Sept. 28, 2010
NORTHWESTERN (3-4-0) vs. NOTRE DAME (3-2-2)
Wednesday, Sept. 29 – 7:00 p.m. (CT)
Toyota Park – Bridgeview, Ill.
Notre Dame Leads Series 12-3-1
Live Streaming Broadcast: TopDrawerSoccer.com
Live Stats: Gametracker on UND.com
SETTING THE STAGE … The Notre Dame men’s soccer team will face Northwestern at 7:00 p.m. (CT) on Wednesday at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill. Toyota Park, the home to the Chicago Fire of Major League Soccer (MLS), is one of the finest soccer facilities in the country. This will be Notre Dame’s first-ever match in an MLSÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Ã‹â€ venue. Notre Dame leads the all-time series against Northwestern 12-3-1.
IRISH TRAVEL TO TOYOTA … Tickets for Wednesday’s match are $10 over the phone (708-594-7200) and at the gate the night of the match … student tickets are $5 at the gate … Toyota Park is located in Bridgeview, Ill., which is 15 minutes southwest of downtown Chicago.
HOW TO FOLLOW … Wednesday’s match will be streamed live on TopDrawerSoccer.com … live stats through Gametracker and also will be available on UND.com … fans can sign up for `Irish Alert’ on UND.com to receive text message score updates … updates and results can also be found on Twitter at UND_com.
IRISH AT A GLANCE … Notre Dame is 3-2-2 on the season … the Fighting Irish topped No. 12 St. John’s 1-0 on Saturday in the BIG EAST opener … senior forward Steven Perry netted the game winner in the 70th minute … Perry has a team-high three goals … the Irish are averaging 1.14 goals per game, while allowing 0.57 per contest … sophomore midfielder Dillon Powers leads the team in assists with two … junior goalkeeper Will Walsh has played every minute in goal and boasts a 0.54 goals-against average and a .875 save percentage to go along with four shutouts … head coach Bobby Clark is in his 10th season with the Irish … he has a 120-55-28 (.660) record during his Notre Dame tenure … this is Clark’s 24th season as a college head coach … he has a combined record of 273-118-53 (.675) during his career, which included stops at Dartmouth and Stanford.
THE NORTHWESTERN SERIES … This will be the 17th meeting all-time between Notre Dame and Northwestern … the Irish have a 12-3-1 advantage in the series … the Wildcats topped the Irish in the second round of the 2008 and 2009 NCAA Tournaments … in 2008, Northwestern prevailed 2-1 at Notre Dame, while the Wildcats claimed a 3-1 decision last season at home … Notre Dame’s last win in the series was a 2-1 triumph in 2000 … the two schools first met in 1978 and the Irish won that encounter, 3-2 in overtime, in Evanston, Ill.
SCOUTING THE WILDCATS … Northwestern will bring a 3-4-0 record into Wednesday’s clash with the Fighting Irish … the Wildcats are coming off a 2-0 loss at Michigan State on Sunday … Northwestern has defeated Cleveland State (4-0), Oregon State (4-1) and Gonzaga (2-0) … the Wildcats have lost to San Francisco (1-0), Saint Mary’s (Calif.) (3-2) and Holy Cross (1-0) … Northwestern is averaging 1.71 goals per game, while allowing 1.14 goals per game … junior forward Oliver Kupe leads the team in goals (3) and points (7) … senior midfielder Piero Bellizzi has a team-high three assists … junior Drew Kotler has a 3-2-0 record in goal … he boasts a 0.57 goals-against average and a .842 save percentage in addition to two shutouts … sophomore Jonathan Harris is 0-2-0 with a 2.95 goals-against average and a .583 save percentage … Northwestern posted an 11-5-4 record last season and fell at Tulsa, 1-0, in the third round of the NCAA Championship … the Wildcats returned seven starters and 15 letter winners from that squad … head coach Tim Lenahan is in his 10th season at Northwestern … he has a 95-72-23 record at the school.
