Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website

#3/12 Men's Soccer Begins 2003 Season With Challenging Weekend

Aug. 28, 2003

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adidas/IU Credit Union Classic

hosted by Indiana University, Bloomington, Ind.

#3/12 Notre Dame vs. #20/ARV Alabama-Birmingham, Friday, Aug. 29, 5:00 p.m.

#3/12 Notre Dame vs. #11/17 California, Saturday, Aug. 30, 5:00 p.m.

2003 season begins with challenging weekend for the Irish:

The 2003 University of Notre Dame men’s soccer team begins its season this weekend at the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic in Bloomington, Ind., on Friday and Saturday. The Irish will face nationally ranked Alabama-Birmingham (Friday, 5 p.m.) and California (Saturday, 5 p.m.) for their first two contests of the season. Notre Dame completed its preseason schedule on Monday, posting a tie with Michigan 1-1. The Irish also defeated #13/12 Saint Louis 2-0 on Friday, Aug. 23, in St. Louis, Mo.

Notre Dame returns to Armstrong Stadium this weekend, the site of its last game in 2002. The fourth-ranked Hoosiers handed Notre Dame a 1-0 loss in the second round of the NCAA Championship. A rematch is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 18, at Alumni Field.

This will be the first meeting for Notre Dame with both Alabama-Birmingham and California. The 2002 season began with the Irish appearing in the Diadora Challenge in Greenville, SC. Notre Dame defeated SW Missouri State 3-2, then tied #19 Creighton during the two-day event.

Irish ranked third in Soccer America preseason rankings:

Soccer America has released its 2003 men’s preseason poll and the University of Notre Dame was placed third – giving the Irish their highest-ever ranking in program history entering the regular-season opener against #20/ARV Alabama-Birmingham on Friday, Aug. 29, at 5 p.m. during Indiana’s adidas/IU Credit Union Classic in Bloomington. Notre Dame will also face #11/17 California during the tournament on Saturday at 5 p.m.

The #3 ranking provides the highest rating in school history for the men’s soccer team. The squad reached fifth during the 2002 regular-season before finishing out of the NSCAA/adidas rankings (in which Notre Dame is currently ranked 12th) and 20th in the final Soccer America 2002 ranking. Combined with the 12th ranking in the NSCAA poll, Notre Dame has achieved its highest-ever preseason ranking in both polls.

A number of Irish opponents appear in the Soccer America ranking. In addition to Alabama-Birmingham and California, Notre Dame is scheduled to face #5 St. John’s, #8 Connecticut and #10 Indiana. The Irish could also meet #14 Boston College in BIG EAST Championship action.

Notre Dame ranked 12th in NSCAA preseason poll:

The University of Notre Dame men’s soccer team, coming off a 12-6-3 record in 2002 and returning nine starters from its NCAA second-round appearance, has been ranked 12th in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)/adidas preseason poll released on Tuesday.

The #12 ranking is the highest preseason slot in school history, as Notre Dame coach Bobby Clark – in his third season with the Irish – returns his most talented Irish team and adds one of the best recruiting classes in the nation.

Selected to finish second in the BIG EAST Conference this season, Notre Dame will face seven opponents from the NSCAA preseason poll in 2003 – including conference opponents #5 St. John’s, #10 Connecticut and #22 Syracuse. Other ranked opponents on the 2003 Notre Dame schedule include #7 Indiana, #17 California and Alabama-Birmingham (also receiving votes).

Irish and Wolverines match up one goal a piece in exhibition:

Notre Dame battled visiting Michigan to a 1-1 tie at Alumni Field in its final exhibition tuneup before the start of the regular season on Friday. A crowd of 1,538 was in attendance for the game.

Devon Prescod got the Irish on the scoreboard 20:34 into the first half when he lofted a shot past Woverine goalkeeper Peter Dzubay from six yards out. Greg Martin and Jack Stewart assisted on Prescod’s goal. Notre Dame outshot Michigan 7-6 in the first half, but Michigan owned a 4-2 advantage in corner kicks.

The Irish dominated the second half, outshooting the Wolverines 8-3. However, Michigan was able to strike for its lone goal two minutes into the second half when Jeff Miirmelstein drove the ball into the corner of the net past Notre Dame’s Chris Sawyer. Kevin Hall and Bobby Trybula assisted on the goal.

Following the Michigan goal, Notre Dame’s defense stiffened and the Wolverines only got off two shots in the final 43 minutes of the contest. The Irish had a couple of scoring chances, but could not convert.

