Nov. 14, 2009
#14 ST. JOHN’S (9-2-8)
(#2 Seed Red Division)
#25 NOTRE DAME (10-7-3)
(#2 Seed Blue Division)
BIG EAST Championship Final
Sunday, Nov. 15 â€¢ 12:00 p.m. (ET)
Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium â€¢ Morgantown, W. Va.
St. John’s leads series 11-3-4
TV: BIG EAST Regional Sports Network (Live)
Play-by-Play: Jason Knapp; Analyst: Shep Messing
Live Stats: BIGEAST.org
SETTING THE STAGE … No. 25 Notre Dame will face No. 14 St. John’s in the BIG EAST Championship title match on Sunday, Nov. 15. Game time is slated for 12 noon (ET) at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium. The Fighting Irish are in pursuit of their third BIG EAST Championship crown. St. John’s bested the Notre Dame, 2-0, earlier this season (Sept. 6) at the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic on Bloomington, Ind.
GAME WATCH … Sunday’s match will be aired live on the BIG EAST Regional Sports Network … stations broadcasting the game include CBS College Sports, SportsNet New York, Cox Sports Television (New England), Comcast SportsNet Chicago, Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia, Time Warner Cable Sports 32 (Wisconsin), Cox Sports Television (LA, TX, FLA), Bright House Sports Network (Tampa), Time Warner Cable Syracuse/Albany, Time Warner Cable Rochester/Buffalo, WV PBS (West Virginia) … Jason Knapp will handle play-by-play duties, while Shep Messing will provide color commentary … live stats of the contest will be available at bigeast.org.
IRISH AGAINST THE RED STORM … Sunday will mark the 19th meeting all-time between Notre Dame and St. John’s … the Red Storm hold an 11-3-4 advantage in the series … the Irish are 2-3-2 in their last seven meetings against St. John’s … in the last meeting, St. John’s took a 2-0 decision earlier this season (Sept. 6) at the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic in Bloomington, Ind. … Notre Dame’s last win in the series was a 1-0 triumph at home in the quarterfinals of the 2007 BIG EAST Championship … the first meeting in the series, a 6-0 St. John’s victory, occurred in 1995 in Jamaica, N.Y.
BEEN HERE BEFORE … Notre Dame’s last BIG EAST Championship title came in 2003 as the Irish topped St. John’s 2-0 in Storrs, Conn. … Sunday will be the seventh meeting between Notre Dame and St. John’s in the BIG EAST Championship … the Fighting Irish are 2-4 in those contests … this will be just the second time the Irish and Red Storm have met in the title match … the last time the two schools met in the league tournament was in 2007 and Notre Dame captured a 1-0 victory at home in the quarterfinals.
IRISH IN THE BIG EAST CHAMPIONSHIP … This is Notre Dame’s 13th trip to the BIG EAST Championship … the Irish own a 12-9-4 mark overall in the league playoffs … Notre Dame has won the BIG EAST Championship on two occasions, in 1996 and 2003 … Notre Dame is 6-1-3 at home all-time in the conference tournament, 1-6-0 in true road games and 5-2-1 at neutral sites … head coach Bobby Clark boasts an 8-6-4 record in BIG EAST Championship games in his nine seasons with the Fighting Irish … Clark guided Notre Dame to the ’03 title … last season, Notre Dame defeated Louisville 1-0 in a home quarterfinal match before falling to USF, 2-1, in the semifinals in Tampa, Fla.
FINALS HISTORY … Notre Dame is making its fourth appearance in the BIG EAST Championship final … the Irish are 2-1 all-time in the league’s title game … Notre Dame defeated Rutgers, 1-0, in the 1996 final in Piscataway, N.J. … the Fighting Irish bested St. John’s, 2-0, in the 2003 title match in Storrs, Conn. … Notre Dame fell to Connecticut, 2-0, in the 2007 championship game in Storrs, Conn.
CONFERENCE CROWNS … Notre Dame is in pursuit of its sixth conference tournament title … the Fighting Irish captured three Midwestern Collegiate Conference tournament championships (1988, 1993, 1994) … Notre Dame has won the BIG EAST Championship twice (1996, 2003).
ABOUT THE IRISH … Notre Dame is 10-7-3 on the season … the Fighting Irish are coming off a scoreless tie against No. 7 Louisville in the BIG EAST Championship semifinals on Friday … the Irish advanced past the Cardinals on penalty kicks, 4-3 … Notre Dame posted an 8-3 record in the BIG EAST Conference to finish second in the Blue Division … senior forward Bright Dike, the BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year, leads the team in goals (10) and points (23) … senior midfielder Michael Thomas, a first-team all-league honoree, has a team-best six assists … Notre Dame is averaging 1.50 goals per game, while surrendering 1.00 goals per contest … Philip Tuttle has started 11 games in goal, while Andrew Quinn has started nine matches … Tuttle is 7-3-2 with five shutouts … the senior boasts a 0.71 goals-against average and a .743 save percentage … Quinn, a fifth-year senior, is 3-4-1 with one shutout … Quinn has a 1.32 goals-against average and a .732 save percentage … head coach Bobby Clark is in his ninth season with the Irish … he has a 116-52-25 (.666) record during his Notre Dame tenure.
