Oct. 31, 2014
#5 NOTRE DAME
(9-4-3, 5-1-1 ACC)
(4-8-4, 0-5-2 ACC)
Saturday, Nov. 1 – 7 p.m. (ET)
Ambrose Urbanic Field – Pittsburgh, Pa.
Quoting Bobby Clark
On trying to clinch the ACC regular-season title…
“We haven’t really discussed it, but we are very aware. We know the importance of Saturday’s game. One of the goals we set prior to the season is to get the treble (win ACC regular season, ACC tournament and NCAA tournament) and this is the first step in that. We are excited without having really spoken about it.”
“We know this will be a tough game. We’ve watched tape on them and I feel this is the most talented Pitt team we’ve played in my time at Notre Dame. They’ve played teams like North Carolina and Clemson close this season so we know it’ll be a tough game.”
#5 IRISH CLOSE REGULAR SEASON SATURDAY AT PITT
– No. 5 Notre Dame will wrap up regular-season play Saturday at Pittsburgh. The match is slated for 7 p.m. (ET) at Ambrose Urbanic Field.
– The contest will be streamed on PittsburghPanthers.com (membership required) and live stats will be available via Gametracker on UND.com.
– Notre Dame currently leads the ACC by one point over fellow Coastal Division foe North Carolina. Pitt is in sixth place in the Coastal Division.
– The Fighting Irish are coming off a 1-1 draw with No. 12 Michigan State on Wednesday. The Panthers are back in action for the first time since a 2-1 setback at Duke last Friday.
ACC TITLE ON THE LINE
– Notre Dame leads the ACC with 16 points, while fellow Coastal Division member North Carolina has 15. Clemson, Louisville and Syracuse all lead the Atlantic Division with 13 points each.
– The Tar Heels conclude ACC play Saturday evening with a home match against Virginia.
– Both Syracuse (vs. Boston College) and Clemson (vs. NC State) close out league play Friday with home matches, while Louisville goes to Wake Forest for a Saturday showdown.
IRISH AIMING FOR ANOTHER ACC CROWN
– Notre Dame won a share of last season’s ACC regular-season title in its first campaign in the league. The Fighting Irish and Maryland both finished the regular season with 7-1-3 conference marks.
– The Fighting Irish are going for their seventh regular-season conference title in program history. Notre Dame claimed two Midwestern Collegiate Conference titles (1989, 1993) and three regular-season BIG EAST crowns (2004, 2007, 2008).
– Saturday will be the 19th meeting all-time between Notre Dame and Pittsburgh. The Fighting Irish have won 11 straight against the Panthers and lead the series 12-3-3.
– The Fighting Irish are 5-1-2 all-time when playing at Pittsburgh. This is Notre Dame’s first visit to Pitt since 2011 when the Irish produced a 3-1 victory. The Fighting Irish have won five straight matches at Pittsburgh.
– The two programs were in the BIG EAST Conference together from 1995-2012.
– Pitt’s last win in the series was a 1-0 overtime decision in 2002 at Notre Dame.
– Fighting Irish head coach Bobby Clark is 11-1-0 all-time against Pitt.
– Last year, Notre Dame entered its regular-season finale against Pitt with an ACC title on the line. The Irish delivered with a 2-0 home victory over the Panthers, while Maryland topped Virginia Tech (2-1 in overtime) and the Irish and Terrapins split the championship.
A PEEK AT THE PANTHERS
– Pittsburgh is 4-8-4 overall and 0-5-2 in the ACC.
– Pitt is averaging 0.75 goals per game, while allowing 1.4 per contest. Dan Prete (Sr./M) leads the Panthers in goals (4) and points (9). Cory Werth (RS Sr./F) has a team-best three assists.
– Junior goalkeeper Dan Lynd has started 15 games and has a 1.43 goals-against average with five shutouts.
– Last season, Pitt went 1-11-4 (0-9-2 ACC).
– Head coach Joe Luxbacher is in his 31st season at the helm of the Panther program.
IRISH GETTING OFFENSIVE IN ACC PLAY
– Notre Dame has combined to score 10 goals in its last three ACC games. The Irish bested Louisville 3-2 in overtime on Oct. 10 and then captured a 4-1 win at Duke on Oct. 17. Notre Dame topped Virginia Tech 3-1 last Saturday.
– The four goals against Duke were the most-ever for the Irish in an ACC contest and they matched a season-high goal total. Notre Dame also scored four times in the 4-1 win over Dartmouth on Sept. 5.
HODAN ON A HOT STREAK
– Junior midfielder Patrick Hodan has scored at least one goal in five of the last seven matches and he has totaled six goals in those seven contests.
– Hodan’s four game-winning goals this season rank 13th nationally and they are the third-most in the ACC. He has nine game-winning goals during his career.
– Hodan leads the Fighting Irish in goals (7) and points (16) this season. He has the most career goals (24) and assists (12) of any current Notre Dame player. The goal total is tied for 19th nationally among active Division I players.
– Hodan’s seven goals this season rank second in the ACC.
– His recent hot streak began Oct. 7 with an equalizer (2-2) in the 3-2 setback at Michigan. Hodan notched the golden goal in the 3-2 victory against Louisville on Oct. 10 and he converted a penalty kick in Notre Dame’s 1-0 win over Northwestern on Oct. 14.
– He netted two goals in a span of 2:14 in the second half of the 4-1 win at Duke on Oct. 17. The two tallies matched a career-best output that he’s achieved two other times.
– Hodan scored Notre Dame’s second goal in last Saturday’s 3-1 win over Virginia Tech.
