Oct. 26, 2010
PITTSBURGH (6-7-2, 1-4-2) at
NOTRE DAME (7-4-4, 4-2-1)
Wednesday, Oct. 27 – 7:00 p.m. (ET)
Alumni Stadium – Notre Dame, Ind.
Notre Dame Leads Series 8-3-3
Streaming Video Broadcast: UND.com
Live Stats: Gametracker on UND.com
In-Game Blog: UND.com
SETTING THE STAGE … The Notre Dame men’s soccer team returns home from a three-game road trip to face Pittsburgh in BIG EAST action at 7:00 p.m. (ET) on Wednesday at Alumni Stadium. The Fighting Irish are 7-4-4 overall and 4-2-1 in league action. The Panthers are 6-7-2 and 1-4-2 in the BIG EAST. Notre Dame leads the all-time series 8-3-3.
HOW TO FOLLOW … A live streaming broadcast of Wednesday’s match can be seen on UND.com … live stats are available via GameTracker on UND.com … fans can sign up for `Irish Alert’ on UND.com to receive text message score updates … updates and results can also be found on Twitter at UND_com.
IRISH AT A GLANCE … Notre Dame (7-4-4, 4-2-1) played No. 5 Connecticut to a 0-0 draw on Friday in Storrs, Conn. … senior forward Steven Perry leads the Irish in goals (9) and points (21) … freshman forward Harrison Shipp has a team-best six assists … the Irish are averaging 1.40 goals per game, while allowing 0.87 per contest … fifth-year senior goalkeeper Philip Tuttle, who is returning from a knee injury suffered in the summer, has started the past eight matches … Tuttle has a 4-2-2 record with a 1.07 goals-against average and a .757 save percentage … junior Will Walsh has made seven starts in goal and boasts a 3-2-2 record with four shutouts … Walsh has a 0.54 goals-against and a .875 save percentage … head coach Bobby Clark is in his 10th season with the Irish … he has a 124-57-30 (.659) record during his Notre Dame tenure, which has included a trip to the NCAA tournament each season … this is Clark’s 24th season as a college head coach … he has a combined record of 277-120-55 (.674) during his career, which included stops at Dartmouth (1985-93) and Stanford (1996-2000).
THE PITTSBURGH SERIES … Wednesday will mark the 15th meeting all-time between Notre Dame and Pittsburgh … the Fighting Irish own an 8-3-3 advantage in the series … the Irish topped the Panthers 1-0 last season in Pittsburgh … Notre Dame has won the last seven meetings in the series … prior to that, the Panthers had won two straight … four of the matches in the series have gone to overtime, with three of the those ending in ties and the other was a Pittsburgh victory … Pittsburgh is 2-4-1 all-time at Notre Dame … the Fighting Irish claimed a 4-1 victory during the last meeting at Notre Dame, which was during the 2008 campaign … the first meeting in the series occurred during the 1995 season and the Panthers came away with a 3-0 win at home … the Irish have out scored the Panthers 26-13 in the 14 previous meetings.
SCOUTING THE PANTHERS … Pittsburgh (6-7-2, 1-4-2) is coming off a 2-1 loss at Providence on Sunday … Pittsburgh’s lone BIG EAST win came against Rutgers (3-0) on Oct. 16 … the Panthers also have fallen to Seton Hall (4-0), West Virginia (2-0) and Georgetown (1-0) in league play … Pittsburgh tied Syracuse (0-0) and Marquette (2-2) … the Panthers are averaging 1.13 goals per game while surrendering 1.20 per contest … junior defender/midfielder Sam Luffy leads the team in goals (4) and points (9) … freshman junior Terry Akpua has a team-best three assists … junior Hami Kara has started 14 games in goal … Kara has a 6-6-2 record with a 1.11 goals-against average and a .719 save percentage to go along with six shutouts … Pittsburgh went 2-13-2 overall last season and 1-9-1 in BIGÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Ã‹â€ EAST play … the Panthers returned nine starters and 18 letter winners from last season’s squad … head coach Joe Luxbacher is in his 27th season at the helm of the Panther program.
