Oct. 4, 2011
#11 NOTRE DAME (5-2-2)
Wednesday, Oct. 5 – 7:00 p.m. (ET)
Alumni Stadium – Notre Dame, Ind.
Notre Dame Leads Series 12-3-2
SETTING THE STAGE
– Notre Dame will play host to Northwestern in a non-conference match on Wednesday at Alumni Stadium. Kickoff is slated for 7:00 p.m. (ET). The Fighting Irish are 5-2-2 this season, while the Wildcats are 4-4-2. This will be the 18th meeting all-time between Notre Dame and Northwestern. The Irish lead the series 12-3-2. – A free live video broadcast of Wednesday’s match will be available on UND.com. Live stats via Gametracker and an in-game blog will be available on UND.com. 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 fell at St. John’s, 2-1 in overtime, on Saturday night. The Red Storm scored the golden goal in the 110th minute. The loss snapped Notre Dame’s four-game win streak and five-game unbeaten streak. – St. John’s 54th-minute goal halted Notre Dame’s scoreless streak at 323:39. – Fighting Irish sophomore forward Leon Brown netted the equalizer in the 80th minute. It was Brown’s first career goal. – 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 and boasts a 0.92 goals-against average to go along with a .812 save percentage. He has seven clean sheets in 16 career starts.
SERIES HISTORY AGAINST NORTHWESTERN
– Wednesday will mark the 18th meeting all-time between Notre Dame and Northwestern. The Fighting Irish lead the series 12-3-2. The two teams played to a 1-1 draw last season at Toyota Park, the home of the Chicago Fire. – This will be the fourth straight season that the Irish and Wildcats have squared off. Northwestern topped the Fighting Irish, 2-1, during the second round of the 2008 NCAA Tournament at Notre Dame. That was the first meeting between the two schools since the 2000 campaign. The Wildcats captured a 3-1 home victory over the Irish during the second round of the 2009 NCAA Tournament. – Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark is 0-2-1 all-time against Northwestern.
A LOOK AT THE WILDCATS
– Northwestern will bring a 4-4-2 record into Wednesday’s showdown against Notre Dame. – The Wildcats have both scored and surrendered 10 goals this season. Senior forward Oliver Kupe has a team-high three goals this season. Freshman Tyler Miller has started nine games in goal. He has a 4-3-2 record with a 0.76 goals-against average and a .731 save percentage. Miller has five shutouts, while Northwestern has been blanked three times. – Last season, Northwestern went 8-8-2, including a 2-3-1 mark in Big Ten Conference play.
– Notre Dame and Northwestern have one common opponent so far this season. The Fighting Irish defeated Michigan State, 1-0, while the Wildcats tied the Spartans, 1-1.
NOTRE DAME VS. THE BIG TEN
– Northwestern is the fourth and final Big Ten opponent that the Irish will face during the 2011 regular season. Notre Dame is 2-0-1 against Big Ten competition this season. The Irish opened the campaign with a 0-0 tie against Indiana. Notre Dame defeated both Michigan (2-1 in overtime) and Michigan State (1-0). – The Fighting Irish went 1-1-2 last season against Big Ten foes. Notre Dame defeated Indiana (2-1) and tied both Michigan (0-0) and Northwestern (1-1). The Irish suffered a 2-0 setback to Michigan State.
– Notre Dame’s last five games all have been decided by one goal. The Irish are 4-1 in those matches. – Six of Notre Dame’s nine games this season have been one-goal affairs. The Fighting Irish are 4-2 in those contests.
– Notre Dame has played five overtime games this season. The Irish are 1-2-2 in those matches. – Notre Dame’s only two losses of the season have occurred in double-overtime. The Irish fell to Saint Louis (104th minute) and St. John’s (110th minute) by identical 2-1 scores.
– Notre Dame holds a 7-1 scoring edge in the first half of play this season. – The Fighting Irish have scored the first goal in six of their nine matches this season.
– Five of Notre Dame’s 2011 regular-season opponents appear in the top 13 of this week’s National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) poll. The Irish will play host to No. 1 Connecticut on Saturday, while St. John’s (#9) and Indiana (#10) also are in the top 10. Notre Dame played Indiana to a scoreless draw and fell at St. John’s, 2-1 in double-overtime. The Fighting Irish topped current No. 11 Louisville, 1-0, and they play at Georgetown on Oct. 15. Notre Dame is ranked 12th in the current NSCAA poll.
– Notre Dame will play host to top-ranked Connecticut on Saturday at Alumni Stadium. Kickoff for the key BIG EAST Blue Division clash is slated for noon (ET), which is three-and-a-half hours before Notre Dame’s home football game against Air Force. Admission to the match is free for all fans.
IRISH DEFENSE RECOGNIZED
– Notre Dame has produced two BIG EAST Defensive Players of the Week this season. Junior central defender Grant Van De Casteele earned the honor on Sept. 19, while senior left back Greg Klazura received the accolade on Sept. 26. Klazura also was named to the Soccer America national team of the week. – Central defender Aaron Maund was named to the Top Drawer Soccer national team of the week on Sept. 26, while senior goalkeeper Will Walsh has been selected to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll twice this season (Aug. 29 & Sept. 26).
MENA ON A MISSION
– Senior midfielder Adam Mena has had a hand in five of Notre Dame’s last six goals. He assisted on Notre Dame’s second goal in a 2-1 win over Bucknell (Sept. 11). He then scored both Irish goals, including the golden goal, in a 2-1 overtime victory against Michigan (Sept. 16). Mena assisted on the game winners in 1-0 triumphs of Michigan State (Sept. 18) and Louisville (Sept. 24). – 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 98-56-18 (.622) 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.
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 14 goals this season have come from eight 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) Bob Novak (Jr./M) and Leon Brown (So./F) 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 132-61-32 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 28 goals over the past two seasons, a span of 29 matches. The Fighting Irish allowed just 19 goals all of last season and they have given up just nine 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.
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 68 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 42 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.
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.