BEATING THE BEST
– Notre Dame is 5-1-3 against ranked teams this season.
– The Fighting Irish are 21-4-9 (.758) versus ranked foes since the beginning of the 2012 season.
SECOND HALF SUCCESS
– Notre Dame has outscored its opponents 18-9 in the second half and overtime this season. The Irish own a 150-101 shot advantage in the second half and overtime.
– Freshman forward Jeffrey Farina has two goals and a team-high five assists, while fellow rookie striker Jon Gallagher has two goals and three assists.
– Gallagher assisted on both of Farina’s goals and Farina has an assist on both of Gallagher’s tallies.
– The duo combined for four points in the 4-1 win at Duke on Oct. 17. Farina notched two assists, including one on Gallagher’s first career goal.
– Farina assisted on Gallagher’s tally last Saturday’s win over Virginia Tech.
HABROWSKI HAVING AN IMPACT ON BACKLINE
– Sophomore central defender Matt Habrowski has started each of the last four matches for the injured Andrew O’Malley, who had been in the Irish staring lineup for 36 straight games.
– Habrowski scored his first career goal in last Saturday’s 3-1 win over Virginia Tech. He put the Irish up 1-0 in the 23rd minute.
SHIPP GETS THE START
– Junior defender Michael Shipp earned his first start of the season last Saturday against Virginia Tech. He also started on Wednesday against Michigan State. Shipp is filling in at left back for the injured Max Lachowecki, who started the first 14 games of the season.
– Shipp now has three career starts. He started the 2013 season opener versus UCLA.
– Notre Dame is 5-4 this season in games decided by one goal.
IRISH AT ALUMNI STADIUM
– Notre Dame is 23-4-4 (.806) at home over the past three seasons. The Fighting Irish are 41-12-10 (.730) at Alumni Stadium since it opened in 2009.
– A capacity crowd of 3,500 filled Alumni Stadium to see Notre Dame top North Carolina on Sept. 26. That was the second-largest crowd in Fighting Irish history.
A WALL IN GOAL
– Fifth-year senior Patrick Wall made a career-high nine saves in last Wednesday’s 1-0 setback at Indiana.
– Wall ranks fifth in the ACC in goals-against average (0.83) and save percentage (.774). He has five shutouts this season.
– Wall has played every minute in goal the last two seasons after splitting time with Will Walsh during the 2012 campaign. Wall has a career record of 35-6-9 (.790) with 18 clean sheets and a 0.80 goals-against average.
WALL A SENIOR CLASS AWARD FINALIST
– Fifth-year senior goalkeeper Patrick Wall has been selected as a finalist for the Senior CLASS Award in the men’s soccer division. Wall is among 10 student-athletes in contention for the honor.
– To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition.
– The finalists were chosen by a media committee from the list of 30 candidates announced in September. Nationwide fan voting begins immediately to help select the winner. Fans are encouraged to vote on the Senior CLASS Award website through November 24. Fan votes will be combined with media and Division I head coaches’ votes to determine the winner. The Senior CLASS Award winner will be announced during the 2014 NCAA Men’s College CupÂ® in December.
– Three Notre Dame players have been named to the Capital One Academic All-District 5 First Team as announced by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Patrick Hodan (Jr./M), Luke Mishu (5th/D) and Evan Panken (Jr./M) all garnered the honor and now they will appear on the Capital One Academic All-AmericaÂ® Team ballot, where first-, second- and third-team All-America honorees will be selected next month.
– Hodan is looking to become just the second (Harrison Shipp) two-time Academic All-American in program history. He garnered third team Academic All-America honors last season.
– The Fighting Irish have four fifth-year seniors on this season’s roster. Leon Brown (F), Luke Mishu (D), Andrew O’Malley (D) and Patrick Wall (GK) have returned for one final campaign with the Irish.
– Brown and O’Malley scored Notre Dame’s two goals in the 2013 national title game.
– Both Mishu and O’Malley are in their third season as starters on the Notre Dame backline, while Wall has played every possible minute in goal over the last two seasons after splitting the starting duty in 2012. Brown has competed in 79 career matches, which are the most for any current Notre Dame player. He has 10 goals and nine assists during his career.
– Notre Dame is 43-9-10 (.774) over the past three seasons.
– The Fighting Irish went 17-1-6 last season and won their first national title. Notre Dame tied Maryland for the 2013 ACC regular-season title.
– In 2012, the Irish went 17-4-1 and won the BIG EAST Championship. The Irish earned the No. 1 overall seed for the 2012 NCAA Championship.
PIPELINE TO THE PROS
– Notre Dame has produced 15 MLS SuperDraft picks since 2008 and the Fighting Irish have had 22 SuperDraft picks since Bobby Clark became head coach in 2001. That list does not include Harrison Shipp, who was signed by the Chicago Fire in January as a Homegrown Player.
– Grant Van De Casteele was selected by the Colorado Rapids in the first round of the 2014 MLS SuperDraft.
– Matt Besler (Sporting KC) is the program’s most decorated alum. He was a first-round pick in 2009 and has gone on to earn three MLS All-Star nods (2011, 2013, 2014). Besler was named the 2012 MLS Defender of the Year and he has appeared on the MLS Best XI team twice (2012, 2013). He also captained Sporting KC to the 2013 MLS Cup.
– Besler, the older brother of Irish senior midfielder Nick Besler, started all four matches for the United States at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
– Justin Morrow (Toronto FC) was an MLS All-Star in 2012 when he was playing with San Jose.
– Dillon Powers was named the 2013 MLS Rookie of the Year.