Sophomore Blake Townes

Keys To The Game: South Florida

Sept. 4, 2015

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(Video originally posted on Sept. 13, 2012)


Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament Game 2
#5/8 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (1-0-1) vs. #24/NR South Florida Bulls (2-0-0)

DATE: Sept. 4, 2015
TIME: 7:30 p.m. (ET)
LOCATION: Notre Dame, Ind. (Alumni Stadium — cap. 3,500)
LAST MEETING: T, 2-2 ND advanced on PK 5-4 (11/8/09 at ND)
TICKETS:; (574) 631-7356

Prior to the official start of the 13th annual Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament, which will feature the No. 5/8 University of Notre Dame men’s soccer team and No. 24/NR South Florida on Friday at 7:30 p.m. (ET), here are the key details pertaining to both the matchup and the prestigious tournament itself.

Berticelli Memorial Tournament History

This weekend’s four matches at Alumni Stadium comprise the 13th Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament, which has been held in every season except for 2013 dating back to the 2002 campaign. The tournament is held in honor of the former Irish head coach who compiled a 104-80-19 record during his 10-year stint at Notre Dame.

Berticelli led the Irish to three NCAA tournament appearances (1993, 1994, 1996), including the program’s first NCAA win in 1996. He guided Notre Dame to one Midwestern Collegiate Conference (MCC) regular-season title (1993) and two MCC tournament crowns (1993 & 1994). He also steered Notre Dame to its first BIG EAST tournament title in 1996.

“Mike was one of those larger than life characters, he was just a good guy,” current Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark said. “I knew him from my days at Dartmouth and then at Stanford. I remember the year he died being at a tournament down in Florida at Christmas, and I remember sitting alongside him at a game. It was always fun to sit with Mike, and he was a really good people person. He was one of the leading lights in the NSCAA, which isn’t just college but covers all areas of soccer, high school, club, even the MLS.

“It’s nice that we can celebrate and continue to remember him in this way.”

Notre Dame is 16-3-5 (.771) all-time in the Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament. The Irish have claimed the tournament championship five times: 2003, 2005, 2008, 2010 and 2012.

South Florida, UAB and Indiana have each made previous tournament appearances entering this weekend’s event. Indiana has won the Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament on six occasions (2004, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014), while UAB (second place, 2006) and USF (fourth place, 2008) are tournament entrants for the second time this weekend at Alumni Stadium.

Scouting South Florida

No. 24 South Florida opened its 2015 regular season schedule with a pair of 2-0 victories last weekend at Corbett Stadium in Tampa, including a shutout win over No. 3 Georgetown on Aug. 31. The match was originally scheduled to be played on Aug. 30 at 7 p.m., but was postponed until the following morning due to the remnants of Hurricane Erika still making its way through the state of Florida.

Four different players, Lindo Mfeka, Kendan Anderson, Brandon Riley and Eduardo Maceira, have each tallied a goal during USF’s first two contests. Mfeka also added an assist to post a team-high three points.

Goalkeeper Spasoje Stefanovic logged two saves over 180 total minutes of two USF solo shutouts. The Bulls held a total 25-15 shots edge (12-2 shots on goal) over the opposition to open the team’s current winning streak.

Head coach George Kiefer is 143-74-44 (.632) in his 14th season at USF. The Bulls have made eight NCAA Championship appearances during Kiefer’s tenure, reaching the quarterfinal round of the NCAA tournament in 2008 and 2011.

“They look very good,” Clark said. “They are very athletic, and they are a seasoned team. You might not get a harder game than this (early in the season). USF has always had good players since when we played them in the BIG EAST, and were always one of the stronger teams in the conference. They are well-coached and have talented players from all over the world.”

Pair Of Results At IU To Start ’15

Opening the regular season against two top 25 opponents for the second straight season, Notre Dame emerged with a pair of results at last weekend’s adidas/IU Credit Union Classic at Indiana.

Following Friday’s 0-0 draw with Maryland, Notre Dame is 23-10-6 (.667) all-time in season openers, including 8-3-4 (.667) under head coach Bobby Clark.

With its 1-0 win in double overtime on Sunday against host Indiana, Notre Dame claimed its third win in four meetings against the eight-time NCAA champions on Jerry Yeagley Field at Bill Armstrong Stadium.

Townes To Ueland For 1st Goal Of ’15

After more than 200 minutes of scoreless soccer to begin the 2015 season, Notre Dame broke through for a golden goal in the 109th minute against Indiana. Sophomore midfielder Blake Townes served a perfect cross from the top left of the box to freshman striker Thomas Ueland, who finished a looping kick into the right corner of the net to secure the Irish victory.

The play officially opened Ueland’s collegiate goal and point accounts, while Townes earned his first career point by notching the primary assist.

ND-UAB To Close Berticelli Tourney On Sunday

Notre Dame will cap the 13th annual Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament on Sunday, with kickoff against UAB set for 2 p.m. (ET). Coverage of that match will be available on ESPN3.

— Tony Jones, Athletics Communications Assistant