE DAME (5-1-2, 1-0-0)
#15 ST. JOHN’S (6-2-1, 0-1-0)
Saturday, Oct. 1 – 7:30 p.m. (ET)
Belson Stadium – Queens, N.Y.
St. John’s Leads Series 11-4-5
– Gametracker on UND.com
– Irish Alert! text messaging (sign up on UND.com)
SETTING THE STAGE
– Notre Dame will hit the road to face BIG EAST foe St. John’s on Saturday in Queens, N.Y. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. (ET) at Belson Stadium. The Fighting Irish will bring a 5-1-2 record, including a 1-0-0 BIG EAST mark, into the showdown, while St. John’s is 6-2-1 overall and 0-1-0 in the league. Notre Dame is in the BIG EAST Blue Division and St. John’s is in the Red Division. – Live stats via Gametracker on UND.com will be available for the match. Fans can also sign up for `Irish Alert’ on UND.com to receive text message score updates. Updates and results can also be found on Twitter at UND_com.
– Notre Dame upped its win streak to four games and its unbeaten streak to five last Saturday with a 1-0 home victory over Louisville. This is Notre Dame’s first four-game win streak since the 2008 season. – The Irish blanked a Cardinal offense that entered the match averaging 2.14 goals per game. It was the first time Louisville has been shutout this season. Notre Dame senior goalkeeper Will Walsh and the Fighting Irish defense currently have a scoreless streak of 270:21. – Junior forward Danny O’Leary netted the lone goal against Louisville. The score came in the fourth minute. – Notre Dame’s only loss this season was a 2-1 overtime setback against Saint Louis at the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic. – Senior midfielder Adam Mena has a team-high nine points on three goals and three assists. The assist total leads the Irish and the goal figure is tied with junior forward Ryan Finley for the team lead. – Senior Will Walsh has played every minute in goal so far this season. He has three shutouts, including two straight, and boasts a 0.81 goals-against average to go along with a .833 save percentage. He has seven clean sheets in 15 career starts.
SERIES HISTORY AGAINST ST. JOHN’S
– Saturday will be the 21st meeting all-time between Notre Dame and St. John’s. The Red Storm have an 11-4-5 advantage in the series. Every meeting has occurred since the Irish joined the BIG EAST in 1995. Notre Dame captured a 1-0 victory over St. John’s last season at Alumni Stadium. – Notre Dame has not played at St. John’s since the quarterfinals of the 2005 BIG EAST Tournament. The Red Storm won that contest, 1-0. The Fighting Irish are 0-7-1 all-time at St. John’s. – Fighting Irish head coach Bobby Clark is 5-6-3 against St. John’s during his collegiate coaching career.
A LOOK AT THE RED STORM
– St. John’s is coming off a 3-2 double-overtime victory at Princeton Wednesday night. Prior to last Saturday’s 2-0 setback at Connecticut in the BIG EAST opener, the Red Storm had produced a six-game unbeaten streak. St. John’s registered shutouts in all six of those matches. – The Red Storm offensive is averaging 1.44 goals per game, while they are surrendering 0.78 per contest. Junior midfielder Jack Bennett has a team-best five goals, while sophomore midfielder Jimmy Mulligan has a team-high three assists. – Sophomore Rafael Diaz has all nine decisions in goal. He carries a 0.75 goals-against average with a .759 save percentage with six shutouts. – St. John’s posted a 10-6-2 record last season, including a 4-3-2 mark in BIG EAST play.
– St. John’s has outscored its opponents 7-0 in the first half of play, while Notre Dame holds a 7-1 scoring edge in the opening half. – The Irish have scored first in six of their eight matches this season.
– Notre Dame and St. John’s have one common opponent so far this season. Both squads played Indiana to a scoreless draw.
– Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark shares his thoughts on the St. John’s match … “St. John’s is always a tough place to play. They are one of the stronger soccer programs not only in the BIG EAST, but in the country. It will be a difficult match but our team is excited.”
– Fighting Irish assistant coach Chad Riley spent the 2005 season as an assistant on the St. John’s staff before coming to coach at his alma mater beginning in 2006.
