Oct. 28, 2008
#24 Georgetown (9-3-3) vs. #19 Notre Dame (9-5-2)
Wednesday, Oct. 29 – 2:30 p.m. (ET)
Alumni Field – Notre Dame, Ind.
Live streaming broadcast on und.com
#19 Notre Dame (9-5-2) vs. West Virginia (4-7-5)
Saturday, Nov. 1 – 7:00 p.m. (ET)
Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium – Morgantown, W.Va.
Notre Dame will wrap up its 2008 regular-season schedule this week with BIG EAST matches against Georgetown and West Virginia. The Irish will host the Hoyas on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. (ET) in a makeup contest from the game that was originally scheduled for Oct. 5. Admission to the match is free. Notre Dame will then hit the road to face the Mountaineers on Saturday, Nov. 1 at 7:00 p.m. (ET) at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium.
HOW TO FOLLOW: Both Irish matches this week can be followed via Gametracker on und.com … simply go to the men’s soccer page on und.com and click on `Schedule’ and select the game to follow … Wednesday’s match against Georgetown can be seen live on und.com … simply go to the front page of und.com and click on the `Live Events’ tab and select the game to view the broadcast … you also can follow the Fighting Irish by signing up for `Irish Alert’ on und.com to receive text message score updates.
ABOUT THE IRISH: Notre Dame (9-5-2, BE 5-2-2) went 0-1-1 last week in BIG EAST play … the Fighting Irish are in first place in the BIG EAST Blue Division with 17 points, while Connecticut is second with 16 and Georgetown is third with 15 points … the Irish are averaging 2.19 goals per game, which ranks in a tie for 10th nationally … the Fighting Irish are allowing 1.12 goals per game … Notre Dame is 7-0-1 at home this season … senior forward Bright Dike leads the team in goals (10) and total points (24) … senior goalkeeper Andrew Quinn has started 15 games … he carries a 0.97 goals-against average and a .776 save percentage with five shutouts … 11 different players have scored a goal for Notre Dame this season … head coach Bobby Clark is in his eighth season with the Irish … he has a 103-43-22 (.678) record during his Notre Dame tenure.
SERIES HISTORY VERSUS GEORGETOWN: Notre Dame and Georgetown will be meeting for the 19th time on Wednesday … the Fighting Irish own a 9-7-2 edge in the series … the two squads played to a scoreless draw last season at Georgetown … the Hoyas are 3-6-0 all-time at Notre Dame … the Irish grabbed a 4-1 victory during the last meeting at Notre Dame, which came in 2006 … the first meeting between the two schools occurred in 1982, a 0-0 tie in Rochester, N.Y. … both teams have met every season since 1995, Notre Dame’s first in the BIG EAST Conference … Notre Dame holds a 31-24 scoring edge in the series.
THE LAST TIME: Notre Dame and Georgetown played to a scoreless draw last season in Washington, D.C. … the match was the regular-season finale for the Irish, who were ranked ninth at the time of the meeting … Georgetown was not ranked … Chris Cahill made two saves for Notre Dame … the Irish held a 16-9 advantage in shots and an 8-7 edge in corner kicks.
SCOUTING THE HOYAS: Georgetown will take a 9-3-3 record into Wednesday’s game at Notre Dame … the Hoyas are third in the BIG EAST Blue Division with a 2-2-1 league mark … Georgetown is coming off a 1-0 home win against West Virginia on Oct. 25 … the Hoyas are 4-1-3 in their last eight games … Georgetown is averaging 1.36 goals per game, while allowing 0.58 per game … Georgetown has registered 10 shutouts this season … the Hoyas are 4-2-1 on the road this season … Peter Grasso leads the Hoyas with five goals … Scott Larrabee has three goals and a team-high three assists … Matthew Brutto and Mark Wilber have split time in goal this season … Brutto has notched a shutout in all eight games in which he has played this season … he possesses a 6-0-2 record … Wilber has a 3-3-1 mark with a 1.24 goals-against average and a .757 save percentage … he has two shutouts … last season, Georgetown went 7-11-1, including a 5-5-1 mark in the BIG EAST … eight starters and 20 letter-winners are back from that squad … head coach Brian Wiese is in his third season with the Hoyas.