THE LAST TIME … Notre Dame downed Pittsburgh 1-0 last season … the match was played at North Allegheny High School in Wexford, Pa. due to conditions at the Panthers’ home field … current junior Michael Rose netted the game winner in the 48th minute … that was his first career goal … Irish goalkeeper Philip Tuttle earned the win by making one save … Pittsburgh’s Zack Matthews had five saves in the loss … the Irish out shot the Panthers 16-8 and Notre Dame had a 5-0 advantage in corner kicks.
BLUE DIVISION RACE … Notre Dame enters Wednesday’s match in third place in the BIG EAST Blue Division … the Irish have 13 points (4-2-1), while Georgetown is first with 18 points (6-1-0) … Connecticut’s 15 points (4-0-3) place them second … Notre Dame plays host to Georgetown on Saturday in the regular-season finale … all three squads already have clinched a spot in the BIG EAST tournament.
QUOTING CLARK … Fighting Irish head coach Bobby Clark discusses the upcoming match against Pittsburgh … “This is a huge game for us. It will be a very hard game. Pitt will be a very confident team coming in here. We usually play them at the end of the season and the last couple of years they haven’t been in contention to make the BIGÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Ã‹â€ EASTÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Ã‹â€ tournament. But this season, they certainly have something to play for because they want to finish the year strong and try to make the BIGÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Ã‹â€ EAST tournament. It will be a difficult game for us.”
HALTING THE HUSKIES … The Fighting Irish held Connecticut scoreless in a 0-0 draw on Friday … the Huskies entered the match averaging 2.43 goals per game, which ranked sixth nationally … senior goalkeeper Philip Tuttle made a season-high five saves versus UConn.
ROAD TRIP … The Fighting Irish are coming off an eight-day road trip … Notre Dame went 1-1-1 on the trek, which occurred during the University’s fall break … Notre Dame departed for Louisville on Oct. 15 and fell to the Cardinals, 2-0, the following day … the Irish then set out for New Jersey … Notre Dame topped Seton Hall 3-1 on Oct. 19 … the Fighting Irish concluded the trip with a scoreless draw against Connecticut on Friday … the squad arrived back in South Bend on Saturday night.
IRISH ON WEDNESDAY’S … Notre Dame is 2-0-1 this season when playing on Wednesday.
GOOD PERFORMANCE AGAINST THE PIRATES … Notre Dame used three different goal scorers in last Tuesday’s 3-1 win at Seton Hall … senior forward Steven Perry tallied his team-best ninth goal of the season in addition to collecting an assist … junior midfielders Michael Rose and Brendan King also scored for the Irish … it was King’s second goal of the season, while it was the first for Rose … freshman forward Harrison Shipp notched two assists to move his team-leading assist total to six for the season.
PERRY PERFORMING … Senior forward Steven Perry leads the Irish in goals (9) and points (21) … both of those figures are single-season career-high totals for Perry … he has scored a goal in six of the past nine matches, including a three-point effort (1g, 1a) in last Tuesday’s win at Seton Hall … Perry has notched 17 points on seven goals and three assists over the course of the past nine games … Perry scored two goals in a 4-1 win over Marquette on Oct. 13 … that matched a single-game career-high goal total for the senior … Perry also netted two scores in a 2-0 win over Drake earlier this season … he ranks in a tie for first among all BIG EAST players in goals and is third in points … Perry’s four game-winning goals this season rank him in a tie for first among all BIG EAST players in that category.
HARRISON GIVING A HELPING HAND … Freshman forward Harrison Shipp leads Notre Dame in assists with six … that ranks him in a tie for fourth among all BIG EAST players in that category … in his first career start, he assisted on Notre Dame’s first three goals of the game in a 4-1 win over Marquette (Oct. 13) … Shipp dished out two assists in a 3-1 triumph of Seton Hall on Oct. 19.
NOTRE DAME IN BIG EAST PLAY … Notre Dame owns an overall record of 95-55-18 (.619) in BIG EAST regular-season play since joining the conference in 1995 … the Irish have posted nine straight winning seasons within the league, including last season’s 8-3 mark … the eight wins in BIG EAST play in 2009 tied for the most ever for the Fighting Irish … Notre Dame also won eight BIG EAST matches in 2004 (8-1-1) and 2006 (8-3) … the Irish have three regular-season BIG EAST titles … Notre Dame won the championship outright in 2004 and 2008 (Blue Division) and shared the Blue Division trophy with Connecticut in 2007 … the Fighting Irish captured BIG EAST tournament crowns in 1996 and 2003.
