Sept. 7, 2017
by Tony Jones
2017 NOTRE DAME MEN’S SOCCER – Match 4
#6 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (3-0-0) vs. #RV Boston College Eagles (2-2-0)
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The battle for 2017 Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) soccer regular-season hardware officially begins this weekend. For the first ACC contest of the new season, the University of Notre Dame men’s soccer team travels to Newton, Massachusetts, to face Boston College on Friday night. The 5 p.m. (ET) contest will air on ACC Network Extra.
No. 6 Notre Dame (3-0-0) hits the road to face Boston College (2-2-0) for the first time at the Newton Soccer Field since the facility was renovated in 2014. The Irish and Eagles most recently met on Oct. 3, 2014 at Alumni Stadium, a 1-0 Boston College victory.
In the all-time series between the teams, Notre Dame holds a 7-4-1 (.625) lead over Boston College. The Irish have claimed results in four of the last five meetings with the Eagles dating back to 2001.
Irish Break Through At UConn
A dream offensive start for Notre Dame senior forward Jeff Farina continued to blossom on Sept. 2. Farina drove home a feed from sophomore midfielder Jack Casey in the 84th minute to catapult the No. 9 Irish to a 1-0 win over Connecticut at Morrone Stadium.
Notre Dame earned its first official road victory of 2017 in its return to UConn, a former fellow BIG EAST Conference member. The Irish picked up their first win in Storrs since the 2006 season against a game UConn squad, extending their win streak over the Huskies to three straight games overall since 2012.
Farina Continues Hot Streak
Senior forward Jeff Farina extended his hot start to 2017 with his fourth goal in three games in the 84th minute to seal the win at UConn. It was Farina’s second game-winning goal thus far this season, and vaulted him into a tie with Wake Forest’s Luis Argudo and Boston College’s Simon Edstrom for the ACC’s goals lead as of Sept. 5.
Farina has already broken his previous goal benchmark of three, scored over 22 games (21 starts) during his sophomore season in 2015. In fact, Farina entered the 2017 season with six career goals over his first 56 games played in a Notre Dame uniform before embarking on his current torrid goal surge.
Farina was recognized as the College Soccer News National Player of the Week on Aug. 28, and was included among the honorable mention nominees for the opening weekend TopDrawerSoccer Men’s Team of the Week.
Dumas Excels At Left Back For ND
Junior defender Felicien Dumas has made a definitive statement in his first three career starts for Notre Dame at left back during the 3-0-0 opening run for the Irish. Dumas has played every minute on the Notre Dame back line, during which the Irish have yielded a mere one goal and nine total shots on goal. For as steady as the Irish defense has been, the newcomer at fullback has made an even bigger impact on the attack.
Dumas tallied the first Notre Dame goal of 2017 with a successful penalty kick in the first half of a 2-0 shutout of San Diego on Aug. 25. Dumas has chipped in an assist in each Irish victory this season, notching primary helpers against both San Diego and Cal Poly (2-1 win in double overtime on Aug. 27) before serving the secondary pass on the game-winning goal during the 84th minute at UConn on Sept. 2.
Hubbard Pacing All ACC Keepers
Fifth-year senior goalkeeper/tri-captain Chris Hubbard is off to a stellar opening to his final season in the Notre Dame net. Returning from a preseason injury ahead of the official start of the 2017 season, Hubbard has continued his steady play behind the Irish defense to stake claim to being one of the top goalkeepers in the ACC.
Hubbard has logged a 0.32 goals-against average during Notre Dame’s 3-0-0 start, the best mark among all goalkeepers in the conference. Hubbard’s two solo shutouts and .889 save percentage also pace the ACC.
Irish Results In Road Openers
Last week’s victory at UConn marked a successful first road trip for Notre Dame during the 2017 season. The 1-0 shutout of the Huskies was the latest win in a string of results to begin Irish campaigns in true road games.
Since the first Notre Dame men’s soccer varsity season in 1977, the Irish have compiled a 22-12-7 (.622) record in their first true road game of each year. Notre Dame has earned a result in 11 of its last 12 road lid-lifters dating back to 2006 (10-1-1), with the lone defeat a 1-0 decision at Louisville last season despite the Irish controlling the run of play throughout the game.
Irish In The ACC
In its fifth full season as an ACC member, Notre Dame has recorded a 20-7-8 (.686) 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 logged an 11-2-4 (.765) record in home matches during the ACC regular season over the past four years, and has not lost a conference home match since Oct. 3, 2014 (1-0 to Boston College).
Scouting Boston College
Boston College enters Friday’s game 2-2-0 on a two-game losing streak, most recently dropping a 2-0 decision to New Hampshire and a 3-2 verdict in overtime against Xavier. The Eagles are receiving votes in the United Soccer Coaches poll after being ranked 22nd last week.
Head coach Ed Kelly is 273-219-59 (.549) in his 30th season at Boston College, and has led the Eagles to 13 NCAA tournament appearances.
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.