IRISH-HOYAS CONNECTION: Georgetown head coach Brian Wiese spent five seasons (2001-05) at Notre Dame as an assistant for Bobby Clark before moving on to head the Hoya program … prior to that, Clark and Wiese were together for five years at Stanford.
WHAT’S AT STAKE: Wednesday’s Georgetown-Notre Dame match will have key implications on who will win the BIG EAST Blue Division … the Hoyas are in third place (15 points), just two points behind the first-place Fighting Irish … Connecticut is second with 16 points … all three teams have two league games left to play … the Irish will conclude the regular season at West Virginia (Nov. 1), while Georgetown finishes with a home match against Marquette (Nov. 1) … Connecticut has a road game against Pittsburgh (Oct. 28) and a home tilt versus Seton Hall (Oct. 31) left on its docket.
LOOKING AHEAD: Notre Dame has already secured a spot in the 12-team BIG EAST Championship field … the Irish can finish no lower than a No. 4 seed in the Blue Division, which will earn them a home game for either a first-round game (Nov. 5) or a quarterfinal match (Nov. 8).
SERIES HISTORY VERSUS WEST VIRGINIA: Saturday will be the 13th meeting between Notre Dame and West Virginia … the Fighting Irish lead the series 7-4-1 … the Irish topped the Mountaineers, 1-0, last season at Notre Dame … Notre Dame is 2-4-0 all-time in Morgantown, W.Va. … the last meeting at West Virginia went to the Mountaineers, 2-1, during the 2006 season … the Irish have dropped their last two decisions in Morgantown … Notre Dame’s last win at West Virginia was a 3-0 triumph during the 2001 campaign … the Fighting Irish hold an 18-9 scoring edge in the series … Notre Dame has shut out West Virginia on seven occasions.
THE LAST TIME: Notre Dame claimed a 1-0 victory over West Virginia last season at Alumni Field … the Irish were ranked third at the time of the meeting, while West Virginia was 13th … Ryan Miller scored the lone goal in the 63rd minute off an assist from Joseph Lapira … Notre Dame held a 23-12 advantage in shots along with gaining seven more corner kicks (8-1) … Irish goalkeeper Chris Cahill made six saves to earn the win and shutout.
SCOUTING THE MOUNTAINEERS: West Virginia will carry a 4-7-5 overall record into its home match against Marquette on Wednesday … the Mountaineers possess a 2-3-4 BIG EAST mark, which places them in a three-way tie for fifth in the Blue Division … the Mountaineers are 2-3-1 against ranked opponents this season … the Mountaineers are 2-2-5 at home during the ’08 campaign … West Virginia is averaging 0.50 goals per game, while surrendering 0.62 a game … Alex Silva, Adam Mills and Paul Paradise share the team lead in goals with two apiece … Paradise has a team-best three assists … Zach Johnson has played every minute in goal this season … he has a 0.58 goals-against average and a .885 save percentage with seven shutouts … last season, the Mountaineers posted a 14-6-2 record and finished third in the Blue Division with a 7-3-1 mark … West Virginia fell at Wake Forest, 3-1, in the third round of the 2007 NCAA Championships … the Mountaineers returned five starters and 11 letter-winners from that squad … head coach Marlon LeBlanc is in his third season at West Virginia.
IRISH THOUGHTS: Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark discusses this week’s games …
“We have two huge games to close out the regular season. We have an opportunity to win the league for the second year in a row and that’s something we’ve never done here. It’s a fabulous opportunity for us and I know everyone is excited about that.”
“Georgetown is coming in here very confident. They also have a chance at winning the league so this will not be an easy game. But we know there are never easy games in the BIG EAST. It’ll be similar to an NCAA game with two teams that are trying to make a special season.”
