Oct. 21, 2011
Saturday, Oct. 22 – 7:00 p.m. (ET)
Ambrose Urbanic Field – Pittsburgh, Pa.
#15 NOTRE DAME (6-3-4, 2-2-1)
PITTSBURGH (4-10-1, 2-4-0)
Notre Dame Leads Series 9-3-3
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SETTING THE STAGE
– Notre Dame (6-3-4, 2-2-1) returns to action at Pittsburgh (4-10-1, 2-4-0) on Saturday. The BIG EAST Blue Division showdown is scheduled for a 7:00 p.m. (ET) kickoff at Ambrose Urbanic Field. – The Fighting Irish are currently in sixth place in the Blue Division, while the Panthers are in seventh place. – Live stats for Saturday’s match will be available via Gametracker on UND.com.
– Wednesday’s Notre Dame-Seton Hall match was postponed due to inclement weather. The make-up date is scheduled for Monday, Oct. 31 at Alumni Stadium. The time of that contest has yet to be determined. – Notre Dame split a pair of conference road matches last week. The Irish fell to Marquette, 1-0, and topped Georgetown, 3-0. – The Fighting Irish used three different goal scorers in the win over the Hoyas. Junior forward Danny O’Leary put the Irish on the board with his third goal of the season. Senior midfielder Michael Rose, who missed the first 10 games of the season with a knee injury, scored his first goal of the season. Junior forward Ryan Finley netted his team-leading fifth goal. Finley also had an assist in the game to up his team-high point total to 11. – A win over Pittsburgh would be Notre Dame’s 100th victory in BIG EAST regular-season play. The Irish own an overall record of 99-57-19 (.620) in BIG EAST regular-season play since joining the conference in 1995. – The Fighting Irish are averaging 1.38 goals per game, while they are allowing 0.85 per contest. Notre Dame has posted five shutouts this season, while the Irish have been held without a goal three times. – Senior Will Walsh has played every minute in goal this season. He has five shutouts and boasts a 0.77 goals-against average to go along with a .823 save percentage. He has nine clean sheets in 20 career starts.
PITTSBURGH SERIES HISTORY
– Saturday will be the 16th meeting all-time between Notre Dame and Pittsburgh. The Fighting Irish lead the series 9-3-3, which includes a current eight-game win streak against the Panthers. – Notre Dame topped Pittsburgh, 3-2, last season at Alumni Stadium. The Panthers’ last win against the Irish was a 1-0 overtime decision during the 2002 campaign at Notre Dame. – The Irish are 4-1-2 all-time at Pittsburgh. Notre Dame captured a 1-0 victory in its last trip to Pittsburgh, which occurred during the 2009 campaign. Saturday will be Notre Dame’s first game at Pittsburgh’s Ambrose Urbanic Field, which is in its inaugural season. – Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark is 8-1-0 all-time against Pittsburgh.
A LOOK AT THE PANTHERS
– Pittsburgh (4-10-1, 2-4-0) is coming off a 1-0 setback to Providence on Wednesday. The Panthers are 3-6-0 at home this season. – The Panthers are averaging 0.73 goals per game, while allowing 1.53 per game. Sophomore midfielder/forward Nico Wrobel has a team-high five goals, while senior forward Terry Akpua has a team-best two assists. – Pittsburgh has used four goalkeepers this season. Freshman Lee Johnston has seen the most time in goal. He carries a 3-5-1 record with two shutouts and a 0.87 goals-against average. – Last season, Pittsburgh posted a 6-9-2 record, which included a 1-6-2 record in BIG EAST play. – Head coach Joe Luxbacher is in his 28th season at the helm of the Panther program.
THE LAST TIME
– Notre Dame defeated Pittsburgh, 3-2, last season at Alumni Stadium. The Panthers grabbed a 1-0 lead in the 24th minute, but the Irish responded 19 seconds later with a Steven Perry goal. Jeb Brovsky gave Notre Dame a 2-1 advantage in the 28th minute and Pittsburgh tied the match on an own goal in the 45th minute. Brendan King scored the game winner in the 90th minute.
– Notre Dame will conclude its regular-season road slate on Wednesday at BIG EAST Blue Division foe Providence. Kickoff is slated for 3:00 p.m. (ET) at Glay Field.
HALTING THE HOYAS
– The three-goal win over Georgetown on Saturday matched Notre Dame’s largest margin of victory this season. The Irish also topped Dayton by three goals (4-1) on Sept. 2. The Irish scored three goals on a Georgetown defense that entered the match allowing just 0.62 goals per game. – The victory over No. 20 Georgetown improved Notre Dame’s record to 2-1-2 against ranked opponents this season.
– All but two Irish matches this season have been decided by one goal or ended in a tie. Seven of Notre Dame’s 13 games this season have been decided by one goal. The Fighting Irish are 4-3 in those contests.
– Notre Dame has played seven overtime games this season. The Irish are 1-2-4 in those matches. – Two of Notre Dame’s three losses 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 9-2 scoring edge in the first half of play this season. – The Fighting Irish have scored the first goal in eight of their 13 matches this season (two of their games have been scoreless draws). – The Irish have only trailed once at halftime this season (Marquette, 1-0).
SUCCESS ON THE STAT SHEET
– The Irish have an 85-63 advantage in shots on goal over their opponents this season. – The Fighting Irish have gained 18 more corner kicks (78-60) than their opponents.
HOME SWEET HOME
– Notre Dame is 11-2-5 at home over the past two seasons, including a 3-0-4 mark this season. The Irish are 7-0-1 in their last eight BIG EAST regular-season home matches. Notre Dame was 5-0-0 in league play at home last season.
– Senior midfielder Michael Rose made his season debut in the Connecticut match on Oct. 8. Rose missed the first 10 games of the season as he was recovering from a knee injury suffered in the spring. He scored his first goal of the season in the win over Georgetown last Saturday. – Rose has appeared in 36 career matches, totaling 11 points on three goals and five assists.
BLANKING THE BEST
– Four of Notre Dame’s five shutouts this season have occurred against teams currently ranked in National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) top-25 poll. The Irish blanked current No. 24 Georgetown, 3-0, on Saturday. Notre Dame held top-ranked Connecticut without a goal in a scoreless draw on Oct. 8. Notre Dame posted a clean sheet against current No. 15 Louisville in a 1-0 victory (Sept. 24). The Fighting Irish played No. 13 Indiana to a 0-0 tie in the season opener (Aug. 27).
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).
GUARDING THE GOAL
– Notre Dame has allowed just 30 goals over the past two seasons, a span of 33 matches. The Fighting Irish allowed just 19 goals all of last season and they have given up 11 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.
SPREADING THE WEALTH
– Notre Dame’s 18 goals this season have come from nine different players. Junior forward Ryan Finley has a team-high five goals, while senior midfielder Adam Mena and junior forward Danny O’Leary both have three goals. Sophomore forward Harrison Shipp has two goals and five Irish players have one goal apiece.
NOTRE DAME IN BIG EAST PLAY
– Notre Dame owns an overall record of 99-57-19 (.620) 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.
KLAZURA A LOWE’S SENIOR CLASS AWARD FINALIST
– Greg Klazura has been named one of 10 finalists 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).
IRISH HAVE A MAINSTAY IN MAUND
– Senior defender Aaron Maund has started all 72 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 46 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.
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 133-62-34 (.655) record with the Irish. He moved past Rich Hunter, who was Notre Dame’s first varsity head coach from 1977-83.
– 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.
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 1,750 fans per home game this season.
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.
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. Check 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 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.