Oct. 10, 2002
Notre Dame, Ind. – THE BOSTON COLLEGE GAME – Notre Dame will be on the road for the fourth time in five games when the Irish travel to Chestnut Hill, Mass., on Sat., Oct. 12 to face BIG EAST rival Boston College at 1:00 p.m. (EDT). Coach Bobby Clark’s squad is unranked for the first time this season, while the Eagles are ranked 15th in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)/adidas and 17th in the Soccer America polls.
SCOUTING THE IRISH – This is the only competition for the Irish this week as Notre Dame heads into the contest with a 5-3-3 overall record and 2-2-1 mark in BIG EAST play. The Irish were 1-1 in action last week as they dropped a 1-0 overtime decision to Pittsburgh at home and then posted a 1-0 victory on the road at Akron in a non-conference test. Five of Notre Dame’s 11 games have been decided in overtime with the Irish owning 1-1-3 record in those contests. Coach Bobby Clark’s squad has played four of its last six games on the road. Notre Dame has outscored its opponents 20-12 and 10-4 in league contests. The Irish defense has recorded two shutouts and has held its opponents to one goal or less on nine occasions. Six of the games have been decided by a single goal. Senior Erich Braun (Frankfurt, Germany) and junior Chad Riley (Houston, Texas) are tied for first in scoring with 12 points each. Braun has scored six goals this season, while Riley has tallied two goals and dished off a team-leading eight assists. All six of Braun’s goals have been scored in three games as he has had three two-goal outings – versus Southwest Missouri State, Seton Hall and Providence. He heads into this weekend’s game with Boston College having not scored a goal in five outings. Riley has been one of the team’s most consistent performers of late as he has registered two goals and six assists (10 points) in Notre Dame’s last seven games. Riley dished off a career-best three assists in the win over the Friars. His 0.73 assist-per-game average ties him for nineth nationally. Justin Detter (White Lake, Mich.) ranks second on the team in goals scored with four. In addition, he has dished off two assists for 10 points. Rafael Garcia (Palmdale, Calif.) stands fourth in the scoring column with two goals. Also, Greg Martin (Plano, Texas) and Luke Boughen (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) each have scored a pair of goals. Devon Prescod (Marietta, Ga.) and Jack Stewart (Torrance, Calif.) rounds out the goal scoring for the Irish with a score each. Kevin Goldthwaite (Sacramento, Calif.) has dished off three assists, while Kevin Richards (Warwick, Bermuda) has been credited with two this season. Goalkeeper Chris Sawyer (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) was injured in the Pittsburgh game on Friday night. He was replaced by Greg Tait (Fayetteville, N.Y.) 5:15 into the second half. Sawyer has played 912:36 of a possible 1075:32 and has allowed 10 goals and made 31 saves for a 0.99 goals against average and .756 save percentage.
SCOUTING THE EAGLES – Boston College heads into the contest with a 7-2-0 overall record and 4-1-0 mark in BIG EAST play. The Eagles have won five of their last six games – the loss in that stretch was a 1-0 setback to Connecticut at home. Boston College is coming off a 4-0 win at Dartmouth on Wednesday afternoon. Senior Casey Schmidt led the Eagles with his first career hat trick and leads the team with six goals (12 points) in 2002. RECAPPING LAST WEEK’S ACTION – Notre Dame was shutout for the second time in three games as the Irish dropped a 1-0 overtime decision at home to Pittburgh, but then rebounded by posting its first road win of the 2002 campaign with a 1-0 victory at Akron. Pittsburgh: Keeyan Young scored the game-winning goal for the Panthers with 1:57 remaining in the first sudden death overtime. It was the first home loss for the Irish this season and just the second during head coach Bobby Clark’s tenure. Notre Dame outshot the Panthers 20-10 in the contest and owned an 11-1 advantage in corner kicks. The Irish had several scoring opportunities, but Panther goalkeeper Justin Gaul came up with a couple of key stops. Notre Dame outshot Pittsburgh 10-3 in the first half. Irish goalkeeper Chris Sawyer suffered an injury early after halftime and played just 5:15 of the second half before being replaced by Greg Tait. Akron: Notre Dame and Akron met for the first time since 1989, and the Irish came away with their first win in nine meetings against the Zips. Jack Stewart scored his first career goal at the 71:25 mark of the contest with an assist from Chad Riley. Greg Tait played the entire game in making his first start of the season. He came up with a season-high five saves. Riley’s assist was his eighth of the season.
