Oct. 23, 2001
THE WEEK AHEAD – The Notre Dame men’s soccer team (8-4-0, 5-2-0) will put its five-game win streak on the line this week with road games at Providence and Connecticut. The Irish will meet the Friars in Providence, R.I., on Wed., Nov. 24 at 2:00 p.m. and then face the defending national champion Huskies on Sat., Oct. 27 at 7:00 p.m. Notre Dame is 20th in this week’s Soccer America poll – the first ranking from that poll since the 1996 season.
RECAPPING THE WEEK – Notre Dame extended its win streak to five games, its longest since the 1991 campaign with back-to-back shutout victories over ranked opponents – #6 Indiana (1-0) and #21 Boston College. The last time a Notre Dame squad registered back-to-back wins over ranked opponents was during the ’96 campaign when that Irish team won three straight over ranked opponents. Coach Bobby Clark’s squad extended its shutout streak to four straight, the longest since the 1997 campaign when Notre Dame put together a string of four consecutive shutout victories that season. Erich Braun (Frankfurt, Germany) had a goal in each game to extend his goal-scoring streak to five games, while Devon Prescod (Marietta, Ga.) added a goal and two assists. Freshman Kevin Goldthwaite (Sacramento, Calif.) had an assist in each contest, while Chad Riley (Houston, Texas) also finished with two assists.. Rookie goalkeeper Chris Sawyer (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) had two complete-game shutouts and collected seven saves in the two games. He has now extended his streak of not allowing a goal in 397:02 minutes spanning the last five games. INDIANA: Erich Braun provided the lone score of the game 4:05 into the second half to lift the Irish to the victory which helped the Irish snap a nine-game losing streak. The victory also marked just the second win ever for a Notre Dame men’s soccer team in 21 meetings with the Hoosiers. It also was just the seventh time in Notre Dame history that an Irish soccer team defeated a top-10 team. Braun scored his fourth goal in as many games at the 49:05 mark off assists from Kevin Goldthwaite and Devon Prescod. Chad Riley (Houston, Texas) started the goal when he sent a diagonal 40-yard pass to Prescod. BOSTON COLLEGE – Two Irish goals in the first 8:55 of the second half, lifted the 2-0 Irish win as Notre Dame extended its winning streak to five games. Devon Prescod had a goal and an assist to lead the Irish, while Chad Riley had assists on both of the goals. After a scoreless first half, Notre Dame opened up the second half with Prescod’s goal 2:17 into the second period on a diving header with the assists coming from Kevin Goldthwaite and Riley. Braun notched the insurance goal at the 53:55 mark of the contest off assists from Presod and Riley. Notre Dame outshot the Eagles 12-5 in the game and rookie keeper Chris Sawyer made three stops.
SERIES RECORD VS. PROVIDENCE – Notre Dame leads the series 4-2, but has lost each of the last two times that it has played in Providence. Last season, the Irish dropped a 3-1 decision, and in 1998, suffered a 2-1 setback. The lone Irish victory over the Friars in Providence was during the 1996 campaign when Notre Dame came away with a 1-0 victory.
SERIES RECORD VS. CONNECTICUT – This will be the ninth meeting between the two schools with the Irish holding a 5-2-1 advantage in the series. Notre Dame has dropped four straight to Connecticut and has not beaten the Huskies since the ’96 campaign in the semifinals of the BIG EAST championship. The last two times the two schools have played in Storrs, Conn., the contest has been decided in overtime with the Huskies prevailing both times in earning 2-1 victories. Notre Dame is 1-3 all-time playing in Storrs. The first-ever game played in the series was played in Storrs with the Irish claiming a 2-1 victory.
