Sept. 18, 2014
#4 NOTRE DAME
(3-1-1, 1-0-0 ACC)
(4-1-0, 1-0-0 ACC)
Sunday, Sept. 21 – Noon (ET)
KlÃƒÆ’Â¶ckner Stadium – Charlottesville, Va.
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Only one opponent had the University of Notre Dame men’s soccer team’s number last season and the fourth-ranked Fighting Irish will aim to reverse that on Sunday when they visit No. 5 Virginia for a key early-season Atlantic Coast Conference showdown.
The top-five clash is slated for noon (ET) at KlÃƒÆ’Â¶ckner Stadium in Charlottesville, Va. The match will be broadcast on ESPNU and WatchESPN.
The Fighting Irish finished the 2013 campaign with a 17-1-6 record and the middle numeral was the result of a 2-0 setback to Virginia at Alumni Stadium. The two squads met again in the semifinals of the ACC Championship. Notre Dame enjoyed leads of 2-0 and 3-1 in the rematch, but surrendered a pair of Cavalier goals in the final six minutes of regulation. The contest ended as a 3-3 draw and Virginia won the penalty-kick shootout, 4-3.
“Virginia is a team that’s kind of had our number a little bit,” Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark says. “We played them here last year and they were a very good team. We also played them in the ACC semifinal. We thought we had them twice in that game with two-goal leads, but they showed great resilience. This will be a very hard game for us, but every game in the ACC falls into that category. That’s what makes it fun. If you’re a real player and a competitor you can’t ask for anything more than a really challenging opponent.”
Notre Dame (3-1-1, 1-0-0) opened ACC play last Saturday with a 1-0 win at No. 20 Syracuse. Sophomore central defender Brandon Aubrey was the hero as he headed home the game winner in the 75th minute.
“It was a huge win,” Clark says. “It was a very difficult win and I give full marks to (Syracuse head coach) Ian McIntyre. He’s done a terrific job with that program. They are going to be a really good team this year.”
Virginia (4-1-0, 1-0-0) began league action with a 1-0 victory against Virginia Tech.
THE VIRGINIA SERIES
– Sunday will be the sixth meeting all-time between Notre Dame and Virginia. The Cavaliers lead the series 4-0-1.
– The two programs met twice last season. Virginia won at Notre Dame, 2-0, during the regular season. That was Notre Dame’s only loss during the 2013 campaign. The Irish and Cavaliers squared off in the semifinals of the ACC Championship and following a 3-3 draw, Virginia advanced on penalty kicks, 4-3.
– This is Notre Dame’s first trip to Charlottesville since the quarterfinals of the 2006 NCAA Championship. Virginia won that encounter, 3-2. The only other time the Fighting Irish played at Virginia was during the 1985 season (a 3-0 Cavalier win).
– Head coach Bobby Clark is 0-2-1 versus Virginia during his Notre Dame tenure and he is 1-3-1 all-time against the Cavaliers.
– Notre Dame is off to a 3-1-1 start, including a 1-0-0 mark in ACC play. The Irish have posted wins over Marquette (2-1), Dartmouth (4-1) and Syracuse (1-0). Notre Dame tied Georgetown (0-0) and fell to Kentucky (1-0).
– Following Sunday’s affair at Virginia, Notre Dame will play five of its next six games at home.
– Leon Brown (5th/F) has a team-high two goals, while four Irish players have netted one goal.
– Patrick Wall (5th/GK) has played every minute in goal and boasts a 0.57 goals-against average and a .800 save percentage with two shutouts.
– Bobby Clark is in his 14th season at Notre Dame and his 28th season as a college head coach. He is 173-70-42 (.681) at Notre Dame and 326-133-67 (.683) overall.
SCOUTING THE CAVALIERS
– Virginia is 4-1-0 overall and 1-0-0 in ACC play. The Cavaliers opened league action with a 1-0 win over Virginia Tech. Virginia also has wins over Old Dominion (1-0 in ot), UAB (2-1) and VCU (1-0). The setback came at Tulsa (1-0 in 2ot).
– Sam Hayward (So./F) leads Virginia in goals with two. Calle Brown (RS Sr.) has four starts in goal and carries a 3-1 record with a 0.48 goals-against average and a .895 save percentage.
– Last season, Virginia went 13-6-5 (4-3-4 ACC) and fell to Maryland, 2-1, in the semifinals of the NCAA Championship.
– Head coach George Gelnovatch is in his 19th season at the helm of the Virginia program.
BEATING THE BEST
– Virginia will be the fourth ranked opponent Notre Dame has faced this season. The Irish are 2-0-1 against those other ranked squads.
– The Fighting Irish are 18-3-7 (.768) versus ranked foes since the beginning of the 2012 season.
THE LAST TIME
– Notre Dame and Virginia last met in the semifinals of the 2013 ACC Championship in Germantown, Md. The Irish grabbed a 2-0 lead with goals from Harrison Shipp (21′) and Patrick Hodan (45′). Virginia’s Todd Wharton sliced the Notre Dame advantage in half in the 57th minute, but Andrew O’Malley put the Irish back up by two in the 81st minute. Cavalier goals from Marcus Salandy-Defour (85′) and Nicko Corriveau (87′) sent the game to overtime.
– Following scoreless overtime periods, Virginia won the penalty-kick shootout, 4-3.
* Notre Dame goalkeeper Patrick Wall made three saves in the match and Virginia’s Calle Brown had four stops.
AUBREY HELPS IRISH TOP THE ORANGE
– Brandon Aubrey’s 75th-minute goal was the difference in Notre Dame’s 1-0 win at Syracuse in Saturday’s ACC opener. The sophomore central defender headed in a Patrick Hodan free kick for the first goal of his career. It also was the first goal surrendered by Syracuse this season (five games).
— Sean Carroll, Assistant Athletic Media Relations Director