Nov. 7, 2008
#23 Louisville (11-6-2) vs. #11 Notre Dame (11-5-2)
Saturday, Nov. 8 – 6:00 p.m. (ET)
Alumni Field – Notre Dame, Ind.
Live streaming broadcast on und.com
Live stats via Gametracker on und.com
Notre Dame will play host to Louisville in a BIG EAST Championship quarterfinal match on Saturday, Nov. 8. Game time is set for 6:00 p.m. (ET) at Alumni Field. The Irish are the top seed from the Blue Division, while the Cardinals are the fourth seed from the Red Division. This will be the second meeting between the two teams this season. Louisville topped Notre Dame 2-1 in overtime on Sept. 28. The winner of Saturday’s contest will advance to the conference semifinals in Tampa, Fla. on Friday, Nov. 14.
HOW TO FOLLOW: Saturday’s match between Notre Dame and Louisville 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 … live stats will be available through Gametracker via und.com by going to the Notre Dame men’s soccer page and clicking on `Schedule’ to select the game to follow … also sign up for `Irish Alert’ on und.com to receive text message score updates.
ABOUT THE IRISH: Notre Dame (11-5-2) went 2-0-0 last week to clinch the BIG EAST Blue Division championship … that marked the second straight regular-season league title for Notre Dame … the Irish topped Georgetown 2-1 on Wednesday behind two goals from sophomore forward Jeb Brovsky … Notre Dame then claimed a 1-0 decision at West Virginia on Saturday … the Irish are averaging 2.11 goals per game, which ranks 13th nationally … the Fighting Irish are allowing 1.06 goals per game … Notre Dame is 8-0-1 at home this season … the Irish are riding a 12-game home unbeaten streak … senior forward Bright Dike leads the team in goals (10) and total points (25) … 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 105-43-22 (.682) record during his Notre Dame tenure.
BACK-TO-BACK TITLES: The Irish have won back-to-back BIG EAST regular-season titles for the first time in program history … Notre Dame shared the Blue Division crown with Connecticut last season … this year’s title marked the third regular-season BIG EAST championship in program history … the Fighting Irish also won the championship outright in 2004
IRISH IN THE BIG EAST CHAMPIONSHIP: This is Notre Dame’s 12th trip to the BIG EAST Championship … the Irish own an 11-8-2 mark overall in the league playoffs … last season, Notre Dame defeated St. John’s 1-0 in a home quarterfinal match before taking down DePaul 2-1 in the semifinals in Storrs, Conn. … Notre Dame fell to Connecticut on its home turf in the title game, 2-0 … Notre Dame has won the BIG EAST Championship on two occasions, in 1996 and 2003 … Notre Dame is 5-1-2 at home all-time in the conference tournament, 1-5-0 in true road games and 5-2-0 at neutral sites.
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 83-50-18 (.609) 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 … 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 crown with Connecticut in 2007 … 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).
WHAT’S AT STAKE: The winner of Saturday’s BIG EAST Championship quarterfinal match between Notre Dame and Louisville will advance to the league semifinals to take on either Georgetown or South Florida … the BIG EAST Championship semifinals and final will take place at the USF Soccer/Track Stadium in Tampa, Fla. on Friday, Nov. 14 and Sunday, Nov. 16.
SERIES HISTORY VERSUS LOUISVILLE: Saturday will mark the ninth meeting all-time between Notre Dame and Louisville … the Fighting Irish are 7-1-0 against the Cardinals … Louisville captured its first ever win over Notre Dame with a 2-1 decision in overtime back on Sept. 28 at Cardinal Park … the Cardinals are 0-4-0 at Notre Dame … in the last meeting at Notre Dame, the Irish topped the Cardinals 2-1 last season … Notre Dame owns a 21-6 scoring advantage in the series.