THE LAST TIME … Notre Dame and Northwestern met in the second round of last season’s NCAA Championship … the Wildcats prevailed 3-1 at Lakeside Field in Evanston, Ill. … Jack Hillgard put Northwestern on top in the 18th minute … Hillgard struck again in the 54th minute before his teammate Peiro Bellizzi made it 3-0 in the 67th minute … Notre Dame’s John Schaefer scored in the 83rd minute … the Irish held a 21-8 advantage in shots along with gaining eight more corner kicks (10-2) than the Wildcats.
NOTRE DAME VS. THE BIG TEN … Wednesday’s match against Northwestern will mark Notre Dame’s third game this season against a Big Ten Conference opponent … the Irish are 0-1-1 against Big Ten competition this season … Notre Dame played Michigan to a scoreless draw on Sept. 17 in Ann Arbor, Mich. … the Irish fell to Michigan State, 2-0, two days later at Alumni Stadium.
IRISH IN BIG EAST OPENERS … Notre Dame opened BIG EAST play on Saturday with a 1-0 win over St. John’s … the Fighting Irish are 11-4-1 all-time in BIG EAST Conference openers.
NOTRE DAME IN BIG EAST PLAY … Notre Dame owns an overall record of 92-53-17 (.620) in BIG EAST regular-season play since joining the conference in 1995 … the Irish have posted nine straight winning seasons within the conference, including last season’s 8-3-0 mark … the eight wins in BIG EAST play in 2009 tied for the most ever for the Fighting Irish … Notre Dame also won eight BIG EAST matches in 2004 (8-1-1) and 2006 (8-3) … 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.
CLARK IN THE CONFERENCE … Head coach Bobby Clark has steered the Irish to a winning record within BIG EAST Conference play during all nine of his seasons at Notre Dame … Clark has a 64-22-10 (.719) BIG EAST mark during his Notre Dame tenure, which began in 2001 … his Irish teams have captured three regular-season BIG EAST titles and two BIG EAST tournament championships.
QUOTING CLARK … Irish head coach Bobby Clark shares his thoughts on the Northwestern match … “This is going to be a great game. To be able to play in Toyota Park will be a great experience for both teams. We are certainly looking forward to it. It’ll be a tough game because Northwestern is a good team.”
SHUTTING DOWN ST. JOHN’S … Notre Dame did not surrender a shot on goal in Saturday’s 1-0 win over No. 12 St. John’s … the Irish blanked the Red Storm, who entered the match averaging 2.8 goals per game and 8.2 shots on goal per game.
NO SAVES, NO PROBLEM … Junior goalkeeper Will Walsh did not need to make a save to notch his fourth shutout of the season in the 1-0 win over St. John’s … the Fighting Irish defense limited St. John’s to seven shots and no shots on goal.
PERRY PUTS HOME GAME WINNER … Steven Perry’s goal in the 70th minute is all Notre Dame would need to top No. 12 St. John’s on Saturday … it was the third career game-winning goal for the senior forward.
MAUND EARNS CONFERENCE HONOR … Junior central defender Aaron Maund was named the BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week for the week of Sept. 20-26 … Maund and the Fighting Irish defense shut out No. 12 St. John’s 1-0 in the conference opener on Saturday … the Irish defense did not allow a shot on goal in the match … this was Maund’s first BIGÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Ã‹â€ EASTÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Ã‹â€ player of the week accolade.
LOSE THE SHOES … At halftime of this Sunday’s Notre Dame-Providence match, the championship game of the `Lose the Shoes’ tournament will be held … the preliminary games of the tournament will take place at 1:00 p.m. (ET) on Saturday, Oct. 2 on Notre Dame’s South Quad … the proceeds from the 3-on-3 barefoot soccer tournament will benefit Grassroot Soccer, a South Africa-based non-governmental organization that integrates the cross-cultural appeal of soccer with evidence-based HIV prevention and life skills programs that arm African youth with the knowledge, skills, and support to live HIV free … Tommy Clark, the eldest son of Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark, is a cofounder of Grassroot Soccer … in the fall of 2006, Dartmouth College held the first ever `Lose the Shoes’ tournament and since then, over 90 `Lose the Shoes’ tournaments have raised almost $150,000 … Notre Dame held its first `Lose the Shoes’ tournament last year.
CORNERING THE MARKET … Notre Dame has gained 32 more corner kicks (63-31) than its opponents this season … the Irish have had more corner kicks than their opponents in each match … Notre Dame’s high-water mark for corner kicks in a game this season was 13 versus California … the Irish rank second among all BIG EAST teams in corner kicks with 63 … Pittsburgh is the leader with 70.
