Senior tri-captain John Stephens will lead the Irish as they embark on four straight road games beginning on Tuesday at Michigan State.

Fighting Irish Set To Begin Four-Game Stretch Away From Alumni Field

Oct. 10, 2005

Complete Release in PDF FormatPDF version recommended for easy reading and enhanced side bar information
dot.gifspacer.gifDownload Free Acrobat Reader

Tuesday, Oct. 11
Notre Dame at Michigan State – 7:00 p.m. (ET)

Saturday, Oct. 15
Notre Dame at Georgetown – 1:00 p.m. (ET)

Notre Dame begins a four-game stretch away from home with a non-conference showdown at Michigan State on Tuesday afternoon at 4:00 p.m. (ET). The Spartans are 4-3-4 this season and are coming off a 2-0 win over Ohio State. The Fighting Irish will return to league action on Saturday with a trip to Georgetown for a 1:00 p.m. (ET) opening kick. Notre Dame owns a 7-4-1 mark overall and 3-3-1 in league play.

SNAPSHOT OF THE IRISH: The Irish are coming off a hard-fought 2-1 loss to Connecticut on Saturday, Oct. 8 … Notre Dame is currently in a tie for fourth-place along with Providence in the conference’s Blue Division … sophomore forward Joe Lapira leads the team in points with nine on three goals and three assists … junior goalkeeper Chris Cahill has collected all 12 decisions for the Irish … he has allowed 12 goals, while making 38 saves … Cahill possesses a 0.96 goals-against-average … 10 of Notre Dame’s 12 games have been decided by one goal … the Fighting Irish are 4-2-1 at home, 2-1-0 in away games and 1-1-0 in neutral site contests … Notre Dame has outscored opponents 17-12 and has out-shot opponents 184-142.

ABOUT THE SPARTANS: Michigan State is 4-3-4 overall and 1-1-1 in the Big Ten Conference, which places them third in the league … the Spartans are 3-1-1 at home and 1-2-3 away from Old College Field … Michigan State downed conference-rival Ohio State, 2-0, on Sunday, Sept. 9 … senior co-captain Ryan McMahen scored both goals against the Buckeyes, for his second two-goal performance of the season … the preseason All-American has been a key part of the Spartan attack the past two seasons leading the team in points in 2003 and finishing third in 2004 … he currently leads the team with 17 points on six goals and five assists … forward Doug DeMartin, a redshirt-freshman, is second with eight points on three goals and two assists … freshman goalkeeper Jason Tillman has played the majority of minutes in net … he has allowed 10 goals and has stopped 37 shots … Tillman owns a goals-against-average of 0.58 with two shutouts.

SERIES HISTORY VERSUS MICHIGAN STATE: The Irish and Spartans have met 14 times on the soccer pitch, with Notre Dame owning an 8-2-4 advantage in the series and 1-0 under Bobby Clark … Notre Dame is 7-0-1 at home in the series and 1-2-3 at Michigan State … the teams last met on Nov. 2, 2003, a 1-0 Fighting Irish victory at Michigan State … that was the first meeting between the two schools since 1993 … Notre Dame and Michigan State were scheduled to meet last year at Notre Dame, yet the game was cancelled … the Spartans’ last win in the series came during the 1990 campaign, a 1-0 decision in East Lansing, Mich. … the two teams first met on Oct. 7, 1978 at Michigan State … that match ended in a 2-2 overtime tie … Notre Dame has outscored Michigan State 29-12 in the series.

IRISH AND THE BIG TEN: Notre Dame is 5-3-1 versus the Big Ten in the Bobby Clark era, which began in 2001 … the Irish will face one other Big Ten team during the 2005 regular season when Indiana visits South Bend on Oct. 26 … the past three Fighting Irish campaigns have all been ended by Big Ten teams … Notre Dame’s magical 2004 season was ended with a 2-1 loss to Big Ten member Ohio State in the second round of the NCAA tournament … a year earlier, Notre Dame fell to Michigan on penalty kicks, following a 1-1 tie, in a Sweet 16 battle in the NCAAs … Indiana knocked the Irish out of the 2002 NCAA tournament in the second round by a 1-0 decision.