HEAD COACH BOBBY CLARK – Bobby Clark is in his second season at Notre Dame after being named the fifth head coach in the program’s history on Jan., 19, 2001. In his 16th season as a collegiate coach, Clark has an overall record of 170-73-28 for an overall winning percentage of .679 and is 17-10-3 (.61.7) at Notre Dame. Heading into the 2002 campaign, he ranked 16th all-time among active Division I coaches in terms of winning percentage. Last season, he guided the Irish to a 12-7 mark and their first NCAA tournament appearance since 1996. Prior to coming to Notre Dame, he spent five seasons guiding the Stanford Cardinal to a 71-21-12 mark and .740 winning percentage from 1996-2000. Clark also was head coach at Dartmouth from 1985-93 where he led the Big Green to an 82-242-13 record (.646). Seven of Clark’s teams have advanced to NCAA tournament play with his ’98 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 (1994-95).
CLARK HAS LED THREE DIFFERENT TEAMS INTO NCAAs – As a head coach, Bobby Clark is certainly NCAA tournament tested. With Notre Dame’s appearance in the 2001 championship, he has now guided three different schools to the NCAA postseason. At Dartmouth, he led the Big Green to two appearances in nine years, while his Cardinal teams at Stanford earned four berths in the five seasons he spent on Palo Alto, Calif., campus. Clark is the first Notre Dame coach to lead the Irish to the NCAAs in his first season.
SERIES RECORD VS. BOSTON COLLEGE – Saturday’s matchup will be the ninth meeting between the two schools with the Irish holding a 5-3 advantage in the series. Notre Dame has won four of the last five games, including last year’s 2-0 victory at Alumni Field. The Irish’s last three wins over the Eagles have been shutouts as Notre Dame has outscored Boston College 6-2. The Eagles’ last win was a 2-0 decision at home during the 2000 campaign. Notre Dame is 1-2 in games played in Chestnut Hill, Mass., with its only win coming in 1998 – a 3-0 shutout.
IRISH GARNER FIRST ROAD WIN OF SEASON – Notre Dame’s victory at Akron on Sunday was its first road win of the 2002 campaign. The Irish also earned a victory over Southwest Missouri State on a neutral site to begin the season.
HOME COOKIN’ FOR THE IRISH UNDER CLARK – Notre Dame suffered its first home loss of 2002 when the Irish dropped a 1-0 decision to Pittsburgh in overtime on Friday. It was just the second loss at home for the Irish during Bobby Clark’s tenure. The setback was the first for the Irish since dropping a 3-0 decision to Rutgers on September 22, 2001. Prior to the loss to the Panthers, Notre Dame had produced an 8-0-1 mark in its last nine games.
FURMAN WIN SIGNIFICANT – Notre Dame’s 2-1 victory over Furman proved to be significant because it marked the highest ranked opponent that an Irish team had beaten since a 1-0 victory over second-ranked UNC Greensboro in the first round of the 1996 NCAA Tournament and was the last win over a top-10 team at home since a 1-0 victory over 10th-ranked St. John’s during the 2000 campaign. In its 25-plus seasons of varsity competition, Notre Dame has nine wins over teams that have been ranked in the top 10 of either the NSCAA or Soccer America polls.
TOUGH STRETCH – Notre Dame’s contest at Boston College on Saturday will mark the fourth road game for the Irish in their last five games. Coach Bobby Clark’s squad will play four of their remaining six regular season games at home. The last two road contests of the season will be at Villanova (Oct. 23) and Georgetown (Oct. 26).
THE CAPTAINS – Seniors Erich Braun and Justin Ratcliffe and junior Greg Martin are serving as captains for the 2002 men’s soccer team. Braun and Ratcliffe will be serving as captains for the first time in their career, while Martin has been selected as one of the Irish leaders for the second consecutive year. In 2001, Martin was the first sophomore in the 25-year history of the program to serve as a captain and becomes just the 10th player ever to serve as a two-time captain.
GOING OVERTIME – Through the first 11 games of the season, Notre Dame has already played five overtime contests. The Irish are 1-1-3 in those contests with four of them going to double overtime. Notre Dame’s win was against Furman in double overtime as the Irish tallied the game-winner with 2:31 left in the second overtime session. Last season, Notre Dame played just three overtimes in 19 outings and were 1-2 in those contests. Under head coach Bobby Clark, Notre Dame is 2-3-3 in overtime games.
BRAUN MOVING UP THE CHARTS – With his eight goals this season, Erich Braun has moved to 10th on the all-time Irish goals scored list with 31. His 74 points (31goals, 12 assists) places him 12th on the all-time scoring list.
THREE CHEERS FOR CHAD – Chad Riley’s three assists against Providence marked a single-game career-best for the junior who has led the Irish in that category during his two-plus seasons. He leads the team with eight assists this season, exceeded his previous single-season best of six during both the 2000 and ’01 campiagns. In 47 career games, Riley has dished off 20 assists. His team-leading match that of Ryan Cox’s during the 1998 campaign.