SCOUTING ST. JOHN’S … St. John’s is 9-2-8 on the season … the Red Storm topped Providence, 2-0, on Friday in the BIG EAST semifinals … Walter Hines (38th minute) and Ben Clack (45th minute) tallied goals against the Friars … St. John’s posted a 6-1-4 mark in the BIG EAST to finish second in the Red Division … junior forward Sverre Wegge Gundhus was St. John’s lone representative on the all-BIG EAST first team … Gundhus and Tadeu Terre lead the team with five goals apiece … senior goalkeeper Derby Carrillo made five saves against Providence to collect his 10th shutout of the season … St. John’s defeated Rutgers, 3-0, in the BIG EAST quarterfinals … the Red Storm brought back nine starters and 17 letterwinners from last season’s team that advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA Tournament before dropping a 1-0 decision to eventual national champion Maryland … St. John’s produced a 19-3-3 record in 2008 … head coach Dr. David Masur is entering his 19th season at St. John’s
QUOTING CLARK … Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark discusses the upcoming match against St. John’s … “I think this is a great opportunity for us. We played them earlier in the season and I thought we played well but the score didn’t reflect that. St. John’s is a very good team. They have the top RPI in the BIG EAST and it’ll be a great opportunity for us to try and get a win against another quality team. It’ll be a really tough game, but we’re looking forward to it.”
THE LAST TIME … St. John’s topped Notre Dame 2-0 earlier this season (Sept. 6) at the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic in Bloomington, Ind. … the Red Storm were ranked No. 1 at the time of the meeting, while the Irish were 10th … Sverre Wegge Gundhus put St. John’s on the board in the 68th minute … the Irish nearly tied the match late in regulation but a final attempt was negated and the Red Storm made it 2-0 on a goal from Nelson Becerra in the 90th minute … Notre Dame goalkeeper Philip Tuttle was out of goal on the final tally as he was helping the Irish attack on a set piece … the Irish out shot the Red Storm 13-10 … St. John’s had six corner kicks compared to two from Notre Dame … Tuttle had three saves in the match, while Derby Carrillo had four stops for the Red Storm.
SHOOTOUT SUCCESS … Notre Dame has advanced to the final of the BIG EAST Championship with two shootout victories … the Fighting Irish topped USF on penalty kicks, 5-4, following a 2-2 tie in the quarterfinals … Notre Dame defeated Louisville, 4-3, in a penalty kick shootout after a scoreless draw in the semifinals … those are the first shootouts for Notre Dame since the 2005 season when the Irish advanced past Syracuse in penalty kicks, 4-2, during the first round of that season’s BIG EAST Championship.
TAMING THE TOP SEEDS … Notre Dame has defeated both of the BIG EAST Championship top seeds this season … the Irish bested Louisville, the Red Division’s No. 1 seed, 4-0 back on Sept. 25 … Notre Dame took down the Blue Division’s top seed, Connecticut, 2-1 in overtime on Oct. 31 … the Fighting Irish are the only team to beat both the Cardinals and Huskies this season.
NOTRE DAME IN BIG EAST PLAY … Notre Dame owns an overall record of 91-53-18 (.617) in BIG EAST regular-season play since joining the conference in 1995 … the Irish have posted nine straight winning seasons within the conference, including this season’s 8-3-0 mark … the eight wins in BIG EAST play 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.
DIKE NAMED BIG EAST OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR … Notre Dame senior forward Bright Dike was named the 2009 BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year … Dike, who was voted the conference’s preseason offensive player of the year, leads the league in points (23) and is tied for the lead in goals (10) … Dike is the second Notre Dame player ever to be tabbed as the BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year … Joseph Lapira took home the honor in 2006.
IRISH HONORS … Six Notre Dame players garnered all-BIG EAST honors at the league’s annual awards banquet on Nov. 12 … joining Bright Dike, the league’s offensive player of the year, on the all-BIG EAST first team was Irish senior midfielder Michael Thomas … fellow senior Justin Morrow, a defender, was a second-team pick … junior forward Jeb Brovsky and sophomore defender Aaron Maund were selected to the third team … freshman midfielder Dillon Powers was named to the BIG EAST All-Rookie Team.
