Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website

#4 Notre Dame and #13 St. John's Set For BIG EAST Men's Soccer Showdown On Saturday

Sept. 4, 2003

Complete Release in PDF Format, including national polls, statistical breakdowns and updated team roster.
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#4/9 Notre Dame vs. #13/19 St. John’s

Saturday, Sept. 6, 7:30 p.m, Alumni Field

Inside track on BIG EAST Conference crown up for grabs on Saturday:

The two top teams in the BIG EAST preseason rankings meet this weekend – in both squad’s first conference game of the year. Notre Dame, ranked as high as fourth in the nation, will meet St. John’s, which was recently ranked as high as fifth. The Irish are 1-0-1 on the young season, while the Red Storm suffered two losses to begin its schedule last weekend.

The Notre Dame – St. John’s series has been hotly contested over the last three seasons, but the Red Storm hold a dominating 7-1-2 advantage in the series. Notre Dame’s victory came in 2000, a 1-0 victory at Alumni Field. St. John’s claimed back-to-back 1-0 wins in 2001 and ’02.

National rankings update:

Notre Dame (1-0-1) fought through a tough first weekend of action at the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic last weekend in Bloomington, Ind., coming away with a scoreless tie vs. #20 Alabama-Birmingham and 2-1 victory over #11/17 California. The game outcomes have adjusted the Irish slightly in the national polls. Notre Dame is down one spot in the Soccer America ranking to fourth, while the adidas/NSCAA poll moved the Irish up from 12th to ninth.

Notre Dame also received mention in the College Soccer News top 30, ranked eighth (up four spots from a preseason ranking of 12th). The Irish also were 12th in the Soccer Times preseason poll and moved up to 10th on Sept. 2.

Irish rally to down #11 California 2-1 in double overtime:

Notre Dame scored the first two goals of the 2003 regular season to come-from-behind and defeat #11/17 California 2-1 in double overtime at the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic on Saturday evening. Senior Devon Prescod provided both goals for the Irish.

Notre Dame fell behind 1-0 when Cal’s Carl Acosta beat goalkeeper Chris Sawyer with a header 2:42 into the second half. Notre Dame stepped up the offensive pressure, led by Prescod. Prescod finally got the game-tying goal at the 80:07 mark off an assist from classmate Justin Detter. He followed up with the game winner just 1:10 into the second overtime, sending an assist from Kevin Goldthwaite past California goalkeeper Brian Walker.

Even though the Irish waited 197:07 to notch their first goal of the season (after going scoreless in a tie against Alabama-Birmingham Friday night), the defense was stellar all weekend. Notre Dame locked down in overtime against California, not allowing a single Bear shot in the two extra periods. Notre Dame out shot California 13-8 in the contest, including seven shots in the second half.

The Irish held the edge in corner kicks 6-2. California’s Walker made five saves in goal, while Sawyer stopped three shots for Notre Dame. Prescod led all players in the contest with five shots, including three on goal.

Notre Dame and UAB battle to scoreless tie:

It wasn’t the opening game Notre Dame was looking for. Playing on a wet surface and sitting through an hour rain delay, the #3/12 Irish were unable to put the ball in the net and ended up with a scoreless tie against #20 Alabama-Birmingham at the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic on Friday evening. The tie marks the first non-victory season opener of the three-year Bobby Clark era and is the first opener under Clark the Irish have been held scoreless.

The defensive battle started on time, but was then delayed at the 31:24 mark due to heavy rain and lightning in the Bloomington, Ind., area.

Notre Dame out shot UAB 18-10, while the Blazers were led by a great performance from Alberto Robles in goal. Robles ended up with nine saves in the game, including five in the first half when the Irish uncorked eight shots.

The Irish also held the advantage in corner kicks 9-2, while fouls were a toss up at 20-19. Notre Dame goalkeeper Chris Sawyer had three saves in the game.

The lack of offense on the scoreboard does not tell the whole story of an aggressive Irish attack mentality. Notre Dame uncorked 14 shots in regulation and three shots in the first overtime but were unable to get a number on the scoreboard. Freshman Nate Norman led Notre Dame with three shots off the bench, while five other players notched two shots each.

Devon Prescod named first BIG EAST offensive player of the week in 2003:

Senior forward Devon Prescod, who single-handedly provided a victory over #11/17 California on Saturday, Aug. 30, was named the BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week on Monday. Prescod led Notre Dame (1-0-1) to a come-from-behind victory over the Bears, scoring with nine minutes left in the contest to knot the game at 1-1. He then put in the game winner just over one minute into the second overtime.


