Oct. 30, 2001
THE WEEK AHEAD – The 20th-ranked Notre Dame men’s soccer team (9-5-0, 6-3-0) concludes the regular season with two games at home on Alumni Field this week as the Irish play host ato IUPUI on Sat., Oct. 30 at 7:00 p.m. and then meets Syracuse on Sat., Nov. 3 at 7:30 p.m.
RECAPPING THE WEEK – Notre Dame went 1-1 in action last week in two road games. The Irish defeated Providence 2-0 in its first test of the week and then dropped a 1-0 setback to Connecticut. The win over the Friars was the sixth straight for the Irish, its longest since the 1991 campaign when that Notre Dame squad won eight straight. It also marked the fifth straight shutout for the Irish – the second-longest shutout streak in school history (the 1983 Notre Dame team registered seven straight shutout wins in 1983). The win over Providence was also the sixth for the Irish in BIG EAST play, which equalled the mark of the 1996 squad for single-season league wins. PROVIDENCE – Freshman goalkeeper Chris Sawyer (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) recorded four saves while not allowing a goal for the fifth consecutive game as the Irish registered their sixth team shutout of the season. After a scoreless first half, Notre Dame took the lead in the 59th minute on freshman Kevin Goldthwaite’s second goal of the season which came off an assist from Kevin Richards (Warwick, Bermuda). The Irish completed the scoring eight minutes later when junior forward Erich Braun (Frankfurt, Germany) took a pass from Justin Detter (White Lake, Mich.) and knocked it in for his team-leading 11th goal of the season. With the goal, Braun extended his consecutive-games scoring streak to six while also hetting a goal in all 10 contest in which the Irish have in this season. CONNECTICUT – Notre Dame had its six-game win streak snapped as the Irish suffered a 1-0 setback at 10th-ranked Connecitcut. The loss also ended a string of five straight shutouts. UConn’s Damani Ralph provided the game’s lone goal 15:03 into the contest in a game that was stastically dominated by Notre Dame as the Irish outshot the Huskies 13-5 in the game and owned an 11-2 advantage in corner kicks. The goal was the first allowed by the Irish more than five-plus games. Chris Sawyer did not make a save in the game.
IUPUI CONTEST TO BE TELEVISED BY WHME TV-46 – The game will be shown tape-delayed by WHME TV-46 in South Bend, Ind. Bob Nagle will provide the game analysis, while Harv Humphrey will serve as the color analyst.
SERIES RECORD VS. IUPUI – This will be the fifth meeting between the two schools with the Irish owning a 3-0-1 advantage in the series. The two team battled to a 0-0 deadlock last year in Indianapolis. Two of the last three meetings have gone to overtime. Notre Dame posted back-to-back 1-0 wins over the Jaguars in 1998 and ’99.
SERIES RECORD VS. SYRACUSE – Notre Dame has won three straight against over the Orangmen and has oustscored them 8-1 in those contests. The Irish lead the series 5-2 and have won five of the last six meetings (since beginning BIG EAST play in 1995). Notre Dame has recorded back-to-back shutouts – 3-0 in 2000 and 2-0 in ’99.
HEAD COACH BOBBY CLARK – Bobby Clark is in his first season at Notre Dame. He was named the fifth head coach in the history of the Notre Dame men’s soccer program on Jan. 19, 2001. In his 15th season as a collegiate coach, Clark was victorious in his debut on the Irish sidelines in Notre Dame’s 5-0 win over Villanova. Prior to coming to Notre Dame, he spent five seasons guiding the Stanford Cardinal to a 71-21-12 record and .740 winning percentage from 1996-2000. Clark also was the head coach at Dartmouth from 1985-1993 where he led the Big Green to an 82-42-13 mark (.646). Heading into this season, Clark ranked 15th among active Division I head men’s soccer coaches in terms of winning percentage. In 14-plus seasons, he owns a 162-68-25 record for a .684 winning percentage. Six of Clark’s teams have advanced to NCAA tournament play with his 1998 Stanford squad finishing as the NCAA runnerup that season. In between his coaching stints at Dartmouth and Stanford, he was head coach of the New Zealand National Team. Clark coached his 250th college game on Oct. 11 when the Irish traveled to West Virginia.
NOTRE DAME CELEBRATING 25TH SEASON OF VARSITY COMPETITION – The 2001 campaign marks the 25th season of varsity competition for the Notre Dame men’s soccer team. Since its inaugural campaign in 1977, Irish teams have compiled a 324-163-43 mark for a .652 winning percentage. Notre Dame has won 20-plus games on three occasions and 15 or more games 11 times. In the program’s history, only five teams have had a losing season.
IRISH EYES ARE SMILING – Notre Dame’s six-game win streak prior to the loss to Connecticut was the longest since the 1991 campaign. The Irish’s nine wins are already more than in each of the two previous seasons. Notre Dame’s five-game BIG EAST win streak was its longest since becoming a league member in 1996. During its six-game win streak, the Irish outscored their opponents 13-1.
ROAD WARRIORS FIND SUCCESS – Notre Dame will play its final two games at home following a recent stretch of playing seven of its last nine games on the road. Notre Dame was 5-2 in that road stretch which included four consecutive road shutouts. The Irish are 5-3 playing playing the opponent’s field and own an overall 5-4 playing away from the friendly confines of Alumni Field.
THRE STRAIGHT ROAD SHUTOUTS A RARITY – Notre Dame’s four consecutive road shutouts was a first since the 1993 campaign when that Irish squad posted wins over Xavier (1-0), Ohio State (1-0), Loyola-Chicago (7-0) and Bowling Green (2-1).