COMING BACK … Despite falling behind USF by two goals, Notre Dame came back to force a 2-2 draw in their BIG EAST Championship quarterfinal match on Nov. 8 … it was the first time Notre Dame had come back from a two-goal deficit since Oct. 13, 2007 when the Irish fell behind Connecticut 2-0 before claiming a 3-2 lead … that match would end in a 3-3 tie.
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS … Five of Notre Dame’s past seven matches have been decided by one goal … the other two games in that stretch were draws … the Fighting Irish have played a total of 11 one-goal games this season … the Irish are 6-5 in those contests.
DOUBLE DIGITS … Since head coach Bobby Clark took over the Fighting Irish program in 2001, he has steered the Irish to a double-digit win total in each of his nine seasons … Notre Dame currently is 10-7-3.
GOLDEN MOMENTS … Notre Dame has netted a golden goal three times in its past eight matches … Bright Dike produced a game winner in the 110th minute against Providence on Oct. 10 … junior right back Bilal Duckett tallied a golden goal in the 97th minute versus Georgetown on Oct. 21 … Dike then delivered his second golden tally of the season when he scored in the 91st minute against Connecticut on Oct. 31.
SETTING THE PACE … Notre Dame is 6-1-1 this season when Bright Dike scores a goal … Dike leads the Irish in goals (10) and points (23) … the Irish are 5-0-1 when Michael Thomas nets a goal … Thomas is second on the Irish squad with six goals to go along with a team-high six assists.
AMONG THE LEAGUE LEADERS … Senior forward Bright Dike, the BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year, leads the league with 23 points … Dike’s 10 goals ties him for the BIG EAST lead with Louisville’s Colin Rolfe.
CORNERING THE MARKET … The Fighting Irish have gained 37 more corner kicks (125-88) than their opponents … Notre Dame’s 125 corner kicks leads the BIG EAST.
FIRST TIMERS … In the past seven matches, four Notre Dame players have scored their first career goal … junior right back Bilal Duckett tallied the golden goal in the 97th minute in a 2-1 win at Georgetown on Oct. 21 … sophomore midfielder Michael Rose netted the lone goal (48th minute) in Notre Dame’s 1-0 win at Pittsburgh on Oct. 24 … sophomore midfielder Adam Mena scored the only Irish goal (37th minute) in a 2-1 setback against Michigan State on Oct. 28 … sophomore central defender Aaron Maund netted the equalizer in the 83rd minute in a 2-2 draw against USF in the BIG EAST Championship quarterfinals on Nov. 8.
SECOND HALF SUCCESS … Notre Dame has out scored its opponents 22-11 in the second half and overtime periods this season.
SHOOTING DOWN THE COMPETITION … Notre Dame has out shot 16 of its 20 opponents so far this season … the Irish hold a 290-201 advantage in shots, including 125-88 in shots on goal, over their opponents … Notre Dame’s 290 shots lead the BIG EAST.
NIGHT OWLS … Notre Dame is 5-1-2 this season when playing at night … last season, the Fighting Irish were 7-4-2 during night games.
TAKING DOWN A TOP-FIVE … The 2-1 overtime win against fifth-ranked Connecticut on Oct. 31 marked Notre Dame’s first victory over a top-five team since they defeated No. 5 USF 5-0 last season (Sept. 7, 2008).
TOUGH SLATE … Notre Dame faced four teams this season that were ranked in the top-five nationally at the time of the match … the Irish took on #3 Wake Forest (T, 1-1) and #1 St. John’s (L, 0-2) at the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic (Sept. 4 & 6) … the back-to-back games against Wake Forest and St. John’s was the first time ever the Fighting Irish had faced back-to-back top-three teams … Notre Dame fell at #5 South Florida, 2-1, on Sept. 20 … the Fighting Irish took down #5 Connecticut, 2-1 in overtime, on Oct. 31 … Notre Dame is 3-3-3 this season versus teams ranked in the national top-25.
IRISH EXPLOSION … The four goals scored in the second half against Louisville on Sept. 25 were the most goals scored in a single period by the Irish since they netted four in the first half in a 5-0 win over USF last season (Sept. 7, 2008).
OFFENSE AT ALUMNI … Notre Dame has scored three or more goals three times this season at the brand new Alumni Stadium … those performances have occurred against Michigan (5-0), Seattle (3-0) and Louisville (4-0) … Notre Dame scored the first nine goals at the stadium before surrendering a score to New Mexico in the 38th minute during the game on Sept. 13 … the scoreless streak in the new venue reached 217:54.
