Aug. 16, 2016
by Tony Jones
2016 NOTRE DAME MEN’S SOCCER — Exhibition Match
#9 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (11-5-6 in 2015) vs. Bradley Braves (7-10-1 in 2015)
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame men’s soccer team caps its brief two-match preseason road trip when it faces Bradley on Wednesday inside Shea Stadium in Peoria, Illinois. An 8 p.m. (ET) start time in the regulation 90-minute match will air live on ESPN3 at the conclusion of an abbreviated earlier contest tentatively scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.
Notre Dame, the No. 9 team in the preseason National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) top 25 poll, battled a feisty SIUE squad to a competitive 0-0 draw to begin the 2016 scrimmage schedule on Sunday in Edwardsville, Illinois.
The Irish held the edge in shots on goal and corner kick opportunities in the fall debut against the Cougars, but neither team was able to find the back of the net after 90 minutes. A total of 22 Notre Dame players saw the pitch in the match against SIUE, with a different lineup of eleven playing each of the two halves for the Irish.
Forward Ian Aschieris led the way with a pair of shots on goal, and nearly sent fellow striker Jon Gallagher threw for what would have been the winning goal in the 86th minute. Seconded by a formidable defensive corps in both the first and second half, goalkeepers Chris Hubbard and Ryan Krutz combined for the dual clean sheet after only one SIUE shot attempt officially found the net during the match. Three freshmen, Jack Casey, Senan Farrelly and Tommy McCabe, made their unofficial Irish debuts by donning the Notre Dame kit against SIUE.
Following a day of recovery and travel from Edwardsville to Peoria, Notre Dame fully resumed its training schedule on Tuesday in preparation for play at Bradley on Wednesday night. The Irish are set to return to Indiana on Thursday after nearly six days away from the Notre Dame campus.
“Bradley has been good enough to open its facility to us, so the boys have been able to get some ice baths and other treatment in between training,” Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark said. “We’re training at Vince Cicciarelli’s (’15) high school (Peoria Notre Dame), their head coach asked us if we’d like to come down there. Vince came to our game Sunday at SIUE and it was great to see him, he is still playing with Saint Louis FC of the USL (United Soccer League). We planned to train at his high school Tuesday, and Wednesday we will have set pieces in the morning and two games back-to-back that night.”
Bradley and Notre Dame collide in the lone preseason match for the Braves before the team opens the 2016 regular season on Aug. 26 against Gonzaga in Spokane, Washington. A seven-time NCAA Championship qualifier, Bradley returns 2015 leading goal scorer Frank Bak (five goals, 12 points) to the fold this season, along with Taylor Jacob (three goals, eight points) and Richard Olson (three goals, seven points). Goalkeeper Logan Ketterer notched five solo shutouts for the Braves in 2015.
Season and single game tickets for the 2016 Notre Dame men’s soccer season are on sale now. Visit und.com/tickets or call the Murnane Family Ticket Office at 574-631-7356 for more information or to purchase tickets.
Meet The 2016 Irish
Notre Dame was ranked ninth in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) preseason poll that was released on Aug. 2. The Irish closed 2015 as the No. 11 team in the final NSCAA rankings. Notre Dame is one of five Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) teams included among the initial NSCAA top 10, joining No. 3 Clemson, No. 5 Wake Forest, No. 6 Syracuse and No. 8 North Carolina.
A total of 12 monogram winners, including eight players who were regular starters, return for Notre Dame following an 11-5-6 campaign that saw the Irish finish as ACC Championship runner-up and NCAA Championship Round of 16 qualifier in 2015.
Senior goalkeeper Chris Hubbard did not surrender a goal over the first 530 minutes of his Notre Dame career to open 2015, posting five shutouts against No. 13 Maryland, No. 14 Indiana, No. 24 South Florida, UAB and No. 9 Clemson. Hubbard’s five straight clean sheets were the second-most by a goalkeeper in program history.
Notre Dame welcomes seven freshmen to its roster in 2016. Forwards Spencer Farina and John Rea, midfielders Jack Casey, Nick Cullen and Tommy McCabe, defender Senan Farrelly and goalkeeper Duncan Turnbull are all new additions to the Irish for the upcoming season.
Band Of Brothers Usher In The 40th Season
The 2016 campaign marks the 40th official season of Notre Dame men’s soccer after the program was elevated to varsity status in 1977.
Over the first 39 varsity Irish squads, Notre Dame has posted a 508-238-94 (.661) record, claiming seven regular season conference championships, six conference tournament championships, 18 NCAA Championship appearances and the 2013 NCAA College Cup crown.
Wednesday’s matches against Notre Dame are the lone preseason contests for Bradley before the team opens the 2016 regular season on Aug. 26 against Gonzaga in Spokane, Washington.
Head coach Jim DeRose is 221-157-40 (.577) in 20 seasons at Bradley, leading the Braves to four Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) regular season championships, three conference tournament titles and seven NCAA Championship berths.
Irish Prepare For Annual Grassroot Soccer Game Against Valpo
Notre Dame’s final 2016 exhibition match against Valparaiso on Aug. 22 is the Irish men’s soccer Grassroot Soccer (GSR) benefit game. Admission to Alumni Stadium is free for the match, with donations accepted toward Grassroot Soccer at the stadium gate and throughout the night.
Grassroot Soccer is an international organization dedicated to stopping the spread of HIV, and was founded by head coach Bobby Clark’s eldest son, Tommy. Soccer is one of the organization’s main educational tools used in communities to reinforce HIV awareness. For more information on Grassroot Soccer, visit GrassrootSoccer.org.
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.