Oct. 13, 2008
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Notre Dame seniors Matt Besler (Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley West) and Bright Dike (Edmond, Okla./Edmond North) both garnered weekly honors from the BIG EAST Conference for their roles in helping the No. 14 Notre Dame men’s soccer team post a 2-0 record last week, while out scoring opponents 7-1. Besler was named the league’s defensive player of the week, while Dike, a forward, was selected to the weekly honor roll.
Besler scored the equalizer in the 23rd minute in a 4-1 win over Pittsburgh on Saturday (Oct. 11). The senior central defender also was a key cog in an Irish defense that allowed just one goal (an own goal) in 180 minutes of play over the week. The Kansas native helped hold Michigan State’s Doug DeMartin, who entered play as the nation’s second-leading scorer, to just one shot in a 3-0 win over the Spartans last Wednesday (Oct. 8).
This season, Besler has played every minute on the pitch and has helped the Fighting Irish notch five shutouts. He has started 59 straight games and has only missed one match during his stellar collegiate career. This marked the second time that Besler has been tabbed as the BIG EAST defensive player of the week, with the other nod coming on Oct. 16, 2006.
Dike tallied five points on the week with two goals and one assist. The senior forward put the Irish on the board in the 39th minute in the win over Michigan State. He also collected an assist against the Spartans. Dike scored in the win over Pittsburgh to up his personal-best goal streak to six games. The last Notre Dame player to score in that many consecutive contests was Joseph Lapira who notched a goal in seven straight matches in 2006 en route to winning the M.A.C. Hermann Trophy.
For the season, Dike leads the Irish with nine goals and 21 total points. He has scored a goal in six of Notre Dame’s eight wins on the year. Dike is averaging 0.75 goals per game, which ranks 21st among all NCAA Division I men’s players.
Notre Dame is back in action at Indiana on Thursday, Oct. 16. The instate clash is slated for a 7:30 p.m. (ET) kickoff at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Ind.