CLIPPING THE CARDINALS
– The 1-0 win over Louisville was Notre Dame’s first victory over a top-three opponent since taking down No. 1 UCLA, 2-1 in overtime, to open the 2007 campaign. The win also snapped Louisville’s 17-game unbeaten streak in BIG EAST play.
IRISH IN BIG EAST OPENERS
– With the win over No. 3 Louisville, the Fighting Irish now are 12-4-1 all-time in BIG EAST Conference openers. The Irish have won their last five BIG EAST openers.
IRISH DEFENSE RECOGNIZED
– Senior left back Greg Klazura was named the BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week in addition to being selected to the Soccer America national team of the week for his efforts in the 1-0 win over Louisville. The Irish defense held the Cardinal offense, which entered the match averaging 2.14 goals per game, scoreless for the first time this season. – Klazura’s backline mate Aaron Maund, a central defender, was named to the Top Drawer Soccer national team of the week, while senior goalkeeper Will Walsh was selected to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll. – Notre Dame has produced the last two BIG EAST Defensive Players of the Week. Junior central defender Grant Van De Casteele earned the honor on Sept. 19.
MENA ON A MISSION
– Senior midfielder Adam Mena has had a hand in Notre Dame’s last five goals. The streak began when he assisted on Notre Dame’s second goal in a 2-1 win over Bucknell. He then scored both Irish goals, including the golden goal, in a 2-1 overtime victory against Michigan. Mena assisted on the game winners in 1-0 triumphs of Michigan State and Louisville. – Mena has a team-high nine points on three goals and three assists. The point, goal and assists totals all are career-high figures.
NOTRE DAME IN BIG EAST PLAY
– Notre Dame owns an overall record of 98-55-18 (.626) in BIG EAST regular-season play since joining the conference in 1995. The Irish have posted 10 straight winning campaigns within the league, including last season’s 6-2-1 mark. – The most wins for Notre Dame in BIG EAST play is eight, which occurred in 2004 (8-1-1), 2006 (8-3) and 2009 (8-3). – The Irish have three regular-season BIG EAST titles. Notre Dame won the championship outright in 2004 and 2008 (Blue Division) and shared the Blue Division trophy with Connecticut in 2007. The Fighting Irish captured BIG EAST tournament crowns in 1996 and 2003.
– The Fighting Irish will step away from BIG EAST action when they play host to Northwestern on Oct. 5 at Alumni Stadium. Kickoff against the Wildcats is slated for 7:00 p.m. (ET).
HOME SWEET HOME
– Notre Dame is 11-2-3 at home over the past two seasons. The Irish have won their last seven BIG EAST regular-season home games. Notre Dame was 5-0-0 in league play at home last season.
SPREADING THE WEALTH
– Notre Dame’s 13 goals have come from seven different players. Senior midfielder Adam Mena and junior forward Ryan Finley both have a team-high three tallies, while Danny O’Leary (Jr./F) and Harrison Shipp (So./F) both have two. Dillon Powers (Jr./M), Chris Sutton (Sr./M) and Bob Novak (Jr./M) all have one goal.
CLARK MOVES TO TOP OF PROGRAM WINS LIST
– Notre Dame’s 2-1 victory over Bucknell on Sept. 11 gave Irish head coach Bobby Clark the most wins in program history. Clark, who is in his 11th season on the Notre Dame sidelines, has a 132-60-32 record with the Irish. He moved past Rich Hunter, who was Notre Dame’s first varsity head coach from 1977-83.
GUARDING THE GOAL
– Notre Dame has allowed just 26 goals over the past two seasons, a span of 28 matches. The Fighting Irish allowed just 19 goals all of last season and they have given up just seven so far this season. – The Irish have not surrendered more than two goals in a single match since a 3-1 loss at Northwestern in the second round of the 2009 NCAA Tournament.
– The Irish have played four overtime games this season. The Irish are 1-1-2 in those contests.
QUITE A CROWD
– A sellout crowd of over 3,000 fans attended Notre Dame’s season opener against Indiana on Aug. 27. That is a record attendance for a men’s contest at Alumni Stadium, which opened in 2009. It was Notre Dame’s largest crowd for a regular-season match since Sept. 22, 1995 when 3,339 fans came to see the Irish and Hoosiers at old Alumni Field. – The Fighting Irish are averaging 1,922 fans per home contest this season.
