Junior midfielder Oliver Harris

Keys To The Game: ACC Final

Nov. 14, 2015

by Tony Jones

ND Notes | BUY TICKETS | ACC Championship Information

#9 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (11-3-5, 4-2-2 ACC) vs. #13 Syracuse Orange (12-5-3, 3-4-1 ACC)

DATE: Nov. 15, 2015
TIME: 1 p.m. (ET)
LOCATION: Notre Dame, Ind. (Alumni Stadium — cap. 3,500)
LAST MEETING: ND, 1-0 (9/13/14 at SU)
TICKETS: und.com/buytickets; (574) 631-7356

Championship Sunday has nearly arrived for the University of Notre Dame men’s soccer team. For the first time in program history the Irish will attempt to win the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Men’s Soccer Championship when Syracuse visits Alumni Stadium on Sunday at 1 p.m. (ET). The 2015 ACC Men’s Soccer Final will air live on ESPN3.

No. 9 Notre Dame (11-3-5) clinched its berth in the ACC final with a 1-0 shutout of No. 1 Wake Forest in front of 5,009 fans on Wednesday night in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The Irish have yet to register a loss in three seasons of ACC Championship play, compiling a tournament record of 4-0-2 since joining the ACC in 2013.

No. 13 Syracuse (12-5-3), the seventh seed in the 2015 ACC Championship, has defeated 10 seed North Carolina State (2-0 on Nov. 4), battled 2 seed North Carolina to a draw (1-1 on Nov. 8) before advancing 4-3 on penalty kicks, and shut out 3 seed Clemson (2-0 on Wednesday night) to advance to its first ACC final.

Tickets are available through the Murnane Family Ticket Office for Sunday’s ACC Men’s Soccer Final matchup at Alumni Stadium. Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for youth and seniors, with any ACC member student that shows a valid college ID admitted free of charge.

For additional information or to purchase ACC Men’s Soccer Final tickets, contact the Murnane Family Ticket Office at (574) 631-7356. Ticket information is also available at UND.com/buytickets and by following @NDTix on Twitter.

Scouting Syracuse

Syracuse, the seventh seed in the 2015 ACC Championship, has defeated No. 10 seed North Carolina State (2-0 on Nov. 4), battled No. 2 seed North Carolina to a draw (1-1 on Nov. 8) before advancing 4-3 on penalty kicks, and shut out No. 3 seed Clemson (2-0 on Wednesday night) to advance to its first ACC final.

Julian Buescher leads all Syracuse players with eight goals and seven assists (23 points), while Ben Polk has contributed a team-high nine goals and four assists for his 22 points.

Head coach Ian McIntyre is in his sixth season at the helm of the Syracuse program, and has compiled a 57-44-12 (.558) mark with the Orange. McIntyre is looking to lead Syracuse to its first conference tournament title since 1985.

Conference Tourney Clean Sheets

With Wednesday’s 1-0 shutout of No. 1 Wake Forest, Notre Dame claimed its second straight clean sheet in ACC Championship play, and its fourth shutout in its last six match appearances in the conference tournament dating back to 2013.

Notre Dame has not allowed a goal in a home conference tournament match since falling to Villanova 1-0 in the first round of the BIG EAST Conference Championship on Nov. 3, 2011.

In Search Of Lucky Number Seven

Notre Dame is in search of its seventh conference tournament championship in program history with Sunday’s ACC Men’s Soccer Final on the horizon. The Irish won the Midwestern Collegiate Conference (MCC) crown on three occasions (1988, 1993, and 1994), before adding three BIG EAST titles in 1996, 2003, and 2012.

If it can secure its first ACC Championship final victory, Notre Dame would be become the first non-Mid Atlantic ACC tournament champion since Boston College won the 2007 conference title.

Senior Class Is Postseason Tested

Sunday’s ACC Men’s Soccer Final matchup with Syracuse at Alumni Stadium will be the 20th career postseason contest for the Notre Dame class of 2016, which includes both conference and NCAA tournament matches. The Irish are 14-3-2 (.789) in the second season since 2011, winning the 2012 BIG EAST Conference Championship, the 2013 College Cup, and reaching the final match of the 2015 ACC Championship in that span.

Trying To Win The Treble

A Sunday victory in the ACC Men’s Soccer Final would give the Notre Dame class of 2016 the distinction of being a part of not only the first ACC tournament championship team in program history, but also the third class to win conference tournaments in two different leagues (1993 and 1994).

Notre Dame would also have earned ACC regular-season (2013 share and 2014 Coastal), tournament, and NCAA Championship (2013) titles since joining the top league in men’s soccer prior to the 2013 campaign.

Long History Against The Orange

Notre Dame and Syracuse will collide for the 17th time in series history on Sunday to decide the 2015 ACC Men’s Soccer Championship, the first meeting between the teams on the Notre Dame campus since a 3-0 Irish win on Sept. 21, 2008 at old Alumni Field.

The Irish have earned 12 straight decisions against the Orange since 1998, posting a 10-0-2 (.917) record with a 23-4 aggregate goal advantage over Syracuse during that span. Sunday’s match will be the third postseason game in series history, with Notre Dame claiming BIG EAST Championship results in the 2005 first round (0-0 draw, 4-2 in PKs) and 2012 quarterfinals (4-2 win at Syracuse).


Tony Jones, athletics communications assistant at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2012 and coordinates all media efforts for the Notre Dame softball and men’s soccer programs. A native of Jamestown, New York, Jones is a 2011 graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and prior to arriving at Notre Dame held positions at the University of Louisiana at Monroe and with the National Football League’s Buffalo Bills.