ABOUT THE HOYAS: Georgetown is 7-5-0 and 3-4-0 in the BIG EAST entering a match-up with Maryland on Tuesday … the Hoyas are sixth in the league’s Blue Division with nine points … Georgetown has lost three straight games, including a tight 1-0 battle at West Virginia on Saturday, Oct. 8 … the Hoyas are 5-1 at home and 2-4-0 way from North Kehoe Field this season … junior forward Ricky Schramm leads the team in points with 16 on seven goals and two assists … Ben Jefferson-Dow is not far behind with 13 points on six goals and one assist … Schramm was named the BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week on Sept. 26 … freshman forward Richard Frank was selected as the conference’s top rookie for that same week … junior Andrew Keszler has seen the majority of the minutes in goal … he has posted a 5-3-0 record, whilel allowing 19 goals and making 41 saves … he possesses a goals-against-average of 1.85 … sophomore goalkeeper Joe Devine has a 1-1-0 mark … he has eight saves, while giving up two scores … he owns a goals-against-average of 1.03.

SERIES HISTORY VERSUS GEORGETOWN: Saturday’s match will be the 16th meeting between Notre Dame and Georgetown … the Fighting Irish are 8-6-1 all-time versus the Hoyas and 4-2 under Bobby Clark, including a 4-1 victory last season at Notre Dame … Georgetown’s last victory in the series was a 2-1 overtime decision in the 2002 BIG EAST tournament quarterfinals at Notre Dame … the two schools first met during the 1982 season, a 0-0 tie in Rochester, N.Y. … Notre Dame has outscored Georgetown 27-22 in the series.

RECAPPING MARQUETTE: The Fighting Irish claimed a 1-0 victory at Marquette in BIG EAST play on Wednesday, Oct. 5 … a goal in the 40th minute from junior forward Justin McGeeney and a solid defensive effort, which kept Marquette off the scoreboard, gave Notre Dame the victory … Irish goalkeeper Chris Cahill stopped two shots to earn his fifth shutout of the season … the lone goal was setup when junior midfielder Ian Etherington took the ball in the corner and played with it until finding a seam between a pair of Marquette defenders before placing the ball in front of the goal and McGeeney landed a head on it and sent it into the net for his third goal of the season … play throughout the contest was relatively consistent from both sides until the final few minutes of the contest, when Marquette had to press forward … Notre Dame created some counter attacks, but the Golden Eagles kept the contest within one goal … Notre Dame out-shot Marquette 10-7 during the match.

RECAPPING CONNECTICUT: Notre Dame came out on the wrong end of a 2-1 decision to No. 10 Connecticut on Saturday, Oct. 8 at Alumni Field … Notre Dame senior defender Ben Crouse notched the lone goal for the Fighting Irish … the Huskies opened the scoring in the 21st minute by capitalizing on their first shot when Julius James headed the ball into the upper right corner of the net off a baseline cross from Ryan Cordeiro … Stanley Ford also collected an assist on the play as he fed the ball to Cordeiro … Notre Dame would control the ball for the majority of the first half, which resulted in many corner kicks, yet the Irish could not produce a tally off of them … the score remained 1-0 in favor of UConn at the intermission … the Fighting Irish nearly got on the board in the first few minutes of the second half as sophomore midfielder Alex Yoshinaga ripped a ball from 25-yards out that banged off the left post and Notre Dame was unable to get a solid rebound shot … Connecticut made it a 2-0 contest in the 53rd minute on a goal by Cordeiro … he sophomore forward gathered a loose ball on the right side and put it into the left side of the net … Ford collected his second assist on the play and Moshe Shalchon was also credited with a helper … Notre Dame would slice the deficit in half four minutes later when Crouse headed the ball into the right side of the goal off a midfield cross from junior defender Ryan Miller … the Fighting Irish continued to pressure the Huskies for the rest of the match but could not find the back of the net for the equalizer … the last effort came when junior midfielder Ian Etherington sailed a shot over the goal with 15 seconds left to play … Notre Dame out-shot Connecticut 15-7 on the night … the Fighting Irish also held an 11-5 advantage in corner kicks … Irish goalkeeper Chris Cahill collected four saves on the night, while allowing both UConn goals … Adam Schuerman stopped three shots on the night for the Huskies.

