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#9 Irish Face Road Test Friday At #5 Clemson

Oct. 5, 2017

by Tony Jones

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#9 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (7-2-1, 2-1-1 ACC) vs. #5 Clemson Tigers (8-2-0, 2-2-0 ACC)

DATE: Oct. 6, 2017
TIME: 7 p.m. (ET)
LOCATION: Clemson, South Carolina (Riggs Field – 6,500)
BROADCAST: ACC Network Extra

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – In its latest test of the 2017 season, the University of Notre Dame men’s soccer team travels to Clemson for a Friday Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) showcase. The Irish and Tigers meet at 7 p.m. (ET) from Historic Riggs Field in Clemson, South Carolina on ACC Network Extra.

No. 9 Notre Dame (7-2-1, 2-1-1 ACC) looks to continue its momentum gained from a 2-1 win in overtime over regional foe Northwestern on Tuesday night at Alumni Stadium. The Irish earned a result in their most recent ACC start, battling No. 10 Virginia to a 1-1 draw on Sept. 29 that featured Notre Dame controlling the run of play for the majority of the contest.

No. 5 Clemson (8-2-0, 2-2-0 ACC) will attempt to bounce back following a 3-2 setback at No. 2 Wake Forest on Sept. 29. The Tigers are an even .500 in conference play after four ACC starts, despite outscoring conference foes by an aggregate 6-4 margin this season.

Irish Strike Twice Late, Tame Cats

A physical, hard-fought game has almost always ensued in the past 10 years when Notre Dame and Northwestern lock up, and Tuesday was no different. Facing a 1-0 deficit late in the second half, Notre Dame found an equalizer in the 80th minute from Felicien Dumas and the winning strike in overtime from Jon Gallagher to down the rival Wildcats 2-1 at Alumni Stadium.

No. 9 Notre Dame controlled the flow of play in many of the same ways that it has in its recent series with Northwestern, outshooting the Wildcats by an aggregate 17-5 margin in the victory. The Irish, who improved to 2-1-2 against Northwestern in the past five meetings between the teams since 2013, have dominated the shot chart in each matchup in that current run with the Wildcats. Notre Dame also held the corner kick edge over Northwestern at an 8-1 clip.

Clutch Goals Continue For Irish

Tuesday’s win over Northwestern marked the fourth time this season Notre Dame has found an equalizer and/or winning goal within the last 15 minutes of regulation or overtime thus far. Jeff Farina scored in the 101st minute of a 2-1 win over Cal Poly (Aug. 27) and 84th minute of a 1-0 victory at UConn (Sept. 2), Thomas Ueland found a strike in the 77th minute to down Bowling Green 2-1 (Sept. 19), and Jon Gallagher sent home a Sean Dedrick cross in the 99th minute to beat Northwestern on Tuesday.

Irish Against The Top 25 Since 2013

Dating back to the beginning of the 2013 season, the year Notre Dame won its first national championship in men’s soccer, the Irish have played a total of 52 games against foes in the national top 25. During that span, Notre Dame has compiled a 27-12-13 (.644) mark against the top 25 after facing No. 10 Virginia on Sept. 29 at Alumni Stadium.

The Irish have averaged more than five ranked wins per season in the current string of success against the national top 25, and have earned a total of three results in four meetings with the top-ranked team in the country. Notre Dame has not fallen out of the national top 20 itself since the conclusion of the 2011 campaign.

On the way to claiming the 2013 NCAA title, Notre Dame earned 14 of its 23 total results that season against foes ranked in the top 25. Just last season, the Irish collided with 11 ranked foes in 21 total games played in reaching the NCAA Round of 16. Notre Dame faces its third ranked foe in four games on Friday at Clemson, who was slotted fifth in the most recent United Soccer Coaches poll.

Rothrock Joins US U18s In Spain

Notre Dame freshman forward/midfielder Paul Rothrock is one of 20 players that have been called into United States Under-18 Men’s National Team camp, and is in Marbella, Spain to train and compete in a pair of international friendlies over the next week.

Despite not yet appearing in an official game during his debut season, Rothrock is a highly-touted prospect in the Notre Dame class of 2021. The Seattle, Washington, native was most recently a standout for the Seattle Sounders U17/18 Academy on the club circuit, totaling 10 goals for the Sounders during the 2016-17 academy season.

Irish In The RPI

In the first release of the ratings percentage index (RPI) by the NCAA for the 2017 Division I men’s soccer season, Notre Dame was slotted seventh in the initial rankings. The Irish have faced the fourth-hardest schedule in the entire NCAA as of Oct. 2, including the hardest nonconference slate in the country entering last Tuesday’s game against Northwestern.

Future Notre Dame opponents and their initial RPI include No. 23 Michigan (Oct. 10), No. 39 Pittsburgh (Oct. 13), No. 24 Akron (Oct. 17), No. 12 Duke (Oct. 20), No. 1 Michigan State (Oct. 24) and No. 2 North Carolina (Oct. 27).

Irish In The ACC

In its fifth full season as an ACC member, Notre Dame has recorded a 22-8-9 (.679) 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 a 12-2-5 (.763) 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 Clemson

Clemson enters Friday’s game with an 8-2-0 record this season, and is looking to respond from a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Wake Forest on Sept. 29 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Head coach Mike Noonan is 81-47-25 (.611) in his eighth season at Clemson, and has led the Tigers to four straight NCAA Championship appearances and a runner-up finish at the 2015 NCAA College Cup. Noonan won his 300th overall game as a head coach earlier in 2017.


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.