CLARK IN THE CONFERENCE … Head coach Bobby Clark has steered the Irish to a winning record within BIG EAST Conference play during all nine of his seasons at Notre Dame … Clark has a 67-24-11 (.711) BIG EAST mark during his Notre Dame tenure, which began in 2001 … his Irish teams have captured three regular-season BIG EAST titles (2004, 2007, 2008) and one BIG EAST tournament championship (2003).
HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE … Notre Dame is 5-1-1 at home this season … the Irish have out scored their opponents 14-5 in games played at Alumni Stadium this season.
FIRST HALF OFFENSE … The three first-half goals against Marquette on Oct. 13 marked the first time the Irish have scored three goals in an opening half since they deposited four first-period tallies against USFÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Ã‹â€ on Sept. 7, 2008.
IN THE CLUTCH … Steven Perry has netted some big goals for the Irish this season … the senior forward scored the lone tally (70th minute) in a 1-0 win over St. John’s (Sept. 25) … Perry then deposited the equalizer in the 79th minute in a 1-1 draw with Northwestern (Sept. 29) … Perry put home the game winner in the 85th minute in a 2-1 triumph of Providence (Oct. 3) … Perry tallied a career-high two goals in a 2-0 victory over Drake (Sept. 10) … he matched that total with two tallies in a 4-1 win over Marquette (Oct. 13) … Perry has four game-winning goals this season.
SECOND HALF SUCCESS … Notre Dame has out-scored its opponents 14-7 in the second half this season … the Fighting Irish are 4-1-4 this season when tied at halftime.
TUTTLE RETURNS … Fifth-year senior goalkeeper Philip Tuttle returned to the Fighting Irish lineup on Sept. 29 against Northwestern after missing the first seven games of the campaign with a knee injury he suffered while training during the summer … in addition to missing the first seven matches of this season, Tuttle did not play in Notre Dame’s final three contests last year after breaking his thumb against Louisville in the semifinals of the BIG EAST Championship … Tuttle remained in that match despite the injury and helped the Irish advance in a penalty kick shootout … this season, Tuttle has a 4-2-2 record with a 1.07 goals-against average, a .757 save percentage and one shutout … he was named to the BIG EAST weekly honor roll on Oct. 25 for notching a shutout against Connecticut … Tuttle made a season-high five saves against the Huskies … for his career, Tuttle is 13-8-4 with eight shutouts to go along with a 0.94 goals-against average and a .745 save percentage.
CORNERING THE MARKET … Notre Dame has gained 14 more corner kicks (104-90) than its opponents this season … Notre Dame’s high-water mark for corner kicks in a game this season was 13 versus California … the Irish rank second among all BIG EAST teams in corner kicks … Pittsburgh is first with 112.
SHOOTING DOWN THE COMPETITION … The Fighting Irish have out shot their competition 272-211 this season, including a 107-71 advantage in shots on goal … Notre Dame leads all BIG EAST teams in shots and shots per game (18.1).
BROVSKY BURRIES TWO MORE … Senior midfielder Jeb Brovsky gave the Irish a 1-0 lead in back-to-back 2-1 victories over Providence (Oct. 3) and Indiana (Oct. 6) … Brovsky leads all current Notre Dame players with 13 career goals and 12 career assists.
MAUND MAKING A DIFFERENCE … Junior central defender Aaron Maund is the only Notre Dame player to have played every minute on the pitch so far this season … he has anchored the backline and has helped the Irish produce a 0.87 goals-against average and limit opponents to 4.7 shots on goal per game … in addition, he has scored one goal this season … Maund was named the BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 27 and was selected to the league’s weekly honor roll on Sept. 13 … Maund has started all 54 matches in which he has played during his Irish career.
HOLDING THE LEAD … The Fighting Irish are 7-0 this season when they score first … Notre Dame is 0-4-1 when its opponent nets the first goal.
