Nov. 6, 2009
#8 USF (13-3-2)
(3rd Seed Red Division)
NOTRE DAME (10-7-1)
(2nd Seed Blue Division)
BIGÃ¢â‚¬Ë†EASTÃ¢â‚¬Ë†Championship – Quarterfinals
Sunday, Nov. 8 â€¢ 1:00 p.m. (ET)
Alumni Stadium â€¢ Notre Dame, Ind.
USF leads series 4-1-0
Live Video Broadcast:Ã¢â‚¬Ë†und.com â€¢ Gametracker:Ã¢â‚¬Ë†und.com
SETTING THE STAGE … Notre Dame will play host to the University of South Florida in the BIG EAST Championship quarterfinals on Sunday, Nov. 8 at Alumni Stadium. Game time is slated for 1:00 p.m. (ET). These two teams met earlier this season with USF claiming a 2-1 win over the Irish in Tampa, Fla. on Sept. 20. The Bulls lead the all-time series against the Irish, 4-1. Notre Dame is the second seed from the Blue Division, while USF is the Red Division’s third seed. The Irish have won three of their past four matches, while the Bulls have captured six of their past seven contests.
WATCH THE GAME … Sunday’s match can be seen live and for free on und.com … Tom Staudt will handle play-by-play duties, while Michael Scholl will provide color commentary … live stats via Gametracker also are available on und.com.
SERIES HISTORY VERSUS USF … Notre Dame and USF will be meeting for the sixth time when the two teams square off on Sunday afternoon … USF owns a 4-1 edge in the series … the Bulls topped the Irish, 2-1, on Sept. 20 in Tampa, Fla. … this marks the second straight season that both teams have met twice … Notre Dame topped USF, 5-0, last season at home during the regular season before falling to the Bulls, 2-1, in the BIG EAST semifinals in Tampa … USF is 1-1 all-time at Notre Dame … in 2006, the Bulls bested the Fighting Irish, 2-0, at Notre Dame … the first-ever meeting in the series occurred during the 1985 season in Tampa and USF grabbed a 3-0 decision.
ABOUT THE IRISH … Notre Dame has won three of its past four matches to conclude the regular season with a 10-7-1 record … the Irish finished their BIG EAST slate with an 8-3 record to finish second in the Blue Division … the eight wins in BIG EAST play tied the most ever for the Fighting Irish … Notre Dame is coming off a 2-1 overtime victory against No. 5 Connecticut on Oct. 31 … senior forward Bright Dike netted the golden goal 57 seconds into overtime … that was Dike’s second golden goal of the season, he also scored one against Providence … Dike leads the Fighting Irish in goals (9) and points (21) … senior midfielder Michael Thomas has a team-best five assists to go along with six goals … Notre Dame is averaging 1.56 goals per game, while surrendering 1.00 goals per contest … Philip Tuttle and Andrew Quinn have both started nine games in goal … Tuttle is 7-3-0 with four shutouts … the senior boasts a 0.68 goals-against average and a .731 save percentage … Quinn, a fifth-year senior, is 3-4-1 with one shutout … Quinn has a 1.32 goals-against average and a .732 save percentage … head coach Bobby Clark is in his ninth season with the Irish … he has a 116-52-23 (.668) record during his Notre Dame tenure.
SCOUTING THE BULLS … USF will bring a 13-3-2 record and a top-10 national ranking into its match at Notre Dame on Sunday … the Bulls defeated Marquette, 2-1, on Thursday in the first round of the BIG EAST Championship … USF has won six of its past seven matches … the only loss in that stretch was a 2-1 double-overtime setback at Rutgers on Oct. 31 … USFÃ¢â‚¬Ë†is 4-3 away from home this season … the Bulls are averaging 1.50 goals per game, while surrendering 0.72 per contest … Hasani Sinclair and Bernardo Anor both have a team-high five goals … Sinclair leads the Bulls with 13 points … Javed Mohammed has a team-best nine assists … Jeff Attinella has played every minute in goal for the Bulls … he carries a 0.70 goals against average and a .877 save percentage with seven shutouts … USF opponents have gained 25 more corner kicks (114-89) than the Bulls … USF registered a 15-5-3 record last season … the Bulls went 7-3-1 in BIG EAST play and won the 2008 conference tournament … USF advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2008 NCAA Tournament before falling to Wake Forest, 5-0 … head coach George Kiefer is in his eighth season with the Bulls.