FIRST TIME: Senior defender Ben Crouse notched his first collegiate goal versus Connecticut on Oct. 8 … those were also the first points of his Notre Dame career.

LEADING POINTS: Joe Lapira leads the team with nine points on three goals and three assists … Nate Norman and Justin McGeeney are tied with Lapira for the team-lead in goals … Norman also has two assists for a total of eight points, which ranks him second on the Irish … John Stephens and Ryan Miller share the team-lead in assists with Lapira as they each have three.

SPREADING THE WEALTH: Notre Dame has totaled 17 goals on the year, with nine players notching at least one tally … nine different individuals have recorded an assist … the Irish have 18 assists in all.

SECOND HALF SCORING: Eleven of Notre Dame’s 17 goals have been scored either in the second half or overtime … seven of the 12 goals the Irish have allowed have been scored in the second half or overtime.

NO ZEROS: Notre Dame has posted five shutouts on the year, all by junior goalkeeper Chris Cahill … the Irish have only been blanked one time, a 1-0 loss to No. 10 Wake Forest on Sept. 4 … that marks 10 straight games with a goal for the Irish … that marks the third time in the past four seasons that the Irish have had a 10-game stretch with a goal … in 2002, Notre Dame did not goal scoreless for a 10-game stretch from Oct. 6 to Nov. 22 … the streak was snapped with a 1-0 loss to Indiana in the second round of the NCAA tournament … last year, Notre Dame went from Sept. 26 to Oct. 30 with at least one goal in every game before a 0-0 tie to Seton Hall in the second round of the BIG EAST tournament … the Pirates won that game 8-7 on penalty kicks.

NARROW MARGINS: With two more one-goal games over this past week, Notre Dame has now played 10 games this year that have been decided by a single tally … the Irish own a 6-4 mark in those contests … earlier this season, the Fighting Irish played eight straight matches that were decided by one goal … the Fighting Irish went 5-3 in those games … a 3-3 double-overtime tie against West Virginia put a halt to the streak … that stretch of one-goal contests was the longest for the Irish since a span of 10 games to close out the 1996 season … Notre Dame went 5-5 during those games … one of those matches was a 1-0 upset of No. 2 UNC Greensboro in the first round of the NCAA tournament … the only game not decided by a single tally or less was Notre Dame’s 4-1 season-opening victory over SMU on Sept. 2.

CORNER ADVANTAGE: Notre Dame has taken 73 corner kicks so far this season, compared to 51 taken by Irish opponents.

IRISH IN BIG EAST PLAY: Notre Dame owns an overall record of 58-44-11 (.562) all time in BIG EAST regular-season play dating back to the 1995 campaign … the Irish have posted four straight winning seasons within the conference, including an 8-1-1 mark last season … that was Notre Dame’s first eight-win BIG EAST campaign and that record gave them the regular-season title for the first time in program history … the Fighting Irish have captured BIG EAST tournament crowns in 1996 and 2003.

BIGGER EAST: Notre Dame has three of the BIG EAST Conference newcomers on the 2005 slate … the Irish downed Louisville 2-1 on Sept. 23 … Cincinnati knocked off the Irish by a 2-1 margin on Sept. 25 … Notre Dame downed Marquette 1-0 on Oct. 5 … other teams making their BIG EAST debut this season are DePaul and South Florida.

