Sophomore forward Jeffrey Farina had a team-high two assists in Notre Dame's 3-1 win over No. 4 Virginia last Friday

Keys To The Game: Marquette

Sept. 29, 2015

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#7/4 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (6-2-1) vs. Marquette Golden Eagles (3-2-2)

DATE: Sept. 29, 2015
TIME: 7 p.m. (ET)
LOCATION: Notre Dame, Ind. (Alumni Stadium — cap. 3,500)
LAST MEETING: ND, 2-1 (8/29/14 at IU)
TICKETS:; (574) 631-7356

Riding a two-game winning streak, the No. 7/4 University of Notre Dame men’s soccer team is set to host Marquette on Tuesday night in nonconference action at Alumni Stadium. The 7 p.m. (ET) match is the only regular season Irish men’s soccer game scheduled to air in 2015 on WatchND, with the remainder available on ESPN3.

Here are series notes and team facts entering Tuesday’s meeting of former BIG EAST Conference foes Notre Dame and Marquette.

Scouting Marquette

Marquette enters Tuesday’s match with a 3-2-2 record, battling St. John’s to a scoreless draw on Saturday in its opening BIG EAST Conference match of 2015. Kelmend Islami leads all Golden Eagle players with four goals and nine points.

Head coach Louis Bennett is 66-82-27 (.454) in his 10th season at Marquette, leading the Golden Eagles to consecutive NCAA Championship appearances during the 2012 and 2013 seasons and the BIG EAST Blue Division crown in 2011.

ND-MU A BIG EAST Throwback

Notre Dame and Marquette were each members of the old BIG EAST Conference from 2005-12. The teams met a total of 10 times during the BIG EAST era, with the Irish compiling an 8-1-1 (.850) record in those games and a 15-6-2 (.696) series edge overall.

Marquette has only defeated Notre Dame one time since 1990, a 1-0 shutout on Oct. 12, 2011 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Both teams battled to a 1-1 draw on Oct. 27 of the following year at Marquette.

ACC Sets The Pace In First RPI

With three of the last four national champions, and seven of the past 10 NCAA title winners overall claiming league ties, the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) has long been considered the premiere league in college soccer. The first 2015 Rating Percentage Index (RPI), the main metric in determining NCAA Championship seeding and at-large bids, features a strong ACC presence.

ACC teams Wake Forest, North Carolina, Clemson and Notre Dame are the top four teams in the season’s initial RPI. In fact, all 12 ACC men’s soccer affiliate programs are RPI top 50 teams, a figure that leads the NCAA. ACC teams hold an average RPI of 20.6.

The Big Ten, Colonial Athletic Association and Conference USA are each tied for second place nationally with four teams included in the initial RPI top 50.

ND Offense On A Roll In The 1st Half

Fast offensive starts have become commonplace for Notre Dame during its past three games. In fact, the Irish have been at peak offensive performance during the opening 45 minutes as of late.

Over the past three games, five of Notre Dame’s nine goals scored have been in the first half. In comparison, the Irish had scored just two first half goals combined during the season’s first six contests prior to the match at North Carolina on Sept. 18.

Ranked Wins Continue For Irish

Notre Dame’s 3-1 win over No. 4 Virginia last Friday not only handed the Cavaliers their first loss of 2015, it was also the fourth victory for the Irish over a top 25 opponent this season.

Through nine regular season games, Notre Dame has defeated No. 4 Virginia (3-1 on Friday), No. 9 Clemson (1-0 on Sept. 12), No. 14 Indiana (1-0 in double overtime on Aug. 30) and No. 24 South Florida (2-0 in Sept. 4). The Irish added a 0-0 draw against No. 13 Maryland on Aug. 28.

Result Streaks After Defeats

Notre Dame has quickly bounced back from losing streaks during the Bobby Clark era, embarking on minimum two-game result strings after losing consecutive matches on seven of eight such occasions since the 2001 season.

The last time that Notre Dame dropped three straight decisions was Sept. 22-29 of the 2000 season, a pair of 1-0 defeats at the hands of Seton Hall (Sept. 22) and Connecticut (Sept. 24) and a 3-2 loss to Pittsburgh (Sept. 29).

— Tony Jones, Athletics Communications Assistant