NOTRE DAME IN BIG EAST PLAY: Notre Dame owns an overall record of 81-50-18 (.604) in BIG EAST regular-season play since joining the conference in 1995 … the Irish have posted eight straight winning seasons within the conference, including this season since they have already clinched a winning mark in league play … the Fighting Irish went 7-0-4 in the BIG EAST last year … Notre Dame tied Connecticut for the 2007 BIG EAST Blue Division title … that signified the second regular-season BIG EAST championship for the Fighting Irish, with the first coming in 2004 … the Fighting Irish captured BIG EAST tournament crowns in 1996 and 2003 … Notre Dame’s high-water mark for BIG EAST victories in a season is eight, which has been reached twice (2004 & 2006).
LAST WEEK: Notre Dame posted a tie and loss on the road in BIG EAST play last week … the Irish were on their annual week-long road swing during the University’s fall break … Notre Dame played Seton Hall to a 1-1 draw on Wednesday … senior defender Alex Yoshinaga netted the equalizer in the 82nd minute … that was his first goal of the season … Bright Dike picked up the assist on the Yoshinaga goal … the Irish fell at Connecticut, 1-0, in overtime on Saturday (Oct. 25) in Storrs, Conn. … the Huskies netted the game winner 2:13 into the first overtime.
RELLAS RETURNS: Notre Dame senior Cory Rellas saw his first action of the season in the Connecticut match on Oct. 25 … he came on to play in the midfield in the 31st minute … Rellas, who played 14 minutes on the day, had missed the first 15 games of the season due to a knee injury … he started all 24 matches last season in the central defense for the Fighting Irish.
SURPRISING SHUTOUT: Notre Dame’s 1-0 overtime loss at Connecticut on Oct. 25 marked just the third time all season that the Fighting Irish have been shut out … prior to that contest, Notre Dame had gone nine straight games without being held scoreless.
IRISH OFFENSE AMONG NATION’S BEST: The Notre Dame offense ranks in a tie for 10th among all NCAA Division I teams by averaging 2.19 goals per game.
DOMINATION FROM DIKE: Senior forward Bright Dike has team-high totals in goals (10) and points (24) … those are both single-season career-high numbers for the senior … his four assists also are a career-best mark … Dike ranks first in the BIG EAST by averaging 0.62 goals per game … he has notched a point in a team-high tying 10 games this season … he also leads the Fighting Irish with 65 shots.
THOMAS PROVIDING CONSISTENCY: Junior midfielder Michael Thomas has notched a point in a team-high tying 10 games this season … Thomas is second on the team in goals (8) and points (20), while his four assists place him in a four-way tie for second on the squad … those are all single-season career-best marks for Thomas.
LEADING THE LEAGUE: Bright Dike and Michael Thomas rank first and second, respectively, in points per game among all BIG EAST Conference players … Dike is averaging 1.50 points per game, while Thomas has a 1.25 mark.
OFFENSIVE OUTBURST: The Fighting Irish have combined to score 31 goals during their nine wins this season … Notre Dame has scored at least three goals in eight games and the Irish have reached the four-goal plateau on four occasions.
WHAT A DIFFERENCE A YEAR MAKES: Notre Dame has scored 35 goals in 16 games so far this season after scoring 36 in 24 matches all of last season.
WIDE MARGINS: Eight of Notre Dame’s 16 games this season have been decided by three or more goals … the Irish are 7-1 in those contests.
SPREADING THE WEALTH:Seven times this season the Irish have had at least three different players score a goal in a game … Notre Dame used four different goal scorers in a 4-1 win over Duke on Aug. 31 … the Irish had five players notch a goal in a 5-0 triumph of South Florida on Sept. 7 … Notre Dame used three different goal scorers in a 3-0 victory over Syracuse on Sept. 21 … the Irish had three separate scorers in a 3-0 win at Cincinnati on Sept. 26 … all three tallies in a 3-0 win over Michigan State on Oct. 8 came from different players … Notre Dame followed that performance with a 4-1 triumph of Pittsburgh on Oct. 11 in which all four goal scorers were different … the Irish received goals from three separate players in a 3-1 win over Providence on Oct. 19 … 11 different players have scored a goal for the Irish this season … a total of 12 players have tallied at least one point on the year.