– Senior defender Aaron Maund has started all 67 matches in which he has played during his Notre Dame career. The only five games he has missed was during his sophomore campaign in 2009 when he was with the United States Under-20 National Team at the U-20 World Cup in Egypt. He has started all 41 matches with the Irish since returning from the international competition. He played every possible minute on the pitch during the 2008 and 2010 campaigns and he has not left a match this season.
– Since Bobby Clark took over the reins of the Notre Dame program in 2001, the Irish have won at least 10 matches during all 10 seasons of the Clark era. The Fighting Irish have qualified for the NCAA Tournament in each of the past 10 seasons. That streak ranks in a tie for fifth nationally. – Notre Dame is the only team in the BIG EAST to finish in the top two of either division standings in each of the past four seasons. The Fighting Irish also are the only BIG EAST squad to qualify for the semifinals in each of the past four league tournaments.
TRIO OF IRISH PLAYERS NAMED PRESEASON ALL-AMERICANS
– Ryan Finley (Jr./F), Aaron Maund (Sr./D) and Dillon Powers (Jr./M) all received preseason All-America honors. Finley and Maund copped the accolades from College Soccer News, while Maund and Powers were tabbed by Soccer America.
BIG EAST ELITE
– Notre Dame senior defender Aaron Maund along with junior midfielder Dillon Powers were named to the 2011 Preseason All-BIG EAST Team for men’s soccer in a vote by the league’s head coaches. The Irish duo was among 12 players named to the squad.
KLAZURA A LOWE’S SENIOR CLASS AWARD CANDIDATE
– Greg Klazura is one of 30 candidates up for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award in the men’s soccer division. – To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in SchoolÂ®, the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities. – Klazura graduated in May with a Bachelor of Science degree in pre-professional studies (pre-med). He finished his undergraduate career with a 3.583 cumulative grade-point average. He currently is taking courses that emphasize service and or medicine to boost his resume for medical school. Klazura was named to the 2010 National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Scholar All-Region first team. He also is a two-time BIG EAST Academic All-Star (2009 & 2010).
– Notre Dame’s 2011 freshman class was selected as the 14th best rookie class in the nation according to College Soccer News. The five-man class features four high school All-Americans. Comprising the class are: midfielder/defender Nick Besler (Overland Park, Kan.), forward Vince Cicciarelli (Peoria, Ill.), midfielder Robby Gallegos (Aptos, Calif.), midfielder/forward Max Lachowecki (Evansville, Ind.) and midfielder Brendan Lesch (Westport, Conn.).
A GREAT NIGHT FOR GRASSROOT
– Notre Dame held its annual exhibition game to benefit Grassroot Soccer on Aug. 22. A total of 2,444 fans packed into Alumni Stadium to watch the Irish play Creighton to a 2-2 draw. All of the proceeds from the match went to Grassroot Soccer, an international AIDS awareness and education organization that reaches youth in Africa through soccer clinics. Dr. Tommy Clark, the eldest son of Irish head coach Bobby Clark, is the founder and CEO of Grassroot Soccer. Notre Dame has held a match to benefit Grassroot Soccer in each of the past eight seasons.
FOLLOW THE IRISH ON UND.COM
– All 2011 Notre Dame home matches that are not televised can be seen live on UND.com. The streaming broadcasts are free of charge. Log on to UND.com to stay up to date on the Fighting Irish men’s soccer team throughout the 2011 campaign.
PURCHASE YOUR IRISH SOCCER TICKETS
– To purchase a season pass or single-game tickets for Fighting Irish soccer, call the Murnane Family Athletics Ticket Office at (574) 631-7356, visit the tickets page at the official Notre Dame athletics web site, UND.com (UND.com/tickets) or stop by the Murnane Family Athletics Ticket Office windows inside the new Rosenthal Atrium at Purcell Pavilion (entrance via Gate 9). Tickets also can be purchased at Alumni Stadium on gamedays. For group discount pricing information call Rita Baxter in the Notre Dame Ticket Office at (574) 631-4165.