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#9 Irish Riding High After Unbeaten Opening Weekend

Aug. 29, 2017

by Tony Jones

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Two opening weekend wins for the University of Notre Dame men’s soccer team yielded the program its eighth all-time championship victory at the Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament. The Irish defeated San Diego 2-0 on Aug. 25 before finding a late game-winner in the 101st minute to down Cal Poly 2-1 in double overtime on Aug. 27. Notre Dame extended its tournament hardware haul two clear of regional foe Indiana (six all-time tournament championships) since the Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament was first held in 2002.

Farina Named College Soccer News National Player of the Week

Senior forward Jeff Farina closed the opening weekend as Notre Dame’s leading goal scorer, finding the back of the net three times in two games to claim College Soccer News National Player of the Week honors.

Farina was named the Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament Most Outstanding Offensive Player for the first time in his career after leading all players with three goals during the four-game tournament at Notre Dame’s Alumni Stadium. Farina deposited an insurance header in the 84th minute on Friday to open his season goal account in a 2-0 win over San Diego. Farina followed up the performance with his first career multi-goal game on Sunday against Cal Poly. Farina headed home a cross in the eighth minute for the 1-0 Irish lead, then finished a pass for the game-winning goal in the 101st minute of a 2-1 victory in double overtime later in the afternoon.

Farina’s .500 shooting percentage through two starts leads all Notre Dame players, and his six overall shots rank second on the team. Four of his six shot attempts have officially been on goal (.667).

Other Irish Players On The Bert All-Tourney Team

Joining Farina as Notre Dame representatives on the Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament All-Tournament Team was junior defender Felicien Dumas, senior midfielder Blake Townes and senior forward/tri-captain Jon Gallagher.

Dumas made the most of his first two official career starts in the Notre Dame lineup as the Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament Co-Most Outstanding Defensive Player, scoring one game-winning goal and adding two assists for the Irish on offense. Dumas also played a vital role in a back line that surrendered only seven shots on goal in nearly 200 minutes of action. He scored his first career collegiate goal in the 41st minute on Friday night against San Diego, connecting on a penalty kick for the game-winner before adding the primary assist later in the night during a 2-0 Notre Dame triumph.

Dumas found his second primary assist in as many games to open the scoring for the Irish in the eighth minute against Cal Poly, putting the Irish on the board first in what was ultimately a 2-1 Notre Dame win in the 101st minute.

Townes played the duration of both wins against San Diego and Cal Poly and managed four totals shots in the offensive third of the pitch (three on goal) in his 191 minutes-plus of game action. Townes made his biggest offensive contribution as a central midfielder in the buildup of the Notre Dame attack, connecting key passes and winning back possession for the Irish in the neutral field that led to 47 team shot attempts for the weekend. He also aided in limiting the opposition to just 13 shots in that same span.

Gallagher rounded out the Notre Dame all-tournament selections after a standout Sunday performance against Cal Poly. The senior striker established a Notre Dame program record with 14 shots in the contest against the Mustangs, breaking the previous mark of 11 shared by Patrick Hodan (Northwestern, 2015), Joseph Lapira (West Virginia, 2005 and Syracuse, 2006) and Richard Herdegen (Bethel, 1983). A total of seven of Gallagher’s 14 shots found net, and Gallagher ultimately bested the entire Cal Poly squad in overall shots (14-11) and tied the Mustangs with seven shots on goal. After two games, Gallagher leads all Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) players with 16 shot attempts.

Irish Up To #9 In United Soccer Coaches Poll

The 2-0-0 start to 2017 moved Notre Dame up one spot to ninth in the weekly top 25 rankings released by United Soccer Coaches on Tuesday. Elsewhere around the country’s four major men’s soccer polls, the Irish are ranked ninth by Soccer America, 10th by TopDrawerSoccer and 12th by College Soccer News entering week two of the regular season.

Notre Dame Hits The Road To Meet An Old Foe

Looking ahead to its next start, this Saturday’s upcoming game at Connecticut marks the first time that Notre Dame has ventured to the UConn campus since the 2012 season. Saturday’s contest will be only the second time the active Notre Dame roster has faced former BIG EAST Conference rival UConn, with the Irish emerging with a 1-0 decision in double overtime on Sept. 13, 2016 at Alumni Stadium.


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.