ROLLING ALONG – Erich Braun’s 11 goals this season are a personal best for the third-year forward who scored nine goals as freshman. His 25 points (11 goals, three assists) also marks a career-best. He is the first since Shane Walton in 1998 to register 10-plus goals in a season. Heading into the Connecticut game, he had had scored in six straight games and in each of the 10 games in which Notre Dame had scored a goal.
PRESCOD POWER – Sophomore Devon Prescod has had a presence in the Irish lineup this season as he has earned 13 starts in the 14 games he has played. Entering the 2001 campaign, Prescod had one goal to his credit. This year, he stands second in the Irish scoring column with four goals and five assists (13 points). Prescod has had a goal either a goal or an assist in each of Notre Dame’s last four games.
DETTER THIRD IN IRISH IN SCORING COLUMN – Justin Detter is third in the Irish scoring column with four goals and four assists (12 points). He recorded the second multiple-goal game of his career in Notre Dame’s win over Cleveland State on Sept. 19 when he tallied two goals and an assist. The five points marked the most in a single game by the Irish sophomore. Detter’s first multiple-goal outing occurred in 2000 in Notre Dame’s 2-1 victory over Northwestern.
RILEY LEADS THE TEAM IN ASSISTS – Although he is still looking for his first goal of the season, sophomore Chad Riley leads the team in assists with six. As a freshman, he had three goals and a team-best six assists for 12 points, which led the team.
IRISH MAKING IT TOUGH – Notre Dame’s combined efforts in goal and on defense has produced tremendous results as the Irish have a 1.12 goals against average as a team following five straight shutouts and six total for the season. Coach Bobby Clark’s did not give up a goal in more than 500 minutes spanning five-play contests. Before giving up the score at the 15:03 mark of the contest against Connecticut, Notre Dame had not been scored upon since the 52:58 mark of the Georgetown game on Oct. 5.
OCTOBERFEST – Notre Dame has outscored its opponents 13-2 during the month of October after being outscored 14-13 in the month of September. The Irish have outscored their opponents 26-16 this season. The 26 goals are already seven more than Notre Dame scored during the entire 2000 campaign.
IRISH ROOKIE MAKING AN IMPRESSION – Rookie goalkeeper Chris Sawyer has been in the starting lineup for each of the last nine games and has allowed just five goals in 851:04 of action. He has a 0.53 goals against average and .886 save percentage. He is 5-2 in the five BIG EAST games he has played in and has an overall record of 7-2.
SCORING OFFENSE UP – Notre Dame struggled to score goals in 2000 with just 19 goals in 17 games. This season, the Irish have already exceeded their goal-scoring total with 26 goals in the first 14 games of the season.
FRESHMEN GETTING INTO THE ACT – Notre Dame’s freshman class is beginning to make its presence felt on the field. Three rookies – Chris Sawyer, Jack Stewart (Torrance, Calif.) and Kevin Goldthwaite – were all in the starting lineup in the Irish win over Virginia Tech (the most freshmen to start in a game this season). Each has been in the starting lineup since. Sawyer has started nine of the 10 games he has played in goal, while Stewart has has gotten the starting nod in the last seven contests. Goldthwaite has cracked the starting lineup three times this season.
HOME SWEET HOME – Notre Dame is 4-1 at home this season at Alumni Field after finishing just 4-4 last year. The Irish own a 73-28-7 mark for a .708 winning percentage at Alumni Field. The 2001 campaign marks the 11th season for the Irish playing at Alumni Field.
A GAME OF FIRSTS – Notre Dame’s win over Villanova proved to be a night of firsts for many associated with the team. First, head coach Bobby Clark got his first win with the Irish in his coaching debut. Three players – freshman Kevin Goldthwaite, sophomore Greg Martin (Plano, Texas) and junior Justin Ratcliffe tallied their first collegiate goals. Martin had the first multiple-point game of his career as he also dished off his first career assist.
GETTING INTO THE ACTION – Of the six freshmen on the Irish roster, two rookies – Kevin Goldthwaite and Jack Stewart have seen action in all 14 games coming off the bench. Goldthwaite’s first collegiate game will be one to remember as his first goal in a Notre Dame uniform came off of his first-ever shot in a game. It also was the first goal scored by the Irish in 2001.
GOOD BIG EAST START – Notre Dame continued its trend of success in BIG EAST openers with its 5-0 win over Villanova in what was the season and conference opener for the Irish this season. Overall, Notre Dame is 5-1-1 in league openers since becoming a conference member in 1995. The Irish dropped their league opener last season at Boston College (2-0) and tied Pittburgh (0-0) in 1997. Both of those games were on the road. Notre Dame’s five wins this season in the BIG EAST already matches its season total of a year ago. YOUNG GUNS – The 25-man Notre Dame roster is comprised of just four seniors and nine juniors with almost half of the squad made up of sophomores and freshmen. Bobby Clark inherited a program which returned eight starters and 19 letterwinners from last year’s squad.
TOUGH LUCK IN OVERTIME – Two of Notre Dame’s four losses have come on the road and been decided in overtime. The Irish lost a 3-2 decision to Furman at the 108:59 mark on Sept. 7, in addition to its 1-0 setback at Seton Hall 6:45 into the overtime period. Notre Dame played two overtime games last season and was 0-0-2 in those matchups.
IRONMAN – Junior defender Andreas Forstner (Gerlinden, Germany) has missed just one start in the 49 games he has played in during his collegiate career. Forstner started 17 of the 18 games he played in during his rookie season and started all 17 contests in 2000. This season, he has been one of three players who has started all 14 games. Heading into its matchup with IUPUI, the third-year Irish player has made 32 consecutive starts and has played in 48 of 49 career games.