BIG EAST PLAY BRINGS OUT THE BEST IN SAWYER – Chris Sawyer has a knack for playing well in BIG EAST games. In Notre Dame’s five BIG EAST contests, he has surrendered just two goals in 405:072 minutes of action. In 13 career league games, he has registered five complete-game shutouts. Sawyer has played 1135:30 minutes in those games and allowed just six goals for a 0.48 goals against average. In addition, he has made 41 saves and owns a .872 save percentage.
STEADY SUB – Greg Tait filled in admirable for the Irish last Friday night when Chris Sawyer left the Pittsburgh game with an injury early in the second half. Despite being on the field for the Panthers’ game-winning goal in overtime, Tait finished with eight saves in the contest. He earned the starting nod against Akron in Sunday’s matchup two days later and came up with five saves. It was his first start since the 2001 campaign against Rutgers on September 22 in the fifth game of the season.
BOUGHEN HAS CAREER DAY AGAINST FRIARS – Sophomore Luke Boughen registered the first two goals of his collegiate career against Providence just 1:12 apart from each other. It also marked his first career points in an Irish uniform. Boughen scored his first goal at the 51:19 mark and then followed with his second score at 52:31.
RAFAEL IS COMING UP BIG – No Irish player has stepped up his level of play this season more than senior forward Rafael Garcia. He has two goals and three assists on the season and stands fourth in the scoring column with seven points. Garcia registered goals in both the Creighton and Seton Hall contests and is credited with assists in Southwest Missouri State and Furman matches. Garcia has started all 11 games. Heading into the 2002 campaign, he had made 13 starts in 38 games and had scored two goals and dished off two assists.
PRESCOD POWER – Junior forward Devon Prescod has been slowed by nagging injuries this season that has limited his playing time during the games. Prescod is slowly regaining the form of a year ago. Against Providence, he tallied his first goal of the season. He has played in all 11 games this season, and in addition to the goal, has dished off one assist.
DETTER DOING IT – Justin Detter is Notre Dame’s second-leading goal scorer this season with four goals and stands third in the Irish scoring column (10 points). Detter has already equalled his single-season best for goals scored and has 12 career goals and eight assists (32 points).
IRISH MAINSTAYS – Four Irish veterans have started 90.0 percent or better of Notre Dame’s games during their careers: Erich Braun (Sr.) – 61 of 63 (.968); Justin Ratcliffe (Sr.) – 60 of 66 (.909); Justin Detter (Jr.) – 46 of 47 (.979); and Chad Riley (Jr.) – 44 of 47 (.936).
QUICK FLICKS – Notre Dame has wasted little time in getting on the scoreboard in four of its first 11 games. Erich Braun tallied the season’s first goal 17 seconds into the contest in the season opener against Southwest Missouri State, while Rafael Garcia put in the Irish’s lone goal versus Creighton at the 7:12 mark. Against Seton Hall, Garcia scored Notre Dame’s initial goal 23:28 into the contest and Braun gave the Irish a 1-0 lead at the 11:04 mark of the match against Providence.
GETTING HIS STARTS – Freshman Dale Rellas (Plano, Texas) has been in the starting lineup all 11 of Notre Dame’s games in 2002. He was the only Irish rookie to see action against Southwest Missouri State in the season opener.
PLAYING THE BEST – The ’02 men’s soccer schedule features nine teams that advanced to NCAA tournament play a year ago. Those teams featured on the 18-game slate include: Akron, Boston College, Connecticut, Creighton, Furman, Michigan State, Rutgers, St. John’s and Seton Hall.
IRISH TABBED THIRD IN BIG EAST PRESEASON POLL – The Notre Dame men’s soccer team has been chosen to finish third in the Preseason BIG EAST Coaches Poll. Connecticut, the 2001 regular-season champion, has been chosen first by a vote of the league’s head coaches, while St. John’s, last year’s tournament champion, has been chosen second. Chris Sawyer has been selected as the Preseason Goalkeeper of the Year, while he, Erich Braun and Justin Detter were named to the Preseason All-BIG EAST squad.
25 AND COUNTING – The 2001 campaign marked the 25th season of varsity competition for the Notre Dame men’s soccer program. Since its inaugural season in 1977, Irish teams have compiled a 332-168-45 record for a .650 winning percentage. Notre Dame has won 20-plus games on three occasions and 15 or more contests 11 times. In the program’s history, only five teams have had a losing season.
ALL IN THE FAMILY – Freshman defender John Stephens (Woodbridge, Ill.) is no stranger to athletics at Notre Dame. His grandfather, Colonel John Stephens, served as Notre Dame’s longtime associate athletics director until the mid-80’s. His father, John, is a graduate of Notre Dame and received a law degree from the University.
