Sept. 22, 2016
by Tony Jones
2016 NOTRE DAME MEN’S SOCCER – Match 8#3 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (6-1-0, 1-1-0 ACC) vs. #2 Syracuse Orange (8-0-0, 2-0-0 ACC)
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Reigning Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) champion Syracuse returns to the site of its 2015 league tournament triumph on Friday, as the University of Notre Dame men’s soccer team gears up for one of its largest tests of the regular season at Alumni Stadium. The 7 p.m. ACC match between the Irish and Orange will air live on ACC Network Extra.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã…Â¡Â½️ @NDMenSoccer returns to defend home turf.
Notre Dame vs. Syracuse
ÃƒÂ¢Â° Friday | 7pm
ÃƒÂ¢Ã‹Å“Ã‹Å“️ Alumni Stadium
– The Fighting Irish (@FightingIrish) September 22, 2016
No. 3 Notre Dame (6-1-0, 1-1-0 ACC) will attempt to hand No. 2 Syracuse (8-0-0, 2-0-0 ACC) its first loss of 2016 after the Orange entered the weekend as one of only two undefeated teams in Division I soccer. The Irish own a 12-3-2 series lead over Syracuse all-time, including a 4-1-1 edge in matches contested on the Notre Dame campus.
“Syracuse will be an experienced team,” Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark said. “They’re a very good team and are very well coached. In watching them on video they do a lot of things very well, this will be one of our hardest games of the year without question. They’re not 8-0 for nothing, anyone that is 8-0 is deserving of it, so it will be a tough game for us.
“If we really want to win our division in the league, this game is hugely important,” Clark said. “It’s a massive game for both teams, really, every conference game is hard. Syracuse is a team that can win a national championship, so you know the caliber of team you’re playing.”
Season and single game tickets for the 2016 Notre Dame men’s soccer season remain on sale. Visit und.com/BuyTickets or call the Murnane Family Ticket Office at 574-631-7356 for more information or to purchase tickets.
Irish Fall In Tough Result At UL
A rough and tumble soccer match in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) on Sept. 16 favored the hometown Louisville side. A miraculous first half goal by Mohamed Thiaw in the 25th minute stood the test against Notre Dame, as the host Cardinals downed the top ranked Irish 1-0 in front of an energized crowd at Lynn Stadium.
Notre Dame controlled much of the run of play throughout the contest, outshooting Louisville officially by a 6-3 count. A number of Irish chances near frame were turned aside by the Cardinal defense, and Louisville goalkeeper Stefan Cleveland stopped all three official shots on goal that he faced.
Following Thiaw’s game-winner in the 25th minute, Notre Dame pushed the pace for the remainder of the contest, neutralizing Louisville and maintaining possession in the opposing third of the field for much of the second half. Strong offensive play from strikers Jon Gallagher and Thomas Ueland was unable to notch the Irish equalizer, as both players finished the match with three shot attempts each to lead Notre Dame.
Aubrey And Gallagher Among ACC Points Leaders
Aubrey is tied for the goals lead among all ACC players with six tallies over seven matches to go with one assist, with Gallagher sharing second place with three assists and third place with five goals.
Controlling The Shot Charts
A key to Notre Dame’s 6-1 start, which has featured showdowns with five top 25 foes, has been Irish control of the shot column on the scoreboard. Notre Dame has outshot opponents by a combined 103-73 margin through seven matches, reaching double-digit shot attempts on five occasions.
A total of 52 Notre Dame shots have officially been credited on frame, leading to 17 Irish goals. Opponents have scored only three goals in 27 shots on goal thus far this season.
ACC The Dominant League In College Soccer
Notre Dame and Syracuse are two of eight ACC teams included in this week’s National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) top 25 poll that was released on Sept. 20. The eight ACC teams included in the current NSCAA rankings lead all conferences in terms of ranked members.
The ACC is a combined 46-10-5 (.795) in nonconference play to pace Division I soccer.
Notre Dame (Sept. 6 and Sept. 13) and North Carolina (Aug. 30) have previously been the top team in the NSCAA rankings during different weeks of 2016. Syracuse is the national number one team in three other polls (Soccer America, College Soccer News and TopDrawerSoccer) as of Sept. 20.
Irish Success In The ACC
Entering its fourth full season as an ACC member, Notre Dame has recorded an 18-5-6 (.724) 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.
Notre Dame has yet to drop back-to-back decisions in the ACC, posting a combined 4-0 mark immediately following a conference loss since 2013.
Irish At Alumni Stadium
Since the facility opened in 2009, Notre Dame has compiled a 55-16-12 (.735) combined record in both regular season and postseason play at Alumni Stadium.
The Irish christened their new stadium with a 5-0 win over No. 21 Michigan on Sept. 1, 2009. The five-goal triumph remains tied for the largest margin of victory for a Notre Dame team ever against a top 25 foe.
Notre Dame has averaged nearly seven home victories per season inside Alumni Stadium, enjoying a high watermark with a 9-1-0 (.900) outing during its final season as a BIG EAST Conference member in 2012.
Syracuse enters Friday’s game a perfect 8-0 to open 2016 after earning a 3-1 win at Cornell on Sept. 20. The Orange are one of only two undefeated and untied sides remaining in NCAA Division I soccer as of Sept. 22, joining Loyola (6-0).
Johannes Pieles (three goals, three assists) and Chris Nanco (four goals, one assist) are tied for the Syracuse points lead with nine each through eight starts. Jonathan Hagman and Miles Robinson have each added three goals and one assist (seven points), while Oyvind Alseth is tied with Pieles for the team lead in assists with three.
Ian McIntyre is 176-108-45 (.603) in his 18th season overall as a collegiate head coach, including the last seven campaigns at Syracuse.
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.