April 20, 2010
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Notre Dame men’s and women’s soccer teams will close out their 2010 spring seasons on Friday night with a doubleheader against two of Mexico’s national programs at Alumni Stadium. The Fighting Irish women will kick off the exhibition twinbill at 5 p.m. (ET) when they square off with the Mexican National Team, while the Notre Dame men will take on the Mexican Under-21 National Team at 7:15 p.m. (ET) in the nightcap of the doubleheader, which is being presented once again by Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center.
Tickets for the twinbill are on sale for $5 (adults) and $3 (youths 18 and under), with unique Notre Dame soccer maracas to be given out to the first 1,000 fans in attendance at each of the evening’s matches. Tickets can be purchased at the Murnane Family Athletics Ticket Office (Gate 9 of Purcell Pavilion) during normal business hours (9 a.m.-5 p.m. ET weekdays), by calling the ticket office at (574) 631-7356, or by going on-line at www.und.com/tickets. Tickets also will be sold at the Alumni Stadium ticket windows on match night (until capacity is reached), although it is recommended that fans purchase tickets in advance to prevent long lines at the ticket windows prior to kickoff.
The two spring friendlies will be part of a special soccer weekend on the Notre Dame campus, as the Fighting Irish officially will dedicate the $5.7 million state-of-the-art Alumni Stadium that opened for competition last fall. The dedication ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. (ET) Saturday and will feature appearances by University officials, men’s soccer coach Bobby Clark, women’s soccer coach Randy Waldrum, and the primary Alumni Stadium benefactors — former Notre Dame men’s soccer players Tom Crotty (’80) and Rob Snyder (’84). Both teams then will cap off the weekend Saturday night with their respective team awards banquets.
Waldrum’s crew will be playing Mexico for the eighth time in the past 10 spring seasons, having posted a 5-1-1 record against Los Tricolores since 2001, when Notre Dame posted a 2-1 victory at South Bend’s School Field. The Fighting Irish also earned wins over Mexico at old Alumni Field in 2002 (3-2), 2003 (3-1), 2006 (3-0) and 2008 (2-1), with current Notre Dame junior All-America forward Lauren Fowlkes (Lee’s Summit, Mo./St. Teresa’s Academy) netting the gamewinning goal in the second half of the ’08 victory after current junior midfielder Rose Augustin (Silver Lake, Ohio/Walsh Jesuit) put the Fighting Irish on the board with a first-half strike. Mexico picked up a 3-2 win over Notre Dame in 2004 and the teams played to a 2-2 draw in 2005, also at old Alumni Field.
This year’s match against Mexico will be noteworthy for another reason. The Notre Dame women will auction off the jerseys they wear during the match, with the proceeds going entirely to benefit Camp Watcha-Wanna-Do, a Fort Wayne camp for children dealing with the effects of cancer (their web site can be viewed at www.campwatchawannado.com). Bidding for the jerseys (which are specially embroidered with the match information and charity) already is underway and will run through 3 p.m. (ET) Saturday. Fans can bid on any or all 31 player jerseys at the official Notre Dame athletics auction website — www.und.com/auctions, or by visiting the Notre Dame women’s soccer web page and clicking on the “AUCTION” link in the sidebar.
Notre Dame is 2-1-1 during the spring 2010 season, most recently downing Iowa, 3-1 on April 17 at old Alumni Field. Fowlkes, Augustin and sophomore forward Melissa Henderson (Garland, Texas/Berkner) each netted goals for the Fighting Irish, who nearly collected their third shutout in four spring matches before the Hawkeyes scored with two minutes to play against the Notre Dame reserves. The Fighting Irish also defeated Purdue (6-0), tied Michigan State (0-0) and fell to the Chicago Red Stars of Women’s Professional Soccer (1-0) earlier this spring.
Following a pair of shutout losses to the U.S. National Team on March 28 (3-0 in San Diego) and March 31 (1-0 in Sandy, Utah), Mexico has earned one-goal wins over UCF (2-1) and Auburn (3-2) and a tie at Georgia (2-2) on its tour of college opponents (Los Tricolores is slated to play at Purdue Wednesday night). Among the featured players on this year’s Mexico roster is Rebecca Mendoza (’09), who played for Notre Dame from 2005-08, helping the Fighting Irish to three consecutive NCAA Women’s College Cups, including national championship match appearances in 2006 and 2008.
Meanwhile, this will mark the fifth time in six spring seasons that Clark’s charges have played host to a Mexican national team, but the first time the Fighting Irish will play the U-21 squad. Notre Dame is 3-0-1 against Mexico in recent spring matches (all of which were played at old Alumni Field), beginning with a pair of victories over the Mexican U-17 National Team in 2005 (1-0) and 2006 (5-0). The Fighting Irish then downed Mexico’s U-20 squad in 2007 (1-0), before the same two sides played to a scoreless draw in 2008.
Notre Dame last played on April 17 in Fort Wayne, edging in-state rival, Indiana, 4-2 on penalties after the teams played to a 2-2 draw at Parkview Field (home of the Fort Wayne TinCaps baseball team in the Class-A Midwest League). A pair of Fighting Irish freshmen — midfielder/forward Dillon Powers (Plano, Texas/Plano Senior) and defender Grant Van De Casteele (Plano, Texas/Frisco Centennial) — scored in regulation before junior midfielder/forward Jeb Brovsky (Lakewood, Colo./Green Mountain) converted the winning penalty kick in the shootout.
— ND —