THE LAST TIME … USF registered a 2-1 home victory over Notre Dame earlier this season (9/20) … the Bulls were ranked fifth at the time of the meeting, while the Irish were 20th nationally … Hasani Sinclair put USF on the board in the fifth minute … Bright Dike deposited the equalizer in the 78th minute, yet Jorge Mora tallied the game winner in the 84th minute … Notre Dame’s Andrew Quinn got the start in goal, but had to leave the match 6:58 into the contest with an injury … Philip Tuttle played the rest of the way … Tuttle had three saves, while Quinn had one … USF’s Jeff Attinella had six saves in the victory … Notre Dame out shot USF, 13-10 … the Irish also had four more corner kicks (8-4).
QUOTING CLARK … Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark discusses the upcoming match against USF … “It’s a great opportunity for us to be playing a top team. This will be the second straight week that we’ve welcomed in a top-10 team. I know our players are excited to be playing a quality team like South Florida because it’s fun to play good teams. We are familiar with them since we played them earlier in the season. I know our guys will be excited and ready to play because it’s another chance for us to try and get a win against a quality opponent.”
IRISH IN THE BIG EAST CHAMPIONSHIP … This is Notre Dame’s 13th trip to the BIG EAST Championship … the Irish own a 12-9-2 mark overall in the league playoffs … last season, Notre Dame defeated Louisville 1-0 in a home quarterfinal match before falling to USF, 2-1, in the semifinals in Tampa, Fla. … Notre Dame has won the BIG EAST Championship on two occasions, in 1996 and 2003 … Notre Dame is 6-1-2 at home all-time in the conference tournament, 1-6-0 in true road games and 5-2-0 at neutral sites … head coach Bobby Clark boasts an 8-6-2 record in BIG EAST Championship games in his nine seasons with the Fighting Irish.
CONFERENCE CROWNS … Notre Dame is in pursuit of its sixth conference tournament title … the Fighting Irish captured three Midwestern Collegiate Conference tournament championships (1988, 1993, 1994) … Notre Dame has won the BIG EAST Championship twice (1996, 2003).
NOTRE DAME IN BIG EAST PLAY … Notre Dame owns an overall record of 91-53-18 (.617) in BIG EAST regular-season play since joining the conference in 1995 … the Irish have posted nine straight winning seasons within the conference, including this season’s 8-3-0 mark … the eight wins in BIG EAST play tied 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.
DOUBLE DIGITS … Since head coach Bobby Clark took over the Fighting Irish program in 2001, he has steered the Irish to a double-digit win total in each of his nine seasons … Notre Dame currently is 10-7-1.
WHAT’S AT STAKE … The winner of Sunday’s BIG EAST Championship quarterfinal match between Notre Dame and USF will advance to the league semifinals to take on either Louisville or DePaul … the BIG EAST Championship semifinals and final will take place at Dick Dlesk Stadium in Morgantown, W. Va. on Friday, Nov. 13 and Sunday, Nov. 15.
TAMING THE TOP SEEDS … Notre Dame has defeated both of the BIG EAST Championship top seeds this season … the Irish bested Louisville, the Red Division’s No. 1 seed, 4-0 back on Sept. 25 … Notre Dame took down the Blue Division’s top seed, Connecticut, 2-1 in overtime on Oct. 31 … the Fighting Irish are the only team to beat both the Cardinals and Huskies this season.
GOLDEN MOMENTS … Notre Dame has netted a golden goal three times in its past seven matches … Bright Dike produced a game winner in the 110th minute against Providence on Oct. 10 … junior right back Bilal Duckett tallied a golden goal in the 97th minute versus Georgetown on Oct. 21 … Dike then delivered his second golden tally of the season when he scored in the 91st minute against Connecticut on Oct. 31.
DIKE EARNS LEAGUE ACCOLADE … Senior forward Bright Dike was named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll following his three-point performance in a 2-1 win over No. 5 Connecticut on Oct. 31 … Dike assisted on Notre Dame’s first goal of the day, an equalizer in the 28th minute, and then delivered the golden goal 57 seconds into the first overtime period … it was the third time this season that Dike was named to the league’s weekly honor roll.