TOPDRAWER RANKINGS … Four Notre Dame players are ranked among the National Top 100 upperclassmen according to TopDrawerSoccer.com … Aaron Maund (Jr./D) is ranked 19th, while Dillon Powers (So./M) is 32nd … Jeb Brovsky (Sr./F) is 46th and Steven Perry (Sr./F) is 93rd … Notre Dame forward/midfielder Harrison Shipp is 37th in the TopDrawerSoccer freshman rankings … both rankings are updated weekly.
LOSE THE SHOES … At halftime of the Notre Dame-Providence match on Oct. 3, the championship game of Notre Dame’s `Lose the Shoes’ tournament was held … the proceeds from the 3-on-3 barefoot soccer tournament benefited Grassroot Soccer, a South Africa-based non-governmental organization that integrates the cross-cultural appeal of soccer with evidence-based HIV prevention and life skills programs that arm African youth with the knowledge, skills, and support to live HIV free … Tommy Clark, the eldest son of Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark, is a cofounder of Grassroot Soccer … in the fall of 2006, Dartmouth College held the first ever `Lose the Shoes’ tournament and since then, over 80 `Lose the Shoes’ tournaments have raised almost $150,000 … Notre Dame held its first `Lose the Shoes’ tournament last year … the semifinals of this year’s tournament were held at halftime of the Notre Dame-St. John’s women’s game on Oct. 3 … the preliminary games of the tournament took place on Oct. 2 on Notre Dame’s South Quad.
CLEAN SHEETS … Junior goalkeeper Will Walsh has posted four shutouts in his seven starts this season … Walsh saw a career-best scoreless streak of 357 minutes come to an end when Cal Poly scored with six seconds remaining in the 5-1 Irish victory on Sept. 12 … Walsh had not seen game action prior to this season.
TOUGH SLATE … The Irish have another challenging schedule this season … Notre Dame has six teams on its 2010 slate that are ranked in the latest NSCAA top-25 poll … Louisville (2), Connecticut (6), California (10), UCLA (15), Michigan State (23) and Indiana (25) are the Irish opponents that appear in the poll … Notre Dame is 1-3-2 against those squads so far this season … the Fighting Irish defeated Indiana (2-1) … Notre Dame tied California (0-0) and Connecticut (0-0) … the Irish fell to UCLA (1-0), Michigan State (2-0) and Louisville (2-0).
EARLY SEASON OFFENSE … The five goals scored in the 5-1 win over Cal Poly (Sept. 12) marked the fourth time in the past five seasons that Notre Dame has tallied five goals in one of its first four matches of the season … last year, the Irish bested Michigan 5-0 in the season opener … in 2008, Notre Dame topped USF 5-0 in the fourth game of the campaign … in the fourth contest of the 2006 season, the Fighting Irish bested Indiana 5-4 in overtime.
IRISH EXPLOSION … The five goals scored in the second half against Cal Poly on Sept. 12 were the most goals scored in a single period by the Fighting Irish since they netted five in the first half during a 5-0 win over Villanova on Oct. 23, 2002 … it marked the most goals scored in a second half since depositing seven in a 7-1 triumph of Western Michigan on Oct. 14, 1997.
ALL OVER THE MAP … Notre Dame’s 29-man roster boasts student-athletes from 18 different states … the state represented the most on the Irish roster is Illinois, which is home to six Notre Dame players … Brendan King (Naperville), Greg Klazura (Rockford), Craig Krzyskowski (Western Springs), Bob Novak (Homer Glen), Danny O’Leary (Naperville) and Harrison Shipp (Lake Forest) all hail from the Prairie State … next in line is Texas, which has supplied the Irish with four players on this year’s squad.
BROVSKY A SENIOR CLASS AWARD FINALIST … Forward/midfielder Jeb Brovsky has been named one of 10 finalists for the 2010 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award in the men’s soccer division … to be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – classroom, character, community and competition … the finalists were chosen by a media committee from the list of 30 candidates … nationwide fan voting is underway to determine the winner … fans are encouraged to vote via the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award website (seniorclassaward.com) through November 14 … fan votes will be combined with media and coaches votes to determine the winner … the award will be announced during the 2010 NCAA Men’s College Cup championships in early December.
