Head coach Bobby Clark and the Fighting Irish will be playing in their sixth annual exhibition match for Grassroot Soccer.

Irish To Play Host To Northwestern In Exhibition Play On Monday

Aug. 22, 2009

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The 12th-ranked Notre Dame men’s soccer team will conclude its 2009 exhibition schedule against No. 9 Northwestern on Monday, Aug. 24. Game time is set for 7:00 p.m. (ET) at Alumni Field.

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.

Since the construction of Alumni Stadium is not yet completed, the match will be held at Alumni Field. Fans attending the match should park at the University’s Library Lot. The only entrance into Alumni Field will be off of Courtney Lane by the Eck Tennis Pavilion.

Monday evening’s match will mark the sixth 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.

“I think it’s terrific,” says the Notre Dame head coach about the cause. “I believe this is the sixth year we have been doing this for Grassroot. It’s become a tradition here and a great opportunity to raise money for a worthy cause. HIV and AIDS are a blight in Africa. It’s great that Grassroot uses soccer as a medium to educate in Africa and we can use soccer here to educate.”

A Notre Dame soccer alumnus, who wishes to remain anonymous, will match the donations dollar-for-dollar just as he has the past five years. Clark and the Notre Dame men’s soccer camp will also match the donations dollar-for-dollar.

For more information on Grassroot Soccer, please log onto grassrootsoccer.org.

The contest will be a rematch of last season’s NCAA Tournament second-round game. Notre Dame led that match 1-0 before two late goals from Northwestern produced a 2-1 victory for the Wildcats.

“It’ll be a great game,” adds Clark. “They (Northwestern) put us out of the NCAAs last year. They are an excellent side. All in all it should be a great night and we can raise some money.”

On Thursday, the Fighting Irish captured two exhibition matches at Northern Illinois. Notre Dame won 2-1 in a morning contest and then downed the Huskies, 3-0, in the evening. The Irish used mostly separate squads in both contests. The first match featured many of Notre Dame’s younger talent, while several of the veterans played in the evening contest.

Senior forward Bright Dike (Edmond, Okla./Edmond North) paced the Irish in the second tilt as he registered two goals. Michael Thomas (Olathe, Kan./St. Thomas Aquinas), a senior midfielder, also scored in the contest. Fellow senior midfielder Dave Donohue (Reading, Mass./Cushing Academy) assisted on Dike’s first goal.

John Schaefer (Troy, Mich./Detroit Jesuit), a senior defender, led Notre Dame with two goals in the first game of the day. The first Irish tally came right before halftime as Schaefer headed in a free kick from freshman midfielder Dillon Powers (Plano, Texas/Plano Senior). Northern Illinois knotted the match midway through the second period, yet a converted penalty kick from Schaefer proved to be the difference.

Notre Dame opens the 2009 campaign at home in its new state-of-the-art Alumni Stadium against Michigan on Tuesday, Sept. 1. Game time is set for 7:00 p.m. (ET).

Ticket information for the entire 2009 Fighting Irish men’s soccer season can be found at und.com/tickets or by calling the Notre Dame ticket office at (574) 631-7356.