SENIOR DAY … Seniors Michael Thomas and Bright Dike both tallied goals in Notre Dame’s 1-0 triumph of Connecticut on Oct. 31 … they were part of the nine Fighting Irish seniors recognized prior to that day’s match.
SETTING THE PACE … Notre Dame is 6-1 this season when Bright Dike scores a goal … Dike leads the Irish in goals (9) and points (21) … the Irish are 5-0-1 when Michael Thomas nets a goal … Thomas is second on the Irish squad with six goals to go along with a team-high five assists.
AMONG THE LEAGUE LEADERS … Senior forward Bright Dike, the BIG EAST Preseason Offensive Player of the Year ranks second among all BIG EAST players in goals (9) and points (21) … Louisville’s Colin Rolfe is the leader in both categories with 10 goals and 22 points.
FIRST TIMERS … A trio of Notre Dame players recently have scored their first career goals … junior right back Bilal Duckett tallied the golden goal in the 97th minute in a 2-1 win at Georgetown on Oct. 21 … sophomore midfielder Michael Rose netted the lone goal (48th minute) in Notre Dame’s 1-0 win at Pittsburgh on Oct. 24 … sophomore midfielder Adam Mena scored the only Irish goal (37th minute) in a 2-1 setback against Michigan State on Oct. 28.
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS … Notre Dame’s last five matches have been decided by a single goal … the Fighting Irish have played a total of 11 one-goal games this season … the Irish are 6-5 in those contests.
SECOND HALF SUCCESS … Notre Dame has out scored its opponents 21-11 in the second half and overtime periods this season.
NIGHT OWLS … Notre Dame is 5-1-1 this season when playing at night … last season, the Fighting Irish were 7-4-2 during night games.
TAKING DOWN A TOP-FIVE … The 2-1 overtime win against fifth-ranked Connecticut on Oct. 31 marked Notre Dame’s first victory over a top-five team since they defeated No. 5 USF, 5-0, last season (Sept. 7, 2008).
TOUGH SLATE … Notre Dame faced four teams this season that were ranked in the top-five nationally at the time of the match … the Irish took on #3 Wake Forest (T, 1-1) and #1 St. John’s (L, 0-2) at the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic (Sept. 4 & 6) … the back-to-back games against Wake Forest and St. John’s was the first time ever the Fighting Irish had faced back-to-back top-three teams … Notre Dame fell at #5 South Florida, 2-1, on Sept. 20 … the Fighting Irish took down #5 Connecticut, 2-1 in overtime, on Oct. 31 … Notre Dame is 3-3-1 this season versus teams ranked in the national top-25.
IRISH EXPLOSION … The four goals scored in the second half against Louisville on Sept. 25 were the most goals scored in a single period by the Irish since they netted four in the first half in a 5-0 win over USF last season (Sept. 7, 2008).
OFFENSE AT ALUMNI … Notre Dame has scored three or more goals three times this season at the brand new Alumni Stadium … those performances have occurred against Michigan (5-0), Seattle (3-0) and Louisville (4-0) … Notre Dame scored the first nine goals at the stadium before surrendering a score to New Mexico in the 38th minute during the game on Sept. 13 … the scoreless streak in the new venue reached 217:54.
MAUND AND POWERS AT U-20 WORLD CUP … Sophomore defender Aaron Maund and freshman midfielder Dillon Powers were members of the United States Under-20 National Team that recently competed at the U-20 World Cup in Egypt … the U.S. went 1-2 and finished in 17th place, one slot shy of advancing to the Round of 16 … Powers started the first contest of group competition, a 3-0 loss to Germany on Sept. 26, and played the entire first half … in a 4-1 win over Cameroon on Sept. 29, he came on in the 73rd minute and completed the game for the United States … Powers and Maund did not enter the final match of Group C play, a 3-0 loss to Korea Republic on Oct. 2 … Maund did not see match time during the tournament … Notre Dame and UCLA were the only two schools with multiple representatives on the team … the duo returned to the Irish for the match at Marquette on Oct. 7 … Notre Dame went 3-2 in their absence.
DIKE DEPOSITS HAT TRICK … Senior forward Bright Dike had a stellar start to the 2009 season as he registered the first hat trick of his career in a 5-0 win over Michigan … the hat trick was the first for a Notre Dame player since Dave Donohue scored three times against Marquette last season.
