May 19, 2003
Notre Dame, Ind. –
The Notre Dame men’s soccer team will embark upon an 18-game schedule in 2003 as it will face six teams that advanced to NCAA tournament play in 2002. The Irish are set to play nine home games during the upcoming season.
Visits by St. John’s and in-state rival Indiana will highlight the home slate. The Red Storm and Hoosiers both earned spots in the 48-team NCAA field last season. In addition, Notre Dame will play four other NCAA tournament teams from a year ago, Akron, Bradley, California and Connecticut.
Coach Bobby Clark’s squad, returns nine starters from last year’s squad that finished with a 12-6-3 overall and advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament for the second time in school history. Notre Dame opens up the ’03 regular season in Bloomington, Ind., at the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic, August 29-30. The Irish open up play against Alabama-Birmingham and then take on California on the following day.
The Irish will play all seven of its games during the month of September at home on Alumni Field. The home opener also will be the first BIG EAST Conference game when Notre Dame plays host to St. John’s on Saturday, September 6.
The second annual Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament will take place on Friday, September 12 and Sunday, September 14. The event is named in honor of former Irish head men’s soccer coach Mike Berticelli who passed away suddenly in January of 2000. This year’s field will include Akron, Indiana and Fresno State. Friday’s matchups features the Hoosiers and Zips in the first game, followed by Notre Dame and Fresno State in a first-ever meeting between the two schools. The Hoosiers and Bulldogs will play the opening contest on Sunday, followed by Akron and Notre Dame. The Irish and Zips played twice last season with Notre Dame winning both games – 1-0 at Akron during the regular season and 3-1 at Alumni Field in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
Indiana returns to Alumni Field less than a week later as the Hoosiers and Irish square off in a regular-season matchup on Thursday, September 18. The two schools faced each other in the second round of the ’02 NCAA tournament in Bloomington with Indiana earning a 1-0 victory. This year’s visit by the Hoosiers will be its first to Notre Dame for a regular season contest since the ’97 campaign.
Notre Dame’s second conference game of the season will be against West Virginia when the Irish entertain the Mountaineers on Sunday, September 21. The Irish conclude the first full month of play with home games against Bradley (September 25) and Georgetown (September 28).
The Irish will play seven of their final nine games on the road. The month of October commences with a BIG EAST road swing at Syracuse (October 2) and Pittsburgh (October 5). Notre Dame then returns home for a conference match against Rutgers on October 11.
Following the Rutgers game, the Irish play four consecutive contests on the road beginning with Cleveland State (October 14) and then three league matches versus Connecticut (October 18), Providence (October 22) and Virginia Tech (October 25).
The final home game of the season will be against Villanova on Friday, October 31. The regular season concludes with a match at Michigan State on Sunday, November 2. It will mark the first meeting between the two schools since 1993 as the Irish will travel to East Lansing for the first time since 1992.
Notre Dame is scheduled to play two exhibtion games before the start of the season. The Irish will play at St. Louis on Saturday, August 23 and then play host to Michigan in the final exhibition tuneup on Monday, August 25.