Sawyer made four saves in goal for the Irish.

The contest ended after 90 minutes and no overtime was played.


Devon Prescod scored two of Notre Dame’s three goals during preseason action last week.



Irish down Saint Louis 2-0 in first exhibition match of the season:

Notre Dame won its first of two exhibition matches scheduled for the 2003 preseason downing #11 Saint Louis 2-0 on Friday, Aug. 23.

Against the Billikens, the Irish were led by senior Justin Detter, who began the scoring with a 12-yard shot past Saint Louis goalkeeper Martin Hutton in the 49th minute. Saint Louis out-shot Notre Dame 5-1 in the first period, but a more aggressive Irish team appeared in the second half – getting off nine shots compared to just two for the home team.

Detter combined with senior Devon Prescod on Notre Dame’s second goal at 78:21. Prescod was able to pick a ball out of a scramble in front of the net, as Detter was given an assist on the play. One goal and an assist give Detter, an assistant captain from White Lake, Mich., three points in the game.

Prescod and Detter were aggressive all evening for Notre Dame, as they accounted for seven of Notre Dame’s 10 shots on goal. Hutton eventually made three saves for the Billikens. BIG EAST Preseason Goalkeeper of the Year Chris Sawyer notched two saves for Notre Dame while posting the shut out victory.

The Notre Dame – Saint Louis match up featured two of the top incoming freshman classes in the nation, though in a strange twist the Irish rookies were unable to attend the match due to freshman orientation on campus.

The game was played before 5,008 at Saint Louis’ Robert R. Hermann Stadium, the second-largest men’s soccer crowd in school history.

Irish picked to finish second in the BIG EAST Conference:

The University of Notre Dame men’s soccer team has been picked to finish second in the BIG EAST Conference in 2003, as a result of a vote from the league’s coaches. The conference preseason poll was released earlier this month and the Irish, 12-6-3 a year ago, earned 128 points, finishing behind St. John’s (135 points) and ahead of Connecticut (127) and defending league champion Boston College (117). Notre Dame received three first place votes, while the Red Storm took home five.

The conference also announced its preseason honors and junior Chris Sawyer was selected for one of the three major awards. Sawyer, who finished the 2002 season with an 8-4-3 record and 0.99 goals-against average, was named the 2003 Preseason Goalkeeper of the Year. Connecticut’s Cesar Cuellar ended up as the preseason offensive player of the year, while St. John’s Chris Wingert earned the defensive player award.

Sawyer was joined on the preseason all-BIG EAST squad by teammates Jack Stewart and Justin Detter. Stewart, a junior who is moving up to midfield from the back in 2003, posted two points last season. Detter is on the move as well, making the switch from midfielder to forward to give the Irish an extra scoring boost this season. Detter finished with 19 points (six goals, seven assists) a year ago and was a second-team all-BIG EAST performer.

Notre Dame also ranked 12th in College Soccer News Preseason Top 30:

The University of Notre Dame men’s soccer team has been ranked 12th in the College Soccer News 2003 Preseason Top 30. The Irish finished 26th in the final College Soccer News ranking a year ago after beginning the season 17th on the preseason list.

* – indicates 2003 Notre Dame opponent

College Soccer News 2003 Preseason Top 30

1. Maryland


3. St. John’s*

4. Wake Forest

5. Stanford

6. SMU

7. Penn State

8. Creighton

9. Furman

10. Indiana*

11. Wisconsin-Milwaukee


13. Clemson

14. Boston College

15. Connecticut*

16. Saint Louis*

17. Pennsylvania

18. California*

19. UC Santa Barbara

20. New Mexico

21. Virginia

22. Coastal Carolina

23. Washington

24. Duke

25. Portland

26. Northeastern

27. San Diego

28. Alabama-Birmingham*

29. Michigan*

30. Bradley*

Notre Dame returns talented, deep and experienced roster for the 2003 season:

The Irish welcome back nine of 11 starters from last season’s 12-6-3 team that made its second-straight trip to the NCAA Championship. Notre Dame was eliminated 1-0 by Indiana in the second round.

The Irish lost leading scorer Erich Braun to graduation, but welcome back seniors Chad Riley (20 points, 4 G, 12 A), Justin Detter (19 points, 6 G, 7 A) and Greg Martin (13 points, 6 G, 1 A). Riley currently stands fourth on the all-time assist list with 24, as his 12 assists a year ago tied for fifth on the single-season list.