OFFENSIVE OPENER … Notre Dame’s five-goal outburst against Michigan in the season opener was the first for the Fighting Irish since a 5-0 triumph of USF on Sept. 7, 2008 … the five tallies are the most in a season opener for Notre Dame since a 5-0 victory over Villanova in 2001, which was head coach Bobby Clark’s first game with the Irish.
SHOOTING DOWN THE COMPETITION … Notre Dame has out shot 15 of its 18 opponents so far this season … the Irish hold a 257-176 advantage in shots, including 115-69 in shots on goal, over their opponents.
ALUMNI STADIUM … The 2009 season signifies a new era for Fighting Irish soccer as Notre Dame begins play in Alumni Stadium … the Irish opened the facility with a 5-0 victory over Michigan on Sept. 1 … the $5.7 million venue resides just east of the Joyce Center on the Notre Dame campus and features a natural grass field, lights, locker rooms, restrooms, concession areas and permanent seating for over 2,000 spectators … the lead benefactors for the facility are former Irish soccer players Tom Crotty and Rob Snyder.
ONE FOR THE RECORD BOOK … Jeb Brovsky’s goal in the 26th minute of the season-opening 5-0 win over Michigan was the first goal scored in Alumni Stadium … Michael Thomas collected the assist on the play.
LEAGUE HONORS FOR DIKE AND THOMAS … Senior forward Bright Dike was named the 2009 BIG EAST Preseason Offensive Player of the Year … he was joined on the league’s all-preseason squad by Irish senior midfielder Michael Thomas.
POWERS EARNS NATIONAL HONORS … Freshman midfielder Dillon Powers was named the 2008-09 Gatorade Boys Soccer Player of the Year … in addition, he was selected as the U.S. Soccer Development Academy Co-Player of the Year in July.
RETURNING FIREPOWER … Notre Dame returned 38 of 41 goals scored from last season … leading the way was senior forward Bright Dike, who led all BIG EAST players in goals (12) and points (29) one year ago … Michael Thomas was the top scoring midfielder in the league with 21 points on eight goals and five assists … junior forward Jeb Brovsky is back after totaling five goals and six assists as a sophomore … seniors Dave Donohue (5g, 5a) and Justin Morrow (2g, 4a) registered 15 and eight points, respectively, one season ago … sophomore Brendan King and senior Tamba Samba chipped in two goals apiece for the Irish … King also added three assists.
COLLEGE SOCCER NEWS WATCH LISTS … Two Notre Dame freshmen were named to the College Soccer News `100 Freshmen To Keep An Eye On’ list for the 2009 season … midfielder/defender Danny O’Leary and midfielder Dillon Powers were selected to the list and are part of a very talented six-man freshman class for the Irish.
FRESHMAN CLASS NATIONALLY RANKED … Notre Dame’s freshman class was ranked ninth according to College Soccer News … Bob Novak (M), Danny O’Leary (M/D), Dillon Powers (M), Kyle Richard (M/F), Grant Van De Casteele (D) and Eric Tilley (M/D) make up the stellar class.
IRISH CAPTAINS … Senior midfielders Dave Donohue, Justin Morrow and Michael Thomas along with fifth-year senior midfielder/defender Cory Rellas were named team captains for the 2009 campaign … this is the second straight season in which Thomas has been an Irish captain, while the other three are first-time captains.
SEASON IN REVIEW … Last season, Notre Dame posted a 12-7-2 mark, including a 7-2-2 record in conference play, en route to capturing its second straight BIG EAST Blue Division title … the Fighting Irish garnered the 12th seed for the NCAA Championship … the Irish fell to Northwestern, 2-1, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Alumni Field … the Fighting Irish concluded the season ranked 16th in the final National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) poll … Notre Dame averaged 1.95 goals per game last season, while allowing 1.10 per contest … Bright Dike led the BIG EAST in goals (12) and total points (29) … the forward copped first team all-league and all-region honors in 2008 … central defender Matt Besler was named a first-team All-American and first team Academic All-American in addition to being tabbed as the NSCAA Scholar-Athlete of the Year … Besler became the highest MLS SuperDraft pick in program history as he was selected eighth overall by the Kansas City Wizards … the New York Red Bulls drafted his backline mate, Jack Traynor, with the 29th overall selection.
SIGN UP FOR IRISH ALERT … 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.