CHALLENGING SLATE: Once again, the Fighting Irish have scheduled a very tough ledger for the 2005 season … six of the teams on Notre Dame’s slate were ranked in the NSCAA preseason poll (#1 Indiana, #5 St. John’s, #7 SMU, #10 Wake Forest, #19 Connecticut, #25 Saint Louis) … five Irish opponents are currently ranked in the top-25 of the NSCAA rankings (#5 St. John’s, #10 Connecticut, #11 Indiana, #16 Wake Forest, #17 Cincinnati) … the Irish opened up the season by facing SMU and Wake Forest, who were ranked seventh and 10th, respectively, at the time and were coming off Sweet 16 appearances in the 2004 NCAA tournament … in all, the Irish will face eight teams that made the College Cup last season … Notre Dame has only faced one team with a losing record entering the match … Wake Forest, who was 0-1-0 after losing 1-0 to No. 1 Indiana at adidas/IU Credit Union Classic.

NO STREAKS: The Fighting Irish have not lost back-to-back regular season games since the beginning of the 2001 season when they fell to No. 5 Furman, 3-2, in double-overtime and then lost 4-0 to No. 16 Clemson … both of those matches occurred at the Umbro/Spinx Furman Invitational in Greenville, S.C … so far this season, the Irish have followed up three of their losses with wins … following the loss to Connecticut, they will look to continue that versus Michigan State on Tuesday.

IRISH VERSUS THE TOP: Notre Dame is 1-3-0 versus ranked opponents in the 2005 campaign … the Fighting Irish downed No. 7 SMU, 4-1, in the season-opener on Sept. 2 … the Irish fell to No. 10 Wake Forest, 1-0, in overtime two days later … Notre Dame lost 2-1 to No. 10 St. John’s on Sept. 16 … for the third time this season the Irish faced a team ranked tenth when they battled Connecticut on Oct. 8 … Notre Dame lost that match, 2-1.

NEXT UP: The Irish will continue their four-game stretch away from home with trips to conference-foes Providence and Pittsburgh … Notre Dame will battle Providence on Tuesday, Oct. 18 at 3:00 (ET) … the Fighting Irish are 6-2-0 all-time against the Friars … Notre Dame and Pittsburgh will battle on Saturday, Oct. 22 at 1:00 p.m. (ET) … the Irish and Panthers are all squared up with a 3-3-3 mark over their nine prior meetings.

IRISH THOUGHTS: Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark looks ahead to this week’s match-ups versus Michigan State and Georgetown …

On facing Michigan State … “Any team that dispatches Ohio State by two goals has to be a good team. Plus going on the road is always difficult. This will be a test for us because they are coming off a good result against Ohio State. I thought we played well against Connecticut but we didn’t take anything away from it because we didn’t win.”

On facing Georgetown … “Both of these games will be tough. I don’t want to look ahead to Georgetown too much before we play Michigan State. But Georgetown always gives us hard games. I remember the last time we played there they scored to win with 30 seconds left on a penalty kick. We just self-destructed in that game. Most of our players probably don’t remember that but the coaching staff sure does.”

IT’S BEEN AWHILE: The Irish played to a draw for the first time this season when they tied West Virginia 3-3 on Oct. 1 … that was Notre Dame’s highest-scoring tie since another 3-3 draw versus Dayton on Sept. 16, 1977, which was a span of 606 games … that match was Notre Dame’s first as a varsity program … this season, Notre Dame owns a 1-1-1 mark in overtime.

LAPIRA GOES FOR FOUR: Sophomore forward Joe Lapira collected his first career four-point match against the Mountaineers … he netted the first goal of the night in the sixth minute and would later add assists on goals that gave the Irish a 2-1 lead and later a 3-2 advantage … the last Irish player to register a four-point performance was Tony Megna versus Pittsburgh last October … he netted two goals versus the Panthers … Lapira was named to the BIG EAST weekly honor roll for his efforts.

IRISH IN BIG EAST OPENERS: With a 2-1 loss at St. John’s on Sept. 16, Notre Dame is now 7-3-1 all time in BIG EAST openers … the Fighting Irish opened conference play last season with a 4-1 win over Georgetown at Alumni Field.

