Sophomore midfielder Blake Townes

Keys To The Game: North Carolina State

Oct. 3, 2015

ND Notes Get Acrobat Reader

#7/4 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (7-2-1, 2-1-0 ACC) vs. #RV/21 North Carolina State Wolfpack (6-2-1, 1-1-1 ACC)

DATE: Oct. 4, 2015
TIME: 1 p.m. (ET)
LOCATION: Raleigh, N.C. (Dail Soccer Stadium)
LAST MEETING: ND, 2-1 (10/19/13 at NCSU)
TICKETS:; (919) 865-1510

Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) play resumes for the University of Notre Dame men’s soccer team on Sunday at North Carolina State. The No. 7/4 Irish are set to make just their second appearance at the Dail Soccer Stadium against the Wolfpack at 1 p.m. (ET). The match will air live on ESPN3.

Scouting North Carolina State

North Carolina State enters Sunday’s match with a 6-2-1 record, earning a result in four of its last five starts dating back to a 2-1 win over Boston College on Sept. 11. The Wolfpack battled Louisville to a 1-1 draw in their most recent match on Sept. 25.

Head coach Kelly Findley is 38-35-11 (.518) in his fifth season at North Carolina State, leading the club to seven or more wins in his first four years.

Challenging Irish Schedule Rolls On

Notre Dame’s 3-1 win over No. 4 Virginia on Sept. 25 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 10 regular season games, Notre Dame has defeated No. 4 Virginia, 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.

In fact, North Carolina State is the eighth Notre Dame opponent in the season’s first 11 games to either be ranked or receiving votes in the NSCAA top 25 rankings at the time of kickoff.

Irish Offense At Full Speed

Following an uncharacteristic 1-0 shutout defeat at the hands of Xavier on Sept. 15, the Notre Dame offense has found its rhythm over the past four games. The Irish have scored 13 goals in those four starts, an average of 3.25 goals per contest, to post a 3-1 record.

Notre Dame ranks second in the ACC and seventh in the NCAA with 21 goals and 62 total points this season. Clemson has set the league pace thus far with 24 goals and 71 points.

Hubbard Joins A Select ND List

Junior goalkeeper Chris Hubbard served the secondary assist on the final Notre Dame goal during the 4-2 Irish win over Marquette on Tuesday, drilling a goal kick to sophomore forward Jeffrey Farina, who proceeded to execute a perfect flick header along to classmate Jon Gallagher on Gallagher’s team-high sixth goal of the season.

Hubbard is believed to be the first Irish goalkeeper to log a point in a match since Nov. 3, 1994, when Bert Bader (`91-’94) picked up his fifth career assist during a 6-2 Notre Dame win over Xavier in the quarterfinal round of the Midwestern Collegiate Conference (MCC) tournament. Other Irish goalkeepers with at least one career assist on the program’s all-time stat sheet are Danny Lyons (`87-’89), Hugh Breslin (`83-’86), Dan Coughlin (`81-’84) and Brian Cullather (`77-’79).

Hodan Heating Up

Senior midfielder/tri-captain Patrick Hodan has found his offensive groove at the forefront of the Notre Dame offensive lineup in his last four games. Hodan has tallied five points, on a goal and three assists, to open his 2015 scoring account since the Irish traveled to North Carolina on Sept. 18.

The reigning ACC Offensive Player of the Year, Hodan moved into a tie with fellow Irish All-American Harrison Shipp (`14) for 16th place on the all-time Notre Dame points list with 70. Hodan needed only 75 career appearances to reach the 70-point plateau, while Shipp reached that milestone in 84 games.

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 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.

— Tony Jones, Athletics Communications Assistant