Aug. 22, 2008
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The third-ranked Notre Dame men’s soccer team will wrap up its 2008 exhibition slate against No. 16 Illinois-Chicago on Monday, Aug. 25 at Alumni Field. Game time is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. (ET). All proceeds from the match will benefit Grassroot Soccer, an international AIDS awareness and education organization that reaches youth in Africa through soccer clinics. Admission to the contest is $1. Further donations are welcome.
Monday evening’s match will mark the fifth straight year that Notre Dame has held an exhibition game with all proceeds going to benefit Grassroot Soccer. The cause is very important to Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark since his oldest son, Tommy, is the founder and CEO of the organization.
“AIDS in Africa is a huge problem,” says the Irish head coach. “Grassroot Soccer is a fantastic innovative scheme by Americans and college soccer to help educate Africans and to try to eradicate this terrible disease. AIDS is a problem all over the world, but especially in Africa. This will be the fifth year that we’ve had this game and we’re just trying to do our part to get the attention of people and to raise money.”
Another Fighting Irish connection to Grassroot Soccer is Methembe Ndlovu, a native of Zimbabwe who is a former volunteer assistant coach for the Fighting Irish. He also coached the Indiana Invaders of the United States Soccer League. Ndlovu returned to Zimbabwe in 2006 to help with the Grassroot Soccer cause. Clark brought Ndlovu over to the United States from his native country in 1993 to study at Dartmouth College. Clark was the head coach at Dartmouth from 1985-93.
A Notre Dame soccer alumnus, who wishes to remain anonymous, will match the donations dollar-for-dollar just as he has the past four years. Clark and the Notre Dame men’s soccer camp will also match the donations dollar-for-dollar. Last year’s game brought a near-record crowd of 3,367 fans to Alumni Field and raised $6,300 for the charity.
For more information on Grassroot Soccer, please log onto grassrootsoccer.org.
The Fighting Irish opened their 2008 exhibition schedule with a 2-1 double-overtime victory at No. 19 New Mexico on Wednesday (Aug. 20). Sophomore Jeb Brovsky (Lakewood, Colo./Green Mountain) deposited the `golden goal’ in the 105th minute on an assist from classmate Josh Thiermann (Stoughton, Wis./Stoughton). The sophomore duo also had a hand in the first Irish goal of the night as they assisted on Bright Dike’s (Edmond, Okla./Edmond North) equalizer in the 66th minute.
“This game will be another great test for us. We did some things well at New Mexico, but we are far from where we want to be. This game will prepare us for the opening weekend,” adds Clark.
Notre Dame will open the regular season against No. 12 Akron on Friday, Aug. 29 at the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic in Bloomington, Ind. Game time is slated for 5:30 p.m. (ET). The Irish will square off against Duke on Sunday, Aug. 31 at 11:30 a.m. during the second day of the tournament.
NOTE – 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.