SHOOTING DOWN THE COMPETITION … The Fighting Irish have out shot their competition 158-90 this season, including a 56-32 advantage in shots on goal … Notre Dame leads all BIG EAST teams in shots and shots per game (22.57).
THREE AMONG TOPDRAWER TOP 100 … Three Notre Dame players are ranked among the National Top 100 players according to TopDrawerSoccer.com … Dillon Powers (So./M) is ranked fourth, while Aaron Maund (Jr./D) is 32nd and Jeb Brovsky (Sr./F) is 90th … the rankings will be updated weekly.
MAUND MAKING A DIFFERENCE … Junior central defender Aaron Maund has played every minute on the pitch so far this season … he has helped the Irish produce a 0.57 goals-against average and limit opponents to 4.6 shots on goal per game … in addition, he has scored one goal this season … Maund was named the BIGÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Ã‹â€ EASTÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Ã‹â€ Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 27 and was selected to the league’s weekly honor roll on Sept. 13 … Maund has started all 46 matches in which he has played during his Irish career.
CLEAN SHEETS … Junior goalkeeper Will Walsh has posted four shutouts this season … Walsh saw a career-best scoreless streak of 357 minutes come to an end when Cal Poly scored with six seconds remaining in the 5-1 Irish victory on Sept. 12 … Walsh had not seen game action prior to this season.
TOUGH SLATE … The Irish have another challenging schedule this season … Notre Dame has seven teams on its 2010 slate that are ranked in the latest NSCAA top-25 poll … Connecticut (3), Louisville (6), Michigan State (11), California (16), St. John’s (18), UCLA (20) and West Virginia (21) are the Irish opponents that appear in the poll.
EARLY SEASON OFFENSE … The five goals scored in the 5-1 win over Cal Poly (Sept. 12) marked the fourth time in the past five seasons that Notre Dame has tallied five goals in one of its first four matches of the season … last year, the Irish bested Michigan 5-0 in the season opener … in 2008, Notre Dame topped USF 5-0 in the fourth game of the campaign … in the fourth contest of the 2006 season, the Fighting Irish bested Indiana 5-4 in overtime.
IRISH EXPLOSION … The five goals scored in the second half against Cal Poly on Sept. 12 were the most goals scored in a single period by the Fighting Irish since they netted five in the first half during a 5-0 win over Villanova on Oct. 23, 2002 … it marked the most goals scored in a second half since depositing seven in a 7-1 triumph of Western Michigan on Oct. 14, 1997.
PERRY PERFORMS AGAINST DRAKE … Senior forward Steven Perry netted a career-high two goals in the 2-0 win over Drake on Sept. 10 … Perry registered a game-high nine shots in the match … he was named to the TopDrawerSoccer College Team of the Week for his performance against the Bulldogs.
A DAY OF FIRSTS FOR THE IRISH … Notre Dame used five different goal scorers in the 5-1 win over Cal Poly on Sept. 12 … it marked the first career goal for three Fighting Irish players, Greg Klazura (Sr./D), Dillon Powers (So./M) and Grant Van De Casteele (So./D).
ALL OVER THE MAP … Notre Dame’s 29-man roster boasts student-athletes from 18 different states … the state represented the most on the Irish roster is Illinois, which is home to six Notre Dame players … Brendan King (Naperville), Greg Klazura (Rockford), Craig Krzyskowski (Western Springs), Bob Novak (Homer Glen), Danny O’Leary (Naperville) and Harrison Shipp (Lake Forest) all will return to the Prairie State for Wednesday’s match against Northwestern at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill. … next in line is Texas, which has supplied the Irish with four players on this year’s squad.
PRESEASON ACCOLADES … Aaron Maund (Jr./D) and Dillon Powers (So./M) were named Soccer America Preseason All-Americans … Notre Dame was one of five schools with multiple representatives on the 25-man Soccer America Preseason All-America Team … Akron had four players on the squad, while Virginia, North Carolina and Tulsa joined the Irish with two apiece.