THE LAST TIME: Notre Dame fell at Louisville, 2-1 in overtime, back on Sept. 28 at Cardinal Park … the Fighting Irish grabbed a 1-0 in the 51st minute as Bright Dike found the back of the net … the Cardinals tied it up on an Aaron Clapham penalty kick in the 90th minute … Austin Berry headed in the game winner off a corner kick from J.T. Murray 4:11 into the first overtime period … Notre Dame senior goalkeeper Andrew Quinn made five saves, while Louisville’s Andre Boudreaux had three stops … the Cardinals held a 21-10 advantage in shots and both teams had four corner kicks.
SCOUTING THE CARDINALS: Louisville is 11-6-2 on the season … the Cardinals are coming off a 2-0 victory over West Virginia on Wednesday in the first round of the BIG EAST Championship … Louisville is the fourth seed from the Red Division after finishing with a 5-5-1 league record … the Cardinals are 3-5-0 on the road this season … Louisville is averaging 1.53 goals per game, while allowing 1.05 per contest … senior Ryan McDonald and freshman Colin Rolfe both lead the team with identical stats of five goals and two assists … senior Aaron Clapham has a team-high eight assists to go along with two goals … freshman Andre Boudreaux has played every minute in goal and carries a 0.96 goals-against average and a .725 save percentage with five shutouts … last season, Louisville posted an 11-7-4 mark overall and was the runner-up in the Red Division with a 6-3-2 league mark … the Cardinals fell in the second round of the NCAA Championships to eventual national runner-up Ohio State, 1-0 … head coach Ken Lolla is in his third season at Louisville.
IRISH THOUGHTS: Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark discusses Saturday’s BIG EAST quarterfinal match against Louisville …
“It’ll be a tough game because Louisville was one of our two losses within the conference this year. There is no way we’ll be looking past this game. They are a good team that is well organized and well coached.”
LAST WEEK: Notre Dame captured the BIG EAST Blue Division title outright with a 1-0 victory over West Virginia on Saturday … freshman midfielder Brendan King scored the lone goal in the win … that was his second goal of the season … Notre Dame secured a share of the title by topping Georgetown 2-1 on Oct. 29 in the final regular-season home game for the Fighting Irish … sophomore forward Jeb Brovsky scored a single-game career-high two goals in the match … Bright Dike collected the assist on the first tally to up his team-best point total to 25 (10g, 5a) … Jack Traynor assisted on the second score for his first point of the campaign … the two goals came against Hoya goalkeeper Matthew Brutto, who had not allowed a score to that point of the season in over 763 minutes of play … as a team, Georgetown had a 0.58 goals-against average prior to the match.
CAREER-DAY FOR BROVSKY: Sophomore forward Jeb Brovsky scored a single-game career-high two goals in a 2-1 win over Georgetown on Oct. 29 … he had five career goals entering the match … Brovsky became the third Fighting Irish player to notch a multiple-goal game this season.
WEEKLY HONORS: Jeb Brovsky and Brendan King both copped national and conference accolades for their part in helping the Irish win their second straight BIG EAST Blue Division title … Brovsky, a sophomore forward, was named the BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week in addition to being selected to the Top Drawer Soccer national team of the week … he scored a single-game career-high two goals in a 2-1 win over Georgetown on Oct. 29 … King, a freshman midfielder, was named to the Soccer America national team of the week along with being chosen to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll … the rookie netted the game winner in a 1-0 victory at West Virginia on Saturday.
A DAY OF FIRSTS FOR TUTTLE: Junior goalkeeper Philip Tuttle notched his first career win and shutout in the 1-0 victory over West Virginia on Nov. 1 … Tuttle, who was making just the second start of his career, made four saves.
BESLER EARNS ACADEMIC HONORS: Notre Dame senior defender Matt Besler has been selected to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District V men’s soccer team … his name will now appear on the national ballot for a chance to be voted as Academic All-American … voting is done by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) … Besler, a central defender, carries a 3.462 cumulative grade-point average in the College of Arts and Letters as a pre-professional studies and psychology major … this season, he has played every possible minute on the field … Besler has notched three points on one goal and one assist, while anchoring a Fighting Irish defense that has posted six shutouts on the season.