HEAD COACH BOBBY CLARK – Bobby Clark is in his first season at Notre Dame. He was named the fifth head coach in the history of the Notre Dame men’s soccer program on Jan. 19, 2001. In his 15th season as a collegiate coach, Clark was victorious in his debut on the Irish sidelines in Notre Dame’s 5-0 win over Villanova. Prior to coming to Notre Dame, he spent five seasons guiding the Stanford Cardinal to a 71-21-12 record and .740 winning percentage from 1996-2000. Clark also was the head coach at Dartmouth from 1985-1993 where he led the Big Green to an 82-42-13 mark (.646). Heading into this season, Clark ranked 15th among active Division I head men’s soccer coaches in terms of winning percentage. In 14-plus seasons, he owns a 161-67-25 record for a .686 winning percentage. Six of Clark’s teams have advanced to NCAA tournament play with his 1998 Stanford squad finishing as the NCAA runnerup that season. In between his coaching stints at Dartmouth and Stanford, he was head coach of the New Zealand National Team. Clark coached his 250th college game on Oct. 11 when the Irish traveled to West Virginia.
NOTRE DAME CELEBRATING 25TH SEASON OF VARSITY COMPETITION – The 2001 campaign marks the 25th season of varsity competition for the Notre Dame men’s soccer team. Since its inaugural campaign in 1977, Irish teams have compiled a 323-162-43 mark for a .654 winning percentage. Notre Dame has won 20-plus games on three occasions and 15 or more games 11 times. In the program’s history, only five teams have had a losing season.
IRISH EYES ARE SMILING – Notre Dame’s current five-game wins streak is the longest since the 1997 campaign when that Irish squad strung together seven straight victories. Coach Bobby Clark’s squad also owns a four-game win streak in BIG EAST games, its longest since becoming a league member in 1996. Notre Dame has outscored opponents 11-1 in its current five-game win streak.
BRAUN, SAWYER GARNER BIG EAST RECOGNITION – Erich Braun earned Co-Offensive Player of the Week honors, while Chris Sawyer was recognized as the league’s with goalkeeper-of-the-week. Both earn the honors for the first time in their careers, but does not mark the only tim in which they have earned recognition by the league. Braun was a rookie-of-the-week honoree in 1999, while Sawyer was tapped for that similar honor last week. Notre Dame earned three of the league’s four awards last week and has claimed seven honors overall this season with five different players being recognized for their accomplishments this season.
ROAD WARRIORS FIND SUCCESS – Notre Dame has played five of its last seven games on the road and has found much success playing away from the friendly confines of Alumni Field. The Irish are 4-1 in the last stretch and own a 4-3 overall mark (including one neutral site game) on the road this season.
THRE STRAIGHT ROAD SHUTOUTS A RARITY – Notre Dame has posted three straight road shutouts for the first time since the 1993 campaign when it registered four consecutive road shutouts against Xavier (1-0), Ohio State (1-0), Loyola-Chicago (7-0) and Bowling Green (2-1).
ROLLING ALONG – Erich Braun’s 10 goals this season are a personal best for the third-year forward who scored nine goals as freshman. His 23 points (10 goals, three assists) also is one point shy of his career best (24 points in ’99). He is the first since Shane Walton in 1998 to register 10-plus goals in a season. He has tallied a goal in five straight games and has had at least one goal in each of the nine games that the Irish have scored in this season.
PRESCOD POWER – Sophomore Devon Prescod has had a presence in the Irish lineup this season as he has earned 11 starts in the 12 games he has played. Entering the 2001 campaign, Prescod had one goal to his credit. This year, he stands second in the Irish scoring column with four goals and five assists (13 points). Prescod has had a goal either a goal or an assist in each of Notre Dame’s last four games.
DETTER SECOND IN IRISH IN SCORING COLUMN – Justin Detter is third in the Irish scoring column with four goals and three assists (11 points). He recorded the second multiple-goal game of his career in Notre Dame’s win over Cleveland State on Sept. 19 when he tallied two goals and an assist. The five points marked the most in a single game by the Irish sophomore. Detter’s first multiple-goal outing occurred in 2000 in Notre Dame’s 2-1 victory over Northwestern.
RILEY LEADS THE TEAM IN ASSISTS – Although he is still looking for his first goal of the season, sophomore Chad Riley leads the team in assists with six. As a freshman, he had three goals and a team-best six assists for 12 points, which led the team.