MAUND MAKING AN IMPACT: Freshman Aaron Maund is one of two Irish players to have played every minute this season … fellow central defender Matt Besler is the other … Maund was named the BIG EAST rookie of the week on Sept. 22 … he was selected to the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic all-tournament team on Aug. 31.
STRONG STARTS: Notre Dame did not surrender a first-half goal until the 10th game of the season (Michigan) … Notre Dame has out scored its opponents 15-7 in the first half this season … the Fighting Irish also have out shot opponents 124-74 during the first period of play.
FINISHING STRONG: The Fighting Irish have out scored their opponents 20-9 in the second half this season.
CORNERING THE MARKET: Notre Dame has gained 38 more corner kicks (102-64) than its opponents this season … the Irish own a decisive 56-31 edge in corners in the first half.
SHUTTING DOWN THE COMPETITION: Senior goalkeeper Andrew Quinn and the Fighting Irish defense have notched five shutouts this season … earlier this season, Quinn saw his personal-best scoreless stretch come to an end against Louisville (Sept. 28) as the Irish surrendered a penalty kick in the 90th minute … the streak lasted 385:07 … overall, the Irish defense had held opponents scoreless for 395:12 up until that point … that is a season-best stretch for the Fighting Irish.
HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE: The win over Providence on Oct. 19 improved Notre Dame’s home record to 7-0-1 this season … the Irish are undefeated through their first eight home games of the season for the first time since 2004 … Notre Dame is 12-0-3 in its last 15 regular-season BIG EAST home games.
RPI RANKINGS: Notre Dame is ninth in the latest RPI rankings … there are five teams from the BIG EAST Conference that appear in the top 20 of the RPI … St. John’s is No. 2, while South Florida is 13th, Louisville is 15th and Connecticut is 17th.
TAKING DOWN A TOP-10: Notre Dame has defeated a top-10 team in each of the past nine seasons, including the win over fifth-ranked South Florida (Sept. 7) this season.
TOUGH SLATE: The Irish are facing another challenging schedule this season … there are eight teams ranked in the most recent Soccer America top-25 poll that appear on Notre Dame’s 2008 slate … Akron (2) and St. John’s (6) are in the top 10, while South Florida (12), Indiana (14), Connecticut (16), Michigan (17), Louisville (20) and Georgetown (24) also appear in the rankings.
CLARK REACHES THE CENTURY MARK WITH THE IRISH: Notre Dame’s 3-0 victory at Cincinnati on Sept. 26 marked the 100th win for head coach Bobby Clark during his Fighting Irish tenure … Clark is in his eighth season at the helm of the Notre Dame program and he has compiled a record of 103-43-22 at the school … he is third on Notre Dame’s career wins list … Rich Hunter (1977-83) is first with 128 wins, while Mike Berticelli (1990-99) is second with 104 … during his collegiate coaching career, Clark has a 256-106-47 record … the Scotland native is in his 22nd season of college soccer … prior to coming to Notre Dame, Clark went 71-21-12 from 1996-2000 at Stanford … he posted a mark of 82-42-13 during a nine-year stint at Dartmouth from 1985-1993.
BESLER A LOWE’S SENIOR CLASS FINALIST: Senior defender Matt Besler is one of 10 national finalists for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award in the men’s soccer division … finalists were selected from a list of 30 candidates in each division, based on personal qualities that define a complete student-athlete … each finalist displays numerous accomplishments across all four award pillars: classroom, community, character, and competition … the award is presented annually to an NCAA Division I men’s senior soccer player who excels both on and off the field … the finalists will be placed on the official ballot for a nationwide vote beginning October 16 and concluding November 19 … votes from coaches and media will be coupled with fan balloting to determine the recipient of the award … fans can vote online during this time period at www.seniorclassaward.com … winners will be announced during the 2008 NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Championship in Frisco, Texas, scheduled for December 12-14.