RELLAS RETURNS: Notre Dame senior midfielder/defender Cory Rellas saw his first action of the season in the Connecticut match on Oct. 25 … Rellas had missed the first 15 games of the season due to a knee injury … he has come off the bench to play in all three games since his return … Rellas started all 24 matches last season in the central defense for the Fighting Irish.
IRISH OFFENSE AMONG NATION’S BEST: The Notre Dame offense ranks 13th among all NCAA Division I teams by averaging 2.11 goals per game.
DOMINATION FROM DIKE: Senior forward Bright Dike has team-high totals in goals (10) and points (25) … those are both single-season career-high numbers for the senior … his five assists also are a career-best mark … Dike ranks first in the BIG EAST by averaging 0.56 goals per game … he has notched a point in a team-high 11 games this season.
THOMAS A CONSISTENT FORCE: Junior midfielder Michael Thomas has notched a point in 10 games this season … Thomas is second on the team in goals (8) and points (20) … he has four assists … those are all single-season career-best marks for Thomas.
LEADING THE LEAGUE: Bright Dike and Michael Thomas rank first and third, respectively, in points per game among all BIG EAST Conference players … Dike is averaging 1.39 points per game, while Thomas has a 1.11 mark.
OFFENSIVE OUTBURST: The Fighting Irish have combined to score 34 goals during their 11 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 38 goals in 18 games so far this season after scoring 36 in 24 matches all of last season.
WIDE MARGINS: Eight of Notre Dame’s 18 games this season have been decided by three or more goals … the Irish are 7-1 in those contests.
SPREADING THE WEALTH: The Irish have had at least three different players score a goal in a game seven times this season … 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 13 players have tallied at least one point on the year.
ROOKIE 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 16-7 in the first half this season … the Fighting Irish also have out shot opponents 128-86 during the first period of play.
FINISHING STRONG: The Fighting Irish have out scored their opponents 22-10 in the second half this season.
CORNERING THE MARKET: Notre Dame has gained 30 more corner kicks (107-77) than its opponents this season … the Irish own a decisive 58-37 edge in corners in the first half.
HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE: Notre Dame is 8-0-1 at home this season … the Fighting Irish are riding a 12-game home unbeaten streak … the Irish are 11-0-1 in that span … Notre Dame is 13-0-3 in its last 16 regular-season BIG EAST home games … the Irish have gone undefeated at home in BIG EAST play at home over the past two seasons … Notre Dame’s last loss to a BIG EAST foe at Alumni Field was a 2-0 setback to South Florida on Sept. 8, 2006 … the Irish are 16-0-3 at home against BIG EAST teams since that loss to the Bulls.
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 … the next RPI will be released on Nov. 11
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 faced another challenging regular-season schedule this season … there are eight teams ranked in the most recent Soccer America top-25 poll that appeared on Notre Dame’s 2008 slate … Akron (3), St. John’s (5) and South Florida (10) are in the top 10, while Michigan State (12), Michigan (14), Connecticut (16), Duke (18) and Indiana (22) also appear in the rankings … Notre Dame is 11th in the poll.
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 105-43-22 at the school … he is second on Notre Dame’s career wins list behind Rich Hunter (1977-83), who is first with 128 wins … during his collegiate coaching career, Clark has a 258-106-47 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 Oct.16 and concluding Nov. 19 … votes from coaches and media will be coupled with fan balloting to determine the recipient of the award … winners will be announced during the 2008 NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Championship in Frisco, Texas, scheduled for December 12-14.
VOTE FOR BESLER: Cast your votes for Matt Besler for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award by going to http://www.seniorclassaward.com/vote/ and clicking on `Men’s Soccer’ … you can vote once per day … fans also can vote for Matt by texting S1 to 839863 via your cellular phone … fan balloting counts for 1/3 of the total with the remaining 2/3 determined by NCAA Division I coaches and national media members … voting ends Nov. 19.
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 87 games, including 70 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 in 2006 and 2007.
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 is serving as a team tri-captain for the second straight season … senior defender Matt Besler also is 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 128-38-18 (.745) 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.