IRISH WIN MIKE BERTICELLI MEMORIAL TOURNAMENT: For the second time in the history of the four-year old Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament, the host Irish captured the title as they defeated Boston University 1-0 on Sept. 9 and Saint Louis 1-0 in double-overtime on Sunday, Sept. 11 … that marked the first time that Notre Dame won both games of the tournament … the Fighting Irish also won the event in 2003 … Indiana, the No. 1 team at the time, finished as runners-up of this year’s tournament after tying Saint Louis 1-1 on Friday and defeating Boston University 5-0 on Sunday.

NOTRE DAME LANDS FOUR ON ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM: Goalkeeper Chris Cahill, midfielder Nate Norman, forward Joe Lapira and defender Ryan Miller were all named to the Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament All-Tournament Team for the Fighting Irish.

CAHILL GARNERS LEAGUE HONORS: Chris Cahill was named the BIG EAST Goalkeeper of the Week on Sept. 12 following a weekend in which he posted shutouts over Boston University and Saint Louis in the Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament … the junior did not have any margin for error, as both Notre Dame wins were 1-0 decisions … Cahill was also named to BIG EAST Honor Roll following the first weekend of play as the Irish upset No. 7 SMU 4-1 and suffered a 1-0 overtime loss to No. 10 Wake Forest. TAKING DOWN A TOP-10: Notre Dame’s 4-1 win over No. 7 SMU was the first time the Fighting Irish defeated a top-10 opponent since they took down No. 9 Boston College last October … the Irish have now claimed a victory against a top-10 team in six straight seasons … a 4-0 win over No. 6 Seton Hall in 2002 was the last four-goal output for the Irish versus a top-10 team prior to the win over the Mustangs.

IRISH IMPROVE MARK IN SEASON-OPENERS: After taking down SMU in the first match of the 2005 campaign, Notre Dame is now 19-7-3 all time in season-openers, including 4-0-1 in the Bobby Clark era … the Irish have not lost a season-opener since the 1994 campaign, a 1-0 loss at No. 15 Penn State … prior to the SMU match, the last time Notre Dame defeated a nationally-ranked team in a season-opener was in 1993 when the Irish knocked off No. 20 Rutgers 4-1 … the four-goal performance against SMU in the season-opener was the most goals scored in a lid-lifter since 2001, a 5-0 win versus Villanova.

NOTRE DAME PICKED SECOND IN BLUE DIVISION: Notre Dame was selected to finish second in the BIG EAST’s Blue Division behind Connecticut, while St. John’s was tabbed to be the league’s Red Division champion … the Irish collected seven first-place votes compared to the Huskies’ nine … Notre Dame was tabbed to finish third in the conference last year, yet went on to win the regular-season league title.

DALBY AND ETHERINGTON NAMED TO PRESEASON ALL-BIG EAST TEAM: Junior midfielder Greg Dalby was one of three unanimous selections to the Preseason All-BIG EAST Men’s Soccer Team as voted on by the league’s 16 head coaches … Dalby’s classmate and fellow midfielder Ian Etherington joined him on the 13-man squad … Dalby was a second-team all-BIG EAST selection last season … the other unanimous choices for the preseason squad were St. John’s midfielder Matt Groenwald and Seton Hall forward Sacha Kljestan … Etherington garnered third-team all-BIG EAST honors in 2004.

DALBY NAMED TO M.A.C. HERMANN TROPHY WATCH LIST: Greg Dalby was named to the 2005 Missouri Athletic Club Hermann Trophy Watch List … the trophy is presented annually to the top male and female Division I soccer player in the United States … the 25-man watch list was compiled by a panel of coaches from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) … Notre Dame and UCLA were the only schools to have at least one member of the men’s and women’s soccer team named to the 2005 M.A.C. Hermann Trophy Watch List … Jen Buczkowski, Candace Chapman and Katie Thorlakson were all named to the list for the Irish women.