Notre Dame’s defense should be strong this season as well, bringing back starters senior Kevin Richards, sophomore Dale Rellas while adding the services of freshman stand out Greg Dalby.


Jack Stewart’s move from back to midfield will be tested against two top teams this weekend.



A key position switch this season will be the move of junior Jack Stewart from the back to midfield. Stewart started and appeared in all 21 games last season, taking 17 shots and scoring one goal, which turned out to be a game-winner.

Martin named captain of 2003 team, first three-time captain in team history:

Senior Greg Martin has been named captain of the 2003 Notre Dame men’s soccer team, while classmates Justin Detter, Devon Prescod, Kevin Richards and and Chad Riley will serve as assistant captains during the season. Martin will have the distinction of being the first-ever three-time captain in the program’s history.

Martin, a midfielder, was the first sophomore ever to be named a captain at Notre Dame when he served in that role during the 2001 campaign. He started all 21 games for the Irish in ’02 and scored a career-high six goals while dishing off one assist. Martin heads into his final campaign with career totals of seven goals and two assists (16 points). Last season, he was named to the all-tournament team at the Diadora Challenge and was selected as the BIG EAST’s Co-Offensive Player of the Week for the week of October 21. Martin netted a team-leading three game-winning goals a year ago and registered the first mulitple-goal game of his career with his two-goal performance in a 3-1 victory over Connecticut in October of ’02.

Detter was a second team all-BIG EAST selection following his junior year after earning first-team accolades in ’01. In addition, the Irish midfielder was a third-team pick to the adidas/NSCAA all-Great Lakes Region squad. The Irish midfielder was in the starting lineup for all 21 games and finished third on the scoring list with 19 points (6 goals and 7 assists). He has started 56 in the 57 games he has played during his career and has scored 14 goals and dished off 13 assists (41 points).

Prescod, a midfielder, batttled injuries throughout last season, but still managed to play in all 21 contests. He scored three goals and dished off two assists in ’02 and was named to the all-tournament team at the Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament. As a sophomore, Prescod started 18 of the 19 contests he played and finished second in the scoring column with six goals and six assists (18 points). He heads into his final season with 10 goals and eight assists (28 points).

Richards, a two-year starter at back, has been a mainstay in the Irish backfield since his freshman year. Last year, he anchored an Irish defense that registered six shutouts and posted a team 0.95 goals against average. Richards also dished off three assists in ’02 and was named co-BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week for the first time in his career. He heads into the ’03 campaign having been in the starting lineup in 39 straight contests.

Riley has garnered third team all-BIG EAST honors each of the last two seasons and has ranked among the Irish’s leading scorers. He finished second in the Irish scoring column as a junior with four goals and a team-leading 12 assists (the most assists by aNotre Dame player since Randy Morris’ 12 in 1988). Riley ranks fourth all-time with 24 career assists and was 14th nationally in that category with a 0.57 assist average. He boasts career totals of eight goals and 24 assists (40 points).

“This is a great group of young men and is possibly the strongest group of seniors I have ever been fortunate enough to coach,” head coach Bobby Clark says. “They are all strong players with strong personalities and should provide the correct leadership for what we hope can be a very exciting year. I have always found that success is directly proportional to the leadership.

Class of 2007 earns top-five recruiting class status:

University of Notre Dame men’s soccer coach Bobby Clark has announced the signing of seven highly-regarded prep standouts to national letters of intent. Three of those players have been members of the U.S. national team program and are current members of the under-18 national squad. Joining the Irish program beginning in the fall of 2003 will be goalkeeper Chris Cahill (Louisville, Ky./St. Francis DeSales) central defender Greg Dalby (Poway, Calif./Poway), midfielder Ian Etherington (Temecula, Calif./Chaparral HS), forward Justin McGeeney (Ames, Iowa/Ames), midfielder Ryan Miller (Barrington, Ill./Barrington), forward Brian Murphy (Granger, Ind./St. Joseph’s) and forward/midfielder Nate Norman (Rochester, Mich./Rochester Adams).

“These seven players comprise a fabulous recruiting class for us,” Clark says. “All the individuals we identified early on in the recruiting process decided to come to Notre Dame. We were looking for players who would come in and give up depth as well as have an impact immediately. We’re very excited to have all of them join our program.

“I think we’ve been very successful with our recruiting efforts the past two seasons. This year’s class adds tremendous depth to our team and continues to move the program in the direction that we want to go.” The group ended up ranked fifth in the country by Soccer America and third by College Soccer