Aug. 18, 2015
DATE: Aug. 19, 2015
TIME: 5 and 6:15 p.m. (ET)
LOCATION: Indianapolis, Ind. (Butler Bowl – cap. 5,647)
LAST MEETING (Exhibition): ND 2-1 (8/18/11 at BU)
INDIANAPOLIS – The fall scrimmage road swing for the University of Notre Dame men’s soccer team returns the Irish to the state of Indiana on Wednesday, with two matches scheduled against Butler at the Butler Bowl.
Similar to Notre Dame’s first scrimmages at Ohio State last Sunday, an abbreviated game (45 minutes) is scheduled for a 5 p.m. (ET) kickoff on Wednesday, with a full-length game to follow at approximately 6:15 p.m. Wednesday’s matchups with the Bulldogs are the final scheduled Notre Dame exhibition matches away from Alumni Stadium prior to the 2015 regular season.
“I love being on the road,” Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark said. “There’s a closeness and you can monitor everything. We can watch video, spend time together, and you have to go to other team’s fields to compete. That’s a great thing because if you’re going to be successful you have to go to other team’s homes and compete. If we’re going to have a successful season we have to do that, so I love being able to do it in the preseason.”
Notre Dame battled Ohio State to a 0-0 draw in 60 minutes on Sunday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus, Ohio, before the Irish fell to the Buckeyes 2-1 in the regulation 90-minute contest later in the afternoon. On the strength of a strong second half performance and with past history as a guide, Clark and his Notre Dame team remain extremely positive following the fall’s first test.
“If we look back to when we won NCAAs in 2013, we actually tied the small game and lost the big game 1-0 (Aug. 18, 2013) at Creighton,” Clark said. “I hope the omens are good omens, as there is a similarity there. We’d like to win every game, but I thought it was a good test. We lost the two goals fairly close together toward the end of the first half, and we could have felt sorry for ourselves.
“Being down 2-0 away from home, it became can we go out there and get a hold of this game at somebody else’s grounds in the second half? I think that we did that,” Clark added. “We scored the goal and then hit the crossbar with a glorious shot just after that, so all in all it was a good test for the team. It’s only a positive if we learn from our mistakes and if we can improve, while not making the same mistakes in the next games.”
Notre Dame and Butler last met in preseason action on Aug. 18, 2011, which the Irish won 2-1 on a game-winning goal from Danny O’Leary in the 69th minute. Both teams are former members of the Midwestern Collegiate Conference (now the Horizon League), but have not met in an in-season match since a 4-1 Notre Dame victory in an MCC tournament semifinal on Nov. 4, 1994.
“We will try to get Matt Habrowski up to 60 minutes, Patrick Hodan up to 75, trying to build up the time and fitness on Wednesday,” Clark said. “It will also give us a chance to see if any more of the freshmen are ready to come through and look good, see where they are at this point of camp.”
IRISH AGAINST BUTLER
-Notre Dame is 3-2-1 all-time in official matches against Butler, and the teams have not met in-season since Nov. 4, 1994 (a 4-1 Irish win in a Midwestern Collegiate Conference tournament semifinal).
-Notre Dame and Butler have faced off in one other exhibition contest during the Bobby Clark era, a 2-1 victory on Aug. 18, 2011 at the Butler Bowl. Adam Mena scored the equalizer in the 27th minute on rebound off a Ryan Finley shot, and Danny O’Leary deposited the game-winner into the back of the net from 10 yards out in the 69th minute after a feed from Dillon Powers.
-Butler is one of two fellow Indiana residents that Notre Dame will face in exhibition or regular season matches in 2015. The Irish open the regular season at the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic in Bloomington, taking on host Indiana on Aug. 30 at 2 p.m. (ET) inside Bill Armstrong Stadium.
SCOUTING THE BULLDOGS
-Butler returns 15 veterans from last season’s roster that posted a 6-7-5 mark, including 2-5-2 in the BIG EAST Conference. The Bulldogs dropped a 3-0 decision at Michigan on Sunday in their opening exhibition match of 2015.
-Junior forward David Goldsmith led all Butler players with six goals, three assists and 15 points in 18 starts last season. Senior forward Jeff Atkins chipped in five goals and 13 points in 2014.
-Head coach Paul Snape is 29-31-14 (.486) in four seasons at Butler. He was previously a member of the coaching staff at Michigan.
IRISH IN THE PRESEASON NATIONAL TOP FIVE
-Along with being slotted fourth in the NSCAA preseason poll on Aug. 3, Notre Dame was ranked fifth by Hero Sports (formerly BennettRank) in its preseason men’s soccer rankings. The Irish were selected number one in both polls to open 2014 as the defending NCAA champions.
-Notre Dame has finished a season ranked in the top 25 of the NSCAA poll 11 times in 14 seasons under Bobby Clark, including four of the past five campaigns.
MEET THE IRISH
-Notre Dame was slated fourth in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) preseason poll that was released on Aug. 3. The Irish, one of three Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) teams in the initial NSCAA top five (Virginia, No. 2, North Carolina, No. 5), logged a 12-5-4 record in 2014 that included an ACC regular-season championship following a 6-1-1 conference mark.
-A total of 10 monogram winners, including six regular starters, are back in the fold from the 2014 Notre Dame team that reached the NCAA Championship Round of 16 for the third consecutive season.
-Senior midfielder and tri-captain Patrick Hodan returns as the reigning ACC Offensive Player of the Year after pacing the Notre Dame attack with nine goals and 21 points in 2014. Hodan, a 2014 NSCAA first team All-American and CoSIDA Capital One Academic All-America first team selection, was recently named to the Missouri Athletic Club’s (MAC) Hermann Trophy Watch List.
-For the first time since 2012, Notre Dame will have a goalkeeper other than Patrick Wall (’14) appear in net in an official match. Wall started the last 46 Irish regular season and postseason games in that span. Senior Brian Talcott, junior Chris Hubbard and freshman Ryan Krutz are in the mix to earn the starting goalkeeper job this season.
-Notre Dame returns 23 of 35 goals, 23 of 31 assists and 69 of 101 points from last season’s roster in 2015. Five Irish returners, Hodan, Evan Panken, Jeffrey Farina, Jon Gallagher and Brandon Aubrey, appeared in all 21 matches in 2014.
NOTRE DAME BACK AT ALUMNI ON AUG. 24
-Notre Dame makes its first appearance of the 2015 season at Alumni Stadium in an exhibition match against Saint Louis on Aug. 24 at 7 p.m. (ET). The contest will serve as the final Irish scrimmage before the team opens the regular season against Maryland at the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic on Aug. 28.
Season and single game tickets for Notre Dame men’s soccer are on sale now. Visit und.com/tickets or call the Murnane Family Ticket Office at 574-631-7356.
— Tony Jones, Athletics Communications Assistant