Nov. 2, 2011
(#5 Seed Red Division)
#18 NOTRE DAME (9-4-4)
(#4 Seed Blue Division)
BIG EAST Championship – First Round
Thursday, Nov. 3 – 7:30 p.m. (ET)
Alumni Stadium – Notre Dame, Ind.
Notre Dame Leads Series 10-2-0
LIVE VIDEO BROADCAST:
– UND.com (Free)
– GameTracker on UND.com
– Irish Alert! text messaging (sign up on UND.com)
SETTING THE STAGE
– Notre Dame (9-4-4) will play host to Villanova (6-8-4) on Thursday in the first round of the BIG EAST Championship. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. (ET) at Alumni Stadium. – The Fighting Irish are the No. 4 seed from the Blue Division, while the Wildcats are the No. 5 seed from the Red Division. This will be the first meeting between the two teams since the 2007 campaign. – The winner of Thursday’s match will face USF on Sunday in Tampa, Fla. in the quarterfinals of the BIG EAST Championship. – A free live video broadcast of the Notre Dame-Villanova match will be available on UND.com. Live stats via GameTracker also will be available on UND.com.
GET YOUR TICKETS!
– Tickets for Thursday’s match are $5 for adults and $3 for youth (21 and under)/seniors (55 and older). There is free admission for Notre Dame/Saint Mary’s/Holy Cross students with a valid student ID. – To purchase tickets, call the Murnane Family Athletics Ticket Office at (574) 631-7356, visit the tickets page on UND.com (UND.com/tickets) or stop by the ticket office windows inside the Rosenthal Atrium at Purcell Pavilion (entrance via Gate 9). Tickets can also be purchased at Alumni Stadium prior to the match on Thursday. – For group discount pricing information call Rita Baxter in the Notre Dame Ticket Office at (574) 631-4165.
– Notre Dame defeated Seton Hall, 4-0, on Tuesday in the regular-season finale. The Irish are 4-1-0 in their last five contests. The Fighting Irish finished the 2011 BIG EAST campaign with a 5-3-1 league record. – Junior forward Ryan Finley matched a season-best total with two goals in the win over Seton Hall. Finley was named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll for his performance. It was the second time this season that he has received that accolade. Finley leads the Irish in goals (7) and points (16) this season. – Senior midfielder Michael Rose registered a career-high three points on a goal and an assist in the Seton Hall match. Junior central defender Grant Van De Casteele netted his first goal of the season in the victory over the Pirates. – Senior midfielder Adam Mena has a team-high five assists this season. – The Fighting Irish are averaging 1.59 goals per game, while they are allowing 0.88 per contest. Notre Dame has posted six shutouts this season, while the Irish have been held without a goal four times. – Senior Will Walsh has all 17 decisions in goal. He has five shutouts and boasts a 0.82 goals-against average to go along with a .797 save percentage. He has nine clean sheets in 24 career starts.
VILLANOVA SERIES HISTORY
– Thursday will be the 13th meeting all-time between Notre Dame and Villanova. The Fighting Irish lead the series, 10-2-0. The two teams have never met in the BIG EAST Championship. – The Irish and Wildcats have not squared off since the 2007 campaign, a 1-0 Notre Dame victory at Villanova. This will be Villanova’s first trip to Notre Dame since the 2003 season. The Wildcats are 0-5 all-time at Notre Dame. – The Fighting Irish have won the last eight matchups against Villanova. The Irish have shutout the Wildcats in each of the past five encounters. – Villanova’s last win over Notre Dame was a 2-1 decision in 1996. – Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark is 5-0-0 all-time against Villanova. Clark’s first victory at Notre Dame was a 5-0 win over Villanova in 2001.
A LOOK AT THE WILDCATS
– Villanova will bring a 6-8-4 record into Thursday’s showdown with the Irish. The Wildcats went 3-5-1 in BIG EAST play. Villanova is coming off a 2-0 setback to Louisville on Saturday. – This is Villanova’s fifth straight appearance in the BIG EAST Championship. – The Wildcats are averaging 1.17 goals per game, while allowing 1.06 per contest. Aaron Dennis (Fr./F), Kyle Soroka (Jr./D) and Emerson Lawrence (Jr./M) all have a team-best four goals. Sophomore forward Dylan Renna leads the Wildcats in points (11) and assists (5). Senior John Fogarty has started every match in goal. He has a 0.99 goals-against average and a .816 save percentage with six shutouts. – Head coach Tom Carlin is in his fourth season at the helm of the Wildcat program.
THE IRISH IN THE BIG EAST CHAMPIONSHIP
– Notre Dame is making its 11th straight appearance in the BIG EAST Championship and the 15th trip overall in program history. The Fighting Irish own a 13-10-5 record in the league playoffs. – Notre Dame has won the BIG EAST Championship on two occasions (1996 and 2003). – Notre Dame is 7-1-3 at home in the conference tournament, 1-6-0 in true road games and 5-3-2 at neutral sites. – Head coach Bobby Clark boasts a 9-7-5 record in BIG EAST Championship games with the Fighting Irish. Clark guided Notre Dame to the 2003 BIG EAST title. – Last season, the Irish received a first-round bye in the league tournament and then defeated Marquette, 2-1, in the quarterfinals. Notre Dame fell to Louisville, 1-0, in the semifinals.