MORE HONORS FOR MAUND AND POWERS … Fighting Irish junior Aaron Maund, a central defender, was named the 2010 BIG EAST Preseason Defensive Player of the Year in a vote by the league’s head coaches … Irish sophomore Dillon Powers, a midfielder, joined Maund on the All-BIG EAST Preseason Team.
IRISH PICKED TO FINISH SECOND IN DIVISION … Notre Dame was picked to finish second in the BIG EAST Blue Division, while Connecticut was tabbed to win the division … the Huskies received 12 first-place votes among the eight Blue Division squads, while the Irish garnered four … St. John’s was picked to win the Red Division … the league’s 16 head coaches were not permitted to vote for their own teams.
BROVSKY A LOWE’S SENIOR CLASS AWARD CANDIDATE … Forward Jeb Brovsky has been named one of 30 candidates for the 2010 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 – classroom, character, community and competition … the list of 30 candidates will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the regular season, and those 10 names will be placed on the official ballot … ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans, who will select a candidate that best exemplifies excellence in the four Cs of community, classroom, character and competition.
CAPTAIN KEEPER … Fifth-year senior goalkeeper Philip Tuttle is Notre Dame’s lone captain for the 2010 campaign … this is Tuttle’s first season as a captain … Tuttle has been unable to play yet this season due to a knee injury.
POWERS PACES TEAM USA … Sophomore Dillon Powers helped the United States Under-20 national team capture the Milk Cup Tournament in early August … Powers was named the MVP of the Milk Cup, which is an international youth soccer tournament held annually in Northern Ireland … the midfielder earned a start in two of the three matches as the U.S. posted a 3-0 record.
TWO ROOKIES RANKED … Two Notre Dame freshmen were named to the College Soccer News `100 Freshmen To Keep An Eye On’ list for the 2010 season … goalkeeper Adam LaPlaca and defender Andrew O’Malley were selected to the list and are part of a very talented eight-man freshman class for the Irish.
ROOKIE RANKINGS … Notre Dame’s freshman class was ranked ninth according to College Soccer News … Leon Brown (F), Kyle Craft (M), Adam LaPlaca (GK), Luke Mishu (D), Andrew O’Malley (D), Alex Priede (F), Harrison Shipp (M/F) and Patrick Wall (GK) make up the stellar class.
A GREAT NIGHT FOR GRASSROOT … Notre Dame held its annual exhibition game to benefit Grassroot Soccer on Aug. 23 against UIC … over 2,000 fans packed into Alumni Stadium to watch the Irish defeat the Flames, 3-2 … a grand total of $3,000 was raised for Grassroot Soccer, an international AIDS awareness and education organization that reaches youth in Africa through soccer clinics … $1,000 worth of donations were received at the gate and during the match … head coach Bobby Clark, whose son Tommy is the founder and CEO of the organization, and the Notre Dame men’s soccer camp donated $2,000.
LOOKING BACK … Last season, Notre Dame posted an 11-8-4 record … the Irish were runners-up in the BIG EAST Blue Division with an 8-3 mark … the Fighting Irish were finalists at the BIG EAST Championship … Notre Dame defeated Green Bay 2-1 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament before falling at Northwestern, 3-1, in the second round … that marked Notre Dame’s ninth straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
PURCHASE YOUR IRISH SOCCER TICKETS … To purchase a season pass or single-game tickets, call the Notre Dame ticket office at (574) 631-7356, visit und.com/tickets or stop by the Notre Dame ticket office inside Purcell Pavilion … tickets can also be purchased at Alumni Stadium on gamedays.
THE ROAD TO RED BULL … The BIG EAST and Red Bull New York have joined forces with a three-year partnership for the Conference’s men’s soccer championship to be held at the new state-of-the-art Red Bull Arena through the 2012 tournament … the soccer-specific facility in Harrison, N.J., is the new home of the New York Red Bulls of Major League Soccer (MLS) … the stadium opened in the spring of 2010 … the BIG EAST will hold its semifinal and championship games at the venue, along with team practices before each day of competition, beginning this season … the dates of the championships over the next three years are: 2010 – Nov. 12 & 14; 2011 – Nov. 11 & 13 and 2012 – Nov. 9 & 10 … for more information, including how to buy tickets, go to bigeastsoccer.com.