COLLEGE SOCCER NEWS WATCH LIST: Greg Dalby was also selected to the College Soccer News Pre-Season All-America second team … the junior tri-captain was not the only Irish student-athlete honored by the publication, as four incoming freshmen were named to the `100 Freshmen to Watch’ list for the 2005 season … (M/D) Matt Besler, (F) Bright Dike, (GK) Luke Seibolt and (D) Jack Traynor were selected to the list and are all part of a very talented seven-man freshman class for the Irish.

FRESHMAN CLASS NATIONALLY RANKED: Notre Dame’s seven-man freshman class was ranked 18th nationally by College Soccer News … (M/D) Matt Besler, (D) Kyle Dagan, (F) Bright Dike, (GK) Andrew Quinn, (M//D) Cory Rellas, (GK) Luke Seibolt and (D) Jack Traynor make up the talented crop of Fighting Irish rookies.

DALBY CAPTAINS U.S. UNDER-20s AT FIFA WORLD YOUTH CHAMPIONSHIP: Junior midfielder Greg Dalby captained the U.S. Under-20 team during a solid showing at the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship this past summer … the U.S. won Group D, which was referred to as the `Group of Death’ entering play, with an undefeated 2-0-1 record … the highlight of the tournament occurred in the first match as the U.S. defeated eventual champion Argentina 1-0 … that would be Argentina’s only loss during its seven-game stretch … a disappointing 3-1 loss to Italy in the Round of 16 brought an end to the event for the U.S. … despite the loss, the U.S. still had a historic run at the tournament … back-to-back-to-back shutouts versus Argentina (1-0), Germany (0-0) and Egypt (1-0) in the tournament’s toughest group marks one of the greatest national team accomplishments in U.S. soccer history … the U.S. became just the 12th team in the tournament’s 28-year history to manage that feat … Dalby was one of 10 college players on the Under-20 team, which also featured a formidable mix of professional and high school standouts … one name easily recognizable to all soccer fans was DC United’s Freddy Adu, but the Under-20 team also featured Eddie Gaven (N.J. Metrostars), Jonathan Spector (Manchester United) and attacking players Jacob Peterson (Indiana) and Lee Nguyen (the lone high school player out of Texas).

WINNING WAYS: The Fighting Irish have put together four straight winning seasons all under the watch of head coach Bobby Clark … Clark has guided Notre Dame to four consecutive NCAA tournament appearances, including the program’s first trip to the Sweet 16 in 2003.

McGEENEY WINS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP: Justin McGeeney, a junior forward, was part of the Des Moines (Iowa) Menace team that lifted the PDL national championship in El Paso, Texas on Saturday, Aug. 13 … the Menace and the El Paso Patriots fought out a 0-0 tie in front of 7,000 spectators and the Menace took the title in a penalty kick tie-breaker.

LISTEN TO THE FIGHTING IRISH: Every Notre Dame home match is broadcast on the internet … to access the link, go to the official Notre Dame athletics web site at and go to the men’s soccer home page … click on the `Schedule’ link at the top of the page and find the day’s game and click `Listen’ … live stats are also available through the `Gametracker’ link.

NOTRE DAME TOTAL ACCESS ON CSTV: College Sports Television (CSTV) will feature a special monthly 30-minute original program called Total Access that concentrates solely on Notre Dame athletics … the show began airing on Oct. 9 and then on the first Sunday of every month for the rest of 2005 and returning on Jan. 8, 2006 … the first show featured a “Cribs”-style tour of the dorm room of Irish soccer players Ryan Miller, Ian Etherington, Kurt Martin and Andrew Benton.

STAY UP-TO-DATE ON NOTRE DAME ATHLETICS: To stay updated on all 26 varsity sports at Notre Dame you can log on to the official Notre Dame athletics web site at or you can call the official Notre Dame athletics hotline at (574) 631-3000 … to access men’s soccer information on the hotline all you need to do is dial 4 from the main menu and then dial 1.