Oct. 19, 2017
by Tony Jones
2017 NOTRE DAME MEN’S SOCCER – Match 15
#12 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (9-4-1, 3-2-1 ACC) vs. #15 Duke Blue Devils (10-3-1, 3-3-0 ACC)
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The final home game of the 2017 regular season at Alumni Stadium will be an evening of celebration for the University of Notre Dame men’s soccer team on Friday. The Irish and Duke are set to meet in an Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Coastal Division clash at 7 p.m. (ET) on ACC Network Extra.
No. 12 Notre Dame (9-4-1, 3-2-1 ACC) looks to keep pace in the race for the ACC Coastal Division championship inside the friendly confines of Alumni Stadium. The Irish are 6-1-1 at home thus far this season, and have outscored opponents by a 15-6 aggregate goal margin in those games. Notre Dame is an even 1-1-1 in its first three ACC home starts of 2017.
No. 15 Duke (10-3-1, 3-3-0 ACC) is in search of its first win on the Notre Dame campus, as the Irish have fashioned a 5-0-0 mark against the Blue Devils in prior meetings at Alumni Stadium. Duke stalled a six-game Notre Dame winning streak in the series with a 2-1 victory on Oct. 21, 2016 in Durham, North Carolina.
Penalties Sink Irish At Akron
A pair of hard-luck, if not questionable, penalty kick rulings were the only tallies on the scoreboard between Notre Dame and Akron on Tuesday night. The host Zips scored in the 35th and 88th minutes off sequences from the spot to blank the Irish 2-0 at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field.
No. 19 Akron finished the game with a 13-6 edge in shots, including 6-4 in shots on goal, despite three of the six shots on frame coming either directly or indirectly from 50/50 penalty rulings against No. 12 Notre Dame. Corner kicks narrowly went the way of the Zips 4-3.
Irish Recognize Seniors On Friday
Notre Dame will recognize its eight-player senior class on Friday before the game with No. 15 Duke. The 2018 senior class has helped lead the Irish to a 44-21-13 overall record in the past four seasons, while also capturing the 2014 ACC Coastal Division championship. The current seniors also reached the 2015 ACC Championship final, and have appeared in the NCAA Championship Round of 16 three times during their careers.
Patrick Berneski has started 20 of the 26 career games he has appeared in, including 13 of 14 Irish games this season, and has scored two career goals for the Irish while helping secure 10 team shutouts. His first career goal was scored against No. 10 Maryland during the 2015 NCAA tournament, with goal two coming earlier this season against NC State.
Kyle Dedrick has seen action in 18 career matches, making eight starts in the Notre Dame midfield. He has been a key contributor to the Irish attack in 2017 with 13 total shot attempts, and registered his first career assist earlier this season against Cal Poly.
Jeff Farina has competed in 70 career games for Notre Dame, including 49 starts, and has scored 12 goals and added 19 assists for 43 points. In the midst of a career year in 2017, he has already posted personal bests with six goals, three game-winning goals and 17 points this season to help pace the Notre Dame attack.
Jon Gallagher has appeared in 78 career games with 57 starts, and is the active Notre Dame scoring leader with 36 goals, 11 game-winning goals and 87 points. Both his career goals and points totals rank among the top 10 players in the history of Notre Dame men’s soccer. He was previously named the 2016 ACC Offensive Player of the Year and a 2016 College Soccer News All-America Second Team choice, along with being a third team All-ACC performer and the Notre Dame Monogram Club Co-Most Valuable Player in 2015.
Fifth-year senior Matt Habrowski has played in 60 career matches, including 59 starts, and has scored three goals while adding two assists. He has also been a part of 22 team shutouts on the Notre Dame defense during his career, and was selected to the ACC Academic Honor Roll in both 2015 and 2016.
Fifth-year senior Chris Hubbard has started 57 games during his Notre Dame career, posting a 0.82 goals against average, .761 save percentage and 20 shutouts. He was also an ACC Championship all-tournament team choice in 2015.
Kurt Roemer first joined the Notre Dame program in 2015, and became a member of the active Irish roster for the 2017 season. He was named to both the 2015 and 2016 ACC Academic Honor Roll, along with the Dean’s List in May of 2017.
Blake Townes has appeared in 57 games for the Irish over the past three seasons with 37 starts, and has scored one goal and added 10 assists for 12 points. His first career goal came against No. 15 Virginia Tech in 2016, and four of his career assists have been registered on ultimate game-winning goals for Notre Dame.
Irish In The RPI
In the third release of the ratings percentage index (RPI) by the NCAA for the 2017 Division I men’s soccer season, Notre Dame was again slotted fifth in the week three rankings. The Irish have faced the fourth-hardest schedule in the entire NCAA as of Oct. 16, leading into Friday’s game with No. 6 Duke.
Irish In The ACC
In its fifth full season as an ACC member, Notre Dame has recorded a 23-9-9 (.671) conference mark in the regular season since 2013. The Irish shared the ACC regular-season championship (7-1-3) in 2013 before claiming the top position in the ACC Coastal Division (6-1-1) in 2014.
Duke enters Friday’s game with a 10-3-1 record, most recently suffering a 4-1 home setback to No. 11 Clemson on Oct. 13. The Blue Devils are 3-3-0 thus far this season in ACC play.
Head coach John Kerr is 97-69-23 (.574) in his 10th season at the helm of the Duke program, and has led the Blue Devils to four NCAA Championship appearances. Duke has won 10 or more games during the Kerr era on six different occasions, topped out by the 14 victories of the 2009 Blue Devil team that reached the NCAA Round of 16.
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.