MAUND AND POWERS AT U-20 WORLD CUP … Sophomore defender Aaron Maund and freshman midfielder Dillon Powers were members of the United States Under-20 National Team that recently competed at the U-20 World Cup in Egypt … the U.S. went 1-2 and finished in 17th place, one slot shy of advancing to the Round of 16 … Powers started the first contest of group competition, a 3-0 loss to Germany on Sept. 26, and played the entire first half … in a 4-1 win over Cameroon on Sept. 29, he came on in the 73rd minute and completed the game for the United States … Powers and Maund did not enter the final match of Group C play, a 3-0 loss to Korea Republic on Oct. 2 … Maund did not see match time during the tournament … Notre Dame and UCLA were the only two schools with multiple representatives on the team … the duo returned to the Irish for the match at Marquette on Oct. 7 … Notre Dame went 3-2 in their absence.
DIKE DEPOSITS HAT TRICK … Senior forward Bright Dike had a stellar start to the 2009 season as he registered the first hat trick of his career in a 5-0 win over Michigan … the hat trick was the first for a Notre Dame player since Dave Donohue scored three times against Marquette last season.
OFFENSIVE OPENER … Notre Dame’s five-goal outburst against Michigan in the season opener was the first for the Fighting Irish since a 5-0 triumph of USF on Sept. 7, 2008 … the five tallies are the most in a season opener for Notre Dame since a 5-0 victory over Villanova in 2001, which was head coach Bobby Clark’s first game with the Irish.
ALUMNI STADIUM … The 2009 season signifies a new era for Fighting Irish soccer as Notre Dame begins play in Alumni Stadium … the Irish opened the facility with a 5-0 victory over Michigan on Sept. 1 … the $5.7 million venue resides just east of the Joyce Center on the Notre Dame campus and features a natural grass field, lights, locker rooms, restrooms, concession areas and permanent seating for over 2,000 spectators … the lead benefactors for the facility are former Irish soccer players Tom Crotty and Rob Snyder.
ONE FOR THE RECORD BOOK … Jeb Brovsky’s goal in the 26th minute of the season-opening 5-0 win over Michigan was the first goal scored in Alumni Stadium … Michael Thomas collected the assist on the play.
POWERS EARNS NATIONAL HONORS … Freshman midfielder Dillon Powers was named the 2008-09 Gatorade Boys Soccer Player of the Year … in addition, he was selected as the U.S. Soccer Development Academy Co-Player of the Year in July.
RETURNING FIREPOWER … Notre Dame returned 38 of 41 goals scored from last season … leading the way was senior forward Bright Dike, who led all BIG EAST players in goals (12) and points (29) one year ago … Michael Thomas was the top scoring midfielder in the league with 21 points on eight goals and five assists … junior forward Jeb Brovsky is back after totaling five goals and six assists as a sophomore … seniors Dave Donohue (5g, 5a) and Justin Morrow (2g, 4a) registered 15 and eight points, respectively, one season ago … sophomore Brendan King and senior Tamba Samba chipped in two goals apiece for the Irish … King also added three assists.
COLLEGE SOCCER NEWS WATCH LISTS … Two Notre Dame freshmen were named to the College Soccer News `100 Freshmen To Keep An Eye On’ list for the 2009 season … midfielder/defender Danny O’Leary and midfielder Dillon Powers were selected to the list and are part of a very talented six-man freshman class for the Irish.
FRESHMAN CLASS NATIONALLY RANKED … Notre Dame’s freshman class was ranked ninth according to College Soccer News … Bob Novak (M), Danny O’Leary (M/D), Dillon Powers (M), Kyle Richard (M/F), Grant Van De Casteele (D) and Eric Tilley (M/D) make up the stellar class.
IRISH CAPTAINS … Senior midfielders Dave Donohue, Justin Morrow and Michael Thomas along with fifth-year senior midfielder/defender Cory Rellas were named team captains for the 2009 campaign … this is the second straight season in which Thomas has been an Irish captain, while the other three are first-time captains.
SEASON IN REVIEW … Last season, Notre Dame posted a 12-7-2 mark, including a 7-2-2 record in conference play, en route to capturing its second straight BIG EAST Blue Division title … the Fighting Irish garnered the 12th seed for the NCAA Championship … the Irish fell to Northwestern, 2-1, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Alumni Field … the Fighting Irish concluded the season ranked 16th in the final National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) poll … Notre Dame averaged 1.95 goals per game last season, while allowing 1.10 per contest … Bright Dike led the BIG EAST in goals (12) and total points (29) … the forward copped first team all-league and all-region honors in 2008 … central defender Matt Besler was named a first-team All-American and first team Academic All-American in addition to being tabbed as the NSCAA Scholar-Athlete of the Year … Besler became the highest MLS SuperDraft pick in program history as he was selected eighth overall by the Kansas City Wizards … the New York Red Bulls drafted his backline mate, Jack Traynor, with the 29th overall selection.
SIGN UP FOR IRISH ALERT … Go to und.com and sign up for Irish ALERT, a text messaging service designed to give fans up-to-the-minute game updates for all 26 varsity sports at Notre Dame … men’s soccer fans can sign up to receive scores after each half of every game.