BESLER TABBED AS A PRESEASON ALL-AMERICAN: Matt Besler, a senior defender, was named a second-team preseason All-American by Soccer America and College Soccer News … these are the first such national accolades for the team tri-captain … as a junior, Besler was named an NSCAA Scholar All-American in addition to taking home second-team all-BIG EAST honors for the second consecutive season … Besler has played in 85 games, including 68 starts, during his Notre Dame career … he has tallied 17 points on five goals and seven assists.
BIG EAST ACCOLADES FOR BESLER: Senior defender Matt Besler was named to the 2008 BIG EAST All-Preseason Team … this marked the second straight season that he has been named to the all-league preseason squad … Besler has been a second-team all-BIG EAST pick the last two seasons.
NOTRE DAME PICKED SECOND IN BLUE DIVISION: Notre Dame was selected to finish second in the BIG EAST Blue Division for the 2008 season … the Irish garnered 99 points in voting by the league’s head coaches, while Connecticut received 112 points … Connecticut totaled 14 first-place votes in the Blue Division, while Notre Dame had two … South Florida was tabbed to win the league’s Red Division and Louisville was picked to finish second.
COLLEGE SOCCER NEWS WATCH LISTS: Three Notre Dame freshmen were named to the College Soccer News `100 freshmen to keep an eye on’ list for the 2008 season … (M/F) Brendan King, (M/F) Michael Rose and (GK) Will Walsh were selected to the list and are 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 12th nationally by College Soccer News … (M/F) Brendan King, (M/D) Aaron Maund, (D) Sean McGrath, (M) Adam Mena, (M/F) Michael Rose, (M/D) Chris Sutton and (GK) Will Walsh make up the talented crop of Fighting Irish rookies.
IRISH NAME TRI-CAPTAINS: Fifth-year senior Alex Yoshinaga will serve as a team tri-captain for the second straight season … senior defender Matt Besler also will be a tri-captain for the second time and junior midfielder Michael Thomas is the third captain for Notre Dame … he is a first-time captain.
RECAPPING `07: In 2007, Notre Dame posted a 14-5-5 record and advanced to the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Championships for the second straight season … the Irish fell at eventual national champion Wake Forest, 1-0, in overtime during the quarterfinals … the Fighting Irish won a share of the 2007 BIG EAST Blue Division title … Notre Dame tied Connecticut in points, but the Irish were the only team to go undefeated in league play as they posted a 7-0-4 mark … the Fighting Irish averaged 1.43 goals per game last season, while surrendering just 0.83 … the Irish peaked at a program-best No. 2 in the national rankings on Sept. 24 … departed seniors Joseph Lapira (F) and Ryan Miller (M/D) both copped All-America honors for the Irish in 2007 … Lapira led the Irish in both goals (9) and points (28) for the third straight season … he also had a team-high 10 assists in ’07.
ALUMNI FIELD FAREWELL: The 2008 campaign will mark the final season for the Fighting Irish at Alumni Field, which has been home to the Notre Dame men’s soccer team since 1990 … the Irish will begin play in a new $5.7 million state-of-the-art facility starting in 2009 … in 18-plus seasons at Alumni Field, the Irish have won 74 percent of their contests by posting a 127-38-18 (.743) home record.
A NEW PITCH: The Notre Dame men’s and women’s soccer teams will begin play in a new $5.7 million state-of-the-art facility starting in 2009 … plans for the stadium include a lighted facility that will feature a natural grass field, locker rooms, restrooms, concession areas and 2,000 seats … the stadium will reside just east of the Joyce Center on the Notre Dame campus … the lead benefactors for the facility are former Irish men’s soccer players Tom Crotty and Rob Snyder.
PARKING CHANGES: Due to ongoing construction within the Notre Dame Athletics Quad, parking for Irish soccer games this year is limited to the Eck Baseball Stadium and Joyce Center lots … fans are asked to walk around the south end of Eck Stadium, then proceed north between the stadium’s right-field wall and the soccer practice field before entering at the south end of Alumni Field.
SIGN UP FOR IRISH ALERT TEXT MESSAGE SERVICE: 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.