Devon Prescod was named the BIG EAST offensive player of the week on Monday, Sept. 1.



Prescod was the most active offensive player for the Irish all weekend, getting off seven shots, including four shots on goal. The Notre Dame offense as a unit was aggressive all weekend, out-shooting their opponents 31-18, but managing just the two goals against California and a scoreless tie vs. #20 Alabama-Birmingham on Saturday.

The weekly award is the second of Prescod’s career, as the Marietta, Ga., native earned offensive player of the week honors on Oct. 15, 2001.

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 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.

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

Notre Dame leads the nation in student-athlete graduation rate:

The University of Notre Dame compiled the nation’s highest overall graduation rate for Division I-A student-athletes to take top honors in the 2003 USA Today/NCAA Academic Achievement Awards announced today.

Ninety-two percent of the Fighting Irish student-athletes who enrolled in 1996 earned a degree from the University, three percentage points higher than second-place Tulsa University. Duke and Wisconsin finished third at 88 percent, followed by Northwestern, 87; Boston College, 86; Stanford, 84; Western Michigan, 83; Michigan, 82; and Syracuse, Rice and Utah State, 81.

In addition to the overall rate, Academic Achievement Awards are presented to the institutions with the best student-athlete graduation rates in comparison to the overall student body and to those that show the most improvement from the previous year.

Now in their third year, the awards include a $20,000 prize for the top institutions in each category. They are based on federally compiled figures submitted by NCAA member institutions.

The NCAA bases graduation rates on the raw percentage of student-athletes who entered an institution and graduated within six years. Students who leave or transfer, regardless of academic standing, are considered non graduates. Notre Dame’s graduation rate for student-athletes who complete all four years of athletic eligibility is 99 percent.

Keep up with the Irish via the Notre Dame hotline: The Notre Dame athletic department hotline has realigned its menu offerings for the 2003 fall sports season.

The hotline provides schedule and results information for varsity sports and serves as a supplement to the live coverage and game recaps already provided on the official athletic website at

Here’s how the hotline now is realigned (as of Aug. 28):

*Dial (574) 631-3000

*Select any of the following subgroups:

(1) Upcoming schedule and recent results of ALL varsity sports currently in action (select cells 3-9 for the most updated results for specific sports).

(2) Football schedules for the 2003, ’04, ’05, ’06 and ’07 seasons.

(3) Basketball information (then press 1 for men’s basketball and 2 for women’s basketball)

(4) Soccer information (then press 1 for men’s soccer and 2 for women’s soccer).

(5) Women’s volleyball (press 1) and men’s ice hockey (press 2) information.

(6) Men’s and women’s cross country information.

(7) Men’s and women’s swimming and diving information (then press 1 for men’s swimming and 2 for women’s swimming).

(8) Tennis information (then press 1 for men’s tennis and 2 for women’s tennis) and men’s and women’s fencing information (press 3).

(9) Women’s golf (press 1), men’s golf (press 2) and women’s rowing (press 3) information.

Other national polls:

There are several polls supported by various magazines and websites that rank the Irish. Here is a look at the Soccer Times and College Soccer News polls.

Soccer Times: 1. UCLA, 2. Maryland, 3. Wake Forest, 4. SMU, 5. Stanford, 6. Indiana, 7. Saint Louis, 8. North Carolina, 9. Creighton, 10. NOTRE DAME, 11. Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 12. VCU, 13. St. John’s, 14. Clemson, 15. Duke, 16. Alabama-Birmingham, 17. Boston College, 18. Connecticut, t-19. California, t-19. CS Fullerton, 21. Rutgers, 22. Penn State, 23. South Carolina, 24. Coastal Carolina, 25. Virginia.

College Soccer News: 1. Maryland, 2. UCLA, 3. Wake Forest, 4. SMU, 5. Stanford, 6. Creighton, 7. Indiana, 8. Notre Dame, 9. Saint Louis, 10. North Carolina, 11. Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 12. St. John’s, 13. Penn State, 14. Furman, 15. VCU, 16. Clemson, 17. Pennsylvania, 18. Boston College, 19. UC Santa Barbara, 20. Alabama-Birmingham, 21. Connecticut, 22. Coastal Carolina, 23. New Mexico, 24. Washington, 25. Duke, 26. Northeastern, 27. California, 28. Bradley, 29. Michigan, 30. Oakland. Others: Rutgers, Virginia, Portland, San Diego, South Carolina, CS Fullerton, CS Northridge, Old Dominon, American.