– Notre Dame is in pursuit of its sixth conference tournament title. The Fighting Irish captured three Midwestern Collegiate Conference tournament championships (1988, 1993, 1994) and Notre Dame has won the BIG EAST Championship twice (1996, 2003).
– Notre Dame’s four-goal output in the 4-0 win over Seton Hall on Tuesday matched a season-high total that the Irish also achieved against Dayton in a 4-1 triumph on Sept. 2. The margin of victory over the Pirates was the largest for the Irish this season.
– The Fighting Irish are 5-3 in one-goal games this season.
– Notre Dame has played seven overtime games this season. The Irish are 1-2-4 in those matches. – Two of Notre Dame’s four losses have occurred in double-overtime. The Irish fell to Saint Louis (104th minute) and St. John’s (110th minute) by identical 2-1 scores.
– Notre Dame holds a 13-3 scoring edge in the first half of play this season. – The Fighting Irish have scored the first goal in 11 of their 17 matches this season (two of their games have been scoreless draws). – The Irish have only trailed at halftime twice this season (Marquette & West Virginia).
SUCCESS ON THE STAT SHEET
– The Irish have a 117-75 advantage in shots on goal over their opponents this season. – The Fighting Irish have gained 25 more corner kicks (100-75) than their opponents.
– The Fighting Irish went 3-1 during their recent four-game road swing. It was the first time Notre Dame played four consecutive true road matches since the 2005 season. – Notre Dame is 4-2-0 in true road games this season.
HOME SWEET HOME
– Notre Dame is 12-3-5 at home over the past two seasons, including a 4-1-4 mark this season. – The loss to West Virginia on Saturday was Notre Dame’s first home defeat of the season and the first home setback against a BIG EAST foe since a 1-0 loss to West Virginia in 2009. The Irish are 9-1-2 in their last 12 home matches against BIG EAST competition (both regular season and tournament).
BLANKING THE BEST
– Three of Notre Dame’s six shutouts this season have occurred against teams currently ranked in the Soccer America top-25 poll. The Irish blanked current No. 4 Connecticut and No. 9 Indiana in scoreless draws. Notre Dame shutout No. 14 Louisville in a 1-0 victory.
GUARDING THE GOAL
– The Irish have not surrendered more than two goals in a single match since a 3-1 loss at Northwestern in the second round of the 2009 NCAA Tournament, a span of 37 games.
SPREADING THE WEALTH
– Notre Dame’s 27 goals have come from 11 different players. Junior forward Ryan Finley has a team-high seven goals, while sophomore forward Harrison Shipp has five. Adam Mena (Sr./M) and Danny O’Leary (Jr./F) both have three goals, while Michael Rose (Sr./M) has two. Six Irish players have one goal apiece.
NOTRE DAME IN BIG EAST PLAY
– Notre Dame owns an overall record of 102-58-19 (.623) in BIG EAST regular-season play since joining the conference in 1995. The Irish have posted 11 straight winning campaigns within the league, including this season’s 5-3-1 mark. – 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.
KLAZURA A LOWE’S SENIOR CLASS AWARD FINALIST
– Greg Klazura is one of 10 finalists up for the 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 – community, classroom, character and competition. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in SchoolÂ®, the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities. – Klazura graduated in May with a Bachelor of Science degree in pre-professional studies (pre-med). He finished his undergraduate career with a 3.583 cumulative grade-point average. He currently is taking courses that emphasize service and or medicine to boost his resume for medical school. Klazura was named to the 2010 National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Scholar All-Region first team. He also is a two-time BIG EAST Academic All-Star (2009 & 2010).
IRISH HAVE A MAINSTAY IN MAUND
– Senior defender Aaron Maund has started all 76 matches in which he has played during his Notre Dame career. The only five games he has missed was during his sophomore campaign in 2009 when he was with the United States Under-20 National Team at the U-20 World Cup in Egypt. He has started all 50 matches with the Irish since returning from the international competition. He played every possible minute on the pitch during the 2008 and 2010 campaigns and he has not left a match this season.
CLARK MOVES TO TOP OF PROGRAM WINS LIST
– Notre Dame’s 2-1 victory over Bucknell on Sept. 11 gave Irish head coach Bobby Clark the most wins in program history. Clark, who is in his 11th season on the Notre Dame sidelines, has a 136-63-34 (.657) record with the Irish. He moved past Rich Hunter, who was Notre Dame’s first varsity head coach from 1977-83.
– Since Bobby Clark took over the reins of the Notre Dame program in 2001, the Irish have won at least 10 matches during all 10 seasons of the Clark era. The Fighting Irish have qualified for the NCAA Tournament in each of the past 10 seasons. That streak ranks in a tie for fifth nationally. – Notre Dame is the only team in the BIG EAST to qualify for the semifinals in each of the past four league tournaments.
FOLLOW THE IRISH ON UND.COM
– All 2011 Notre Dame home matches that are not televised can be seen live on UND.com. The streaming broadcasts are free of charge. Check UND.com to stay up to date on the Fighting Irish men’s soccer team throughout the 2011 campaign.