PRESEASON ACCOLADES … Aaron Maund (Jr./D) and Dillon Powers (So./M) were named Soccer America Preseason All-Americans … Notre Dame was one of five schools with multiple representatives on the 25-man Soccer America Preseason All-America Team … Akron had four players on the squad, while Virginia, North Carolina and Tulsa joined the Irish with two apiece.
MORE HONORS FOR MAUND AND POWERS … Fighting Irish junior Aaron Maund, a central defender, was named the 2010 BIG EAST Preseason Defensive Player of the Year in a vote by the league’s head coaches … Irish sophomore Dillon Powers, a midfielder, joined Maund on the All-BIG EAST Preseason Team.
IRISH PICKED TO FINISH SECOND IN DIVISION … Notre Dame was picked to finish second in the BIG EAST Blue Division, while Connecticut was tabbed to win the division … the Huskies received 12 first-place votes among the eight Blue Division squads, while the Irish garnered four … St. John’s was picked to win the Red Division … the league’s 16 head coaches were not permitted to vote for their own teams.
CAPTAIN KEEPER … Fifth-year senior goalkeeper Philip Tuttle is Notre Dame’s lone captain for the 2010 campaign … this is Tuttle’s first season as a captain.
POWERS PACES TEAM USA … Sophomore Dillon Powers helped the United States Under-20 national team capture the Milk Cup Tournament in early August … Powers was named the MVP of the Milk Cup, which is an international youth soccer tournament held annually in Northern Ireland … the midfielder earned a start in two of the three matches as the U.S. posted a 3-0 record.
ROOKIE RANKINGS … Notre Dame’s freshman class was ranked ninth according to College Soccer News … Leon Brown (F), Kyle Craft (M), Adam LaPlaca (GK), Luke Mishu (D), Andrew O’Malley (D), Alex Priede (F), Harrison Shipp (M/F) and Patrick Wall (GK) make up the stellar class.
A GREAT NIGHT FOR GRASSROOT … Notre Dame held its annual exhibition game to benefit Grassroot Soccer on Aug. 23 against UIC … over 2,000 fans packed into Alumni Stadium to watch the Irish defeat the Flames, 3-2 … a grand total of $3,000 was raised for Grassroot Soccer, an international AIDS awareness and education organization that reaches youth in Africa through soccer clinics … $1,000 worth of donations were received at the gate and during the match … head coach Bobby Clark, whose son Tommy is the founder and CEO of the organization, and the Notre Dame men’s soccer camp donated $2,000.
LOOKING BACK … Last season, Notre Dame posted an 11-8-4 record … the Irish were runners-up in the BIG EAST Blue Division with an 8-3 mark … the Fighting Irish were finalists at the BIG EAST Championship as they fell to St. John’s in a penalty kick shootout (5-3) following a scoreless draw … Notre Dame defeated Green Bay 2-1 in the first round of the NCAA tournament before falling at Northwestern, 3-1, in the second round … that marked Notre Dame’s ninth straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
PURCHASE YOUR IRISH SOCCER TICKETS … To purchase a season pass or single-game tickets, call the Notre Dame ticket office at (574) 631-7356, visit und.com/tickets or stop by the Notre Dame ticket office inside Purcell Pavilion … tickets can also be purchased at Alumni Stadium on gamedays.
THE ROAD TO RED BULL … The BIG EAST and Red Bull New York have joined forces with a three-year partnership for the Conference’s men’s soccer championship to be held at the new state-of-the-art Red Bull Arena through the 2012 tournament … the soccer-specific facility in Harrison, N.J., is the new home of the New York Red Bulls of Major League Soccer (MLS) … the stadium opened in the spring of 2010 … the BIG EAST will hold its semifinal and championship games at the venue, along with team practices before each day of competition, beginning this season … the dates of the championships over the next three years are: 2010 – Nov. 12 & 14; 2011 – Nov. 11 & 13 and 2012 – Nov. 9 & 10 … for more information, including how to buy tickets, go to bigeastsoccer.com.