Sept. 19, 2011
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – A pair of Notre Dame men’s soccer players have garnered BIG EAST accolades for their roles in helping the Fighting Irish post two victories over the weekend. Junior Grant Van De Casteele (Plano, Texas) was named the BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week, while senior midfielder Adam Mena (Holland, Mich.) was selected to the league’s weekly honor roll.
Mena, who also was named to the College Soccer News national team of the week, had a hand in all three Irish goals over the weekend. The senior tallied a career-high two goals, including the golden goal in the first minute of overtime, in Friday’s 2-1 triumph of Michigan. He assisted on the lone goal in Sunday’s 1-0 victory at Michigan State. Mena leads the Irish with eight points on three goals and two assists this season. The goal and assist totals are both tied for the team lead and they are single-season career-best figures for Mena.
Van De Casteele, a central defender, was a key part of an Irish defense that allowed just one goal in 181 minutes of play in the wins over the Wolverines and Spartans. After giving up a goal 39 seconds into the Michigan match, Notre Dame did not allow another score in the final 180:21 of the weekend. The Fighting Irish surrendered just nine shots on goal over the course of the two contests. This was the first BIG EAST player-of-the-week accolade for Van De Casteele.
The 14th-ranked Fighting Irish will open BIG EAST play Saturday when they play host to No. 3 Louisville. The match is slated for a 7:00 p.m. (ET) kickoff and it will be aired live on Fox Soccer Channel.