IRISH MAKING IT TOUGH – Notre Dame’s combined efforts in goal and on defense has produced tremendous results as the Irish have a 1.22 goals against average as a team following four straight shutouts and five total for the season. Coach Bobby Clark’s squad has not given up a goal in the last five games, which spans 397:02 minutes. The Irish have not allowed a goal since the 52:58 mark in its 3-1 win over Georgetown.
IRISH ROOKIE MAKING AN IMPRESSION – Rookie goalkeeper Chris Sawyer has been in the starting lineup for each of the last seven games and has allowed just four goals in 671:04 of action. He has a 0.54 goals against average and .897 save percentage. He is 4-1 in the five BIG EAST games he has played in and has an overall record of 6-1.
SCORING OFFENSE UP – Notre Dame struggled to score goals in 2000 with just 19 goals in 17 games. This season, the Irish have already exceeded their goal-scoring total with 26 goals in the first 12 games of the season.
FRESHMEN GETTING INTO THE ACT – Notre Dame’s freshman class is beginning to make its presence felt on the field. Three rookies – Chris Sawyer, Jack Stewart (Torrance, Calif.) and Kevin Goldthwaite – were all in the starting lineup in the Irish win over Virginia Tech (the most freshmen to start in a game this season). Sawyer has started seven of the eight games he has played in goal, while Stewart has been has gotten the starting nod in the last five contests, while Goldthwaite has cracked the starting lineup three times.
HOME SWEET HOME – Notre Dame is 4-1 at home this season at Alumni Field after finishing just 4-4 last year. The Irish own a 73-28-7 mark for a .708 winning percentage at Alumni Field. The 2001 campaign marks the 11th season for the Irish playing at Alumni Field.
A GAME OF FIRSTS – Notre Dame’s win over Villanova proved to be a night of firsts for many associated with the team. First, head coach Bobby Clark got his first win with the Irish in his coaching debut. Three players – freshman Kevin Goldthwaite, sophomore Greg Martin (Plano, Texas) and junior Justin Ratcliffe tallied their first collegiate goals. Martin had the first multiple-point game of his career as he also dished off his first career assist.
GETTING INTO THE ACTION – Of the six freshmen on the Irish roster, two rookies – Kevin Goldthwaite and Jack Stewart have seen action in all 12 games coming off the bench. Goldthwaite’s first collegiate game will be one to remember as his first goal in a Notre Dame uniform came off of his first-ever shot in a game. It also was the first goal scored by the Irish in 2001.
GOOD BIG EAST START – Notre Dame continued its trend of success in BIG EAST openers with its 5-0 win over Villanova in what was the season and conference opener for the Irish this season. Overall, Notre Dame is 5-1-1 in league openers since becoming a conference member in 1995. The Irish dropped their league opener last season at Boston College (2-0) and tied Pittburgh (0-0) in 1997. Both of those games were on the road. Notre Dame’s five wins this season in the BIG EAST already matches its season total of a year ago. The most regular-season league wins for an Irish team is six – in 1996 when Notre Dame finished with a 6-3 conference mark.
YOUNG GUNS – The 25-man Notre Dame roster is comprised of just four seniors and nine juniors with almost half of the squad made up of sophomores and freshmen. Bobby Clark inherited a program which returned eight starters and 19 letterwinners from last year’s squad.
TOUGH LUCK IN OVERTIME – Two of Notre Dame’s four losses have come on the road and been decided in overtime. The Irish lost a 3-2 decision to Furman at the 108:59 mark on Sept. 7, in addition to its 1-0 setback at Seton Hall 6:45 into the overtime period. Notre Dame played two overtime games last season and was 0-0-2 in those matchups.
IRONMAN – Junior defender Andreas Forstner (Gerlinden, Germany) has missed just one start in the 47 games he has played in during his collegiate career. Forstner started 17 of the 18 games he played in during his rookie season and started all 17 contests in 2000. This season, he has been one of three players who has started all 10 games. Heading into its matchup with Providence, the third-year Irish player has made 30 consecutive starts and has played in 47 of 49 career games.