Sept. 22, 2011
#3 LOUISVILLE (6-1-0, 0-0-0)
#14 NOTRE DAME (4-1-2, 0-0-0)
Saturday, Sept. 24 – 7:00 p.m. (ET)
Alumni Stadium – Notre Dame, Ind.
Notre Dame Leads Series 9-3-1
– Fox Soccer Channel (Live)
Steve Bell (play-by-play)
Keith Tabatznik (analyst)
LIVE AUDIO BROADCAST:
– UND.com (Free)
– Gametracker on UND.com
– Irish Alert! text messaging (sign up on UND.com)
SETTING THE STAGE
– No. 14 Notre Dame will open BIG EAST Conference play on Saturday when No. 3 Louisville visits Alumni Stadium. Kickoff between the Irish and Cardinals is slated for 7:00 p.m. (ET). The match will be aired live on Fox Soccer Channel. Steve Bell will handle play-by-play duties, while Keith Tabatznik will serve as the analyst. – A free live audio broadcast of Saturday’s match will be available on UND.com, which will also feature an in-game blog and live stats via Gametracker. 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.
– The Fighting Irish are riding a four-game unbeaten streak, which includes three straight victories. – Notre Dame posted a 2-0 record last weekend. The Irish topped Michigan, 2-1 in overtime, on Friday at home before traveling to Michigan State and taking down the Spartans, 1-0, on Sunday. – 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 and junior forward Ryan Finley share the team lead in goals with three apiece, while Mena has a team-best eight points. Mena, senior defender Greg Klazura and sophomore forward Harrison Shipp all have a team-high two assists. – Senior Will Walsh has played every minute in goal so far this season. He has two shutouts and boasts a 0.92 goals-against average to go along with a .800 save percentage. He has six clean sheets in 14 career starts.
SERIES HISTORY AGAINST LOUISVILLE
– Saturday will be the 14th meeting all-time between Notre Dame and Louisville. The Fighting Irish hold a 9-3-1 advantage in the series. Notre Dame has a 6-0-0 home record against Louisville. – Louisville won both meetings with Notre Dame last season. The Cardinals captured a 2-0 home victory over the Irish during the regular season before topping Notre Dame, 1-0, in the semifinals of the BIG EAST Championship. – Notre Dame’s last victory against Louisville was a 4-0 triumph at home during the 2009 campaign. Later that season, the Irish and Cardinals played to a scoreless draw in the BIG EAST Championship semifinals and Notre Dame advanced in penalty kicks, 4-3. – Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark is 5-3-1 all-time against Louisville.
A LOOK AT THE CARDINALS
– Louisville will bring a 6-1-0 record into Saturday’s match against the Irish. The Cardinals are coming off a 1-0 win at Ohio State on Wednesday. Louisville also has defeated UCLA (2-0), Wake Forest (2-0), IUPUI (2-0), Central Arkansas (3-2) and Butler (4-0). The lone loss was a 2-1 setback at North Carolina. – The Cardinals are averaging 2.14 goals per game, while allowing 0.57 per contest. Senior forward Colin Rolfe has a team-best seven points on two goals and three assists. Junior midfielder Michael Roman has a team-high three goals. Senior Andre Boudreaux has played every minute in goal and has a .826 save percentage with five shutouts. – Louisville went 20-1-3 last season and fell to Akron, 1-0, in the national title game. The Cardinals won the BIG EAST Red Division title with a 9-0-0 league mark in addition to winning the conference tournament. – Head coach Ken Lolla is in his sixth season at the helm of the Louisville program.
– Fighting Irish assistant coach BJ Craig spent the 2007 season as an assistant on the Louisville staff before coming to Notre Dame in 2008.
IRISH DUO RECEIVE ACCOLADES
– A pair of Irish players garnered BIG EAST accolades on Monday for their roles in helping the Fighting Irish post victories over Michigan (2-1 in overtime) and Michigan State (1-0) last weekend. Junior Grant Van De Casteele was named the BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week, while senior midfielder Adam Mena was selected to the league’s weekly honor roll. Mena, who also was named to the College Soccer News national team of the week, had a hand in all three Irish goals over the weekend. Van De Casteele, a central defender, was a key part of an Irish defense that allowed just one goal in 181 minutes of play in the wins over the Wolverines and Spartans.
MENA A MICHIGAN MENACE
– Senior midfielder Adam Mena had a hand in all three Irish goals last weekend. Mena scored a career-high two goals, including the golden goal in the first minute of overtime, against Michigan. Mena, a native of Holland, Mich., assisted on Harrison Shipp’s goal in the 54th minute against Michigan State. – Mena’s goal (3), assist (2) and point (8) totals already are single-season career-high figures.
– After surrendering a goal just 39 seconds into the Michigan match last Friday, senior goalkeeper Will Walsh and the Irish defense held their opponents scoreless for the final 180:21 of the weekend. Walsh earned his second shutout of the season, and sixth of his career, by making five saves against Michigan State on Sunday.
IRISH IN BIG EAST OPENERS
– The Fighting Irish are 11-4-1 all-time in BIG EAST Conference openers. The Irish have won their last four BIG EAST openers. Notre Dame opened league play last season with a 1-0 victory over St. John’s.
NOTRE DAME IN BIG EAST PLAY
– Notre Dame owns an overall record of 97-55-18 (.624) 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 10-2-3 at home over the past two seasons. The Irish went 5-0-0 in BIG EAST games at Alumni Stadium last season.
SPREADING THE WEALTH
– Notre Dame’s 12 goals have come from seven different players. Senior midfielder Adam Mena and junior forward Ryan Finley both have a team-high three tallies, while sophomore forward Harrison Shipp has two. Dillon Powers (Jr./M), Chris Sutton (Sr./M), Danny O’Leary (Jr./F) 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 131-60-32 record with the Irish. He moved past Rich Hunter, who was Notre Dame’s first varsity head coach from 1977-83.
– The Fighting Irish have outscored their opponents 6-1 in the first half of play this season.
GUARDING THE GOAL
– Notre Dame boasts a 0.96 goals-against average over the past two seasons, a span of 27 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.
SHOOTING DOWN THE COMPETITION
– The Irish have out shot their opponents 141-95 this season.
CORNERING THE MARKET
– Notre Dame has produced 54 corner kicks compared to 37 for its competition this season. That includes a 25-14 advantage in the first half.
– 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 2,026 fans per home contest this season.
– The Fighting Irish will travel to St. John’s and face the Red Storm on Oct. 1. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. (ET) in Queens, N.Y.
– 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.
IRISH PICKED TO FINISH SECOND IN DIVISION
– Notre Dame was picked to finish second in the BIG EAST Blue Division, while Connecticut was tabbed to win the division. The Huskies received 10 first-place votes among the eight Blue Division squads, while the Irish garnered two. Louisville was picked to win the Red Division. The league’s 16 head coaches were not permitted to vote for their own teams.
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.