HOME SWEET HOME – Notre Dame will play nine of its 18 regular season contests at the friendly confines of Alumni Field during the 2002 season. The Irish finished 7-1 last year at home (its only loss was to Rutgers). The Irish own a 78-29-8 mark all-time for a .713 winning percentage. The ’02 campaign will mark the 12th for Notre Dame at Alumni Field. Notre Dame owns a 10-2-1 mark (.875) at Alumni Field under Clark.
LEADER OF THE PACK – For the first time in the history of the BIG EAST Conference, six teams represented the league in the 2001 NCAA Men’s Soccer Championship. The BIG EAST led all conferences with six selections. In addition to Notre Dame, Boston College, Connecticut, Rutgers, St. John’s and Seton Hall earned spots in the 48-team field.
BIG EAST FORMAT – With the addition of Virginia Tech at the start of the 2001 campaign, the BIG EAST created a change in its regular-season format with a 10-game conference format instituted. Notre Dame will not play West Virginia and Syracuse this season.
DIADORA CHALLENGE ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM – Notre Dame had four players named to the all-tournament team at the Diadora Challenge – Erich Braun, Greg Martin, Jack Stewart (Torrance, Calif.) and Luke Boughen (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.). In addition, Braun was selected as the tournament’s MVP as the Irish also won the tournament crown.
MIKE BERTICELLI CLASSIC ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM – Three Notre Dame players – Justin Ratcliffe (Miami, Fla.), Devon Prescod (Marietta, Ga.) and Kevin Goldthwaite – were named to the all-tournament team. Bradley had four players selected, including goalkeeper Chris Dunsheath who also earned MVP honors. Furman and Cornell each placed two players on the squad.
LIGHTENING STRIKES TWICE – Notre Dame has had two games this season delayed by lightening – Creighton and Bradley. Against Creighton, there was a 30-minute lightening delay, while the Bradley contest was delayed 20 minutes in the 16th minute of the contest.
SCOTTISH CORNER KICKS – The Notre Dame men’s soccer team reported back to campus on July 21 to begin an intense 10 days of workouts in preparation for their 14-day trip to Scotland. The squad left for the native homeland of head coach Bobby Clark on Aug. 2 and returned back to Indiana on Aug. 16. The Irish made their headquarters on the University of Aberdeen and Edinburgh University campuses. Junior midfielder Greg Martin recorded the events of the trip in a diary which appeared on Notre Dame’s website (www.und.com) during the trip. Former Notre Dame men’s soccer player Thomas Crotty (1977-79) who contributed $50,000 – the entire amount needed for the cost of the trip. The Irish finished 4-0-1 while playing five games in 11 days.
Game #1 (August 4) – Notre Dame 6, Formatine United 1 Notre Dame opened its Scotland Tour with a 6-1 victory over Formatine United. Erich Braun scored two first-half goals, and Paul Rodriguez added another as the Irish built a 3-1 halftime advantage. Devon Prescod gave the Irish a 4-1 lead early into the second, while Rafael Garcia and Justin Ratcliffe also added scores. Chris Sawyer started and played the entire first half, while Greg Tait played the entire second half.
Game #2 (August 6) – Notre Dame 8, Banks of Dee 1 Notre Dame was impressive in its second game as the Irish registered an 8-1 win victory over the Banks of Dee. The Irish claimed a 3-0 halftime advantage on goals by Kevin Goldthwaite, Rafael Garcia and Erich Braun. Second-half scores from Chad Riley, Justin Ratcliffe and Devon Prescod pushed the Irish lead to 6-0. After the Banks of Dee scored its lone goal of the contest, Justin Detter and Prescod added the contest’s final two scores.
Game #3 (August 8) – Notre Dame 1, Ross County 0 Notre Dame improved to 3-0 with a 1-0 win in Dingwall over the Ross County under-21 squad. The game-winning Irish score came from Filippo Chillemi 10 minutes into the second half. The opposition nearly tied the game with three minutes remaining in the contest on a questionable call that resulted in a penalty kick, but Greg Tait’s save preserved the win.
Game #4 (August 12) – Notre Dame 2, Aberdeen FC Under-21 0 Notre Dame posted its most noteworthy victory of its two-week summer tour and improved to 4-0 with a 2-0 shutout over the Aberdeen under-21 squad. Erich Braun scored his fourth goal of the trip early in the second half with Filippo Chillemi adding the second goal midway through the half. Devon Prescod set up both goals in the game. Goalkeeper Chris Sawyer played the entire 90 minutes of the contest. The victory marked the first time in four games that one of Clark’s teams had produced a win over that squad. Previously, he had brought to Scotland two of his Dartmouth and one of his Stanford teams.
Game #5 (August 14) – Notre Dame 1, Dundee United 1 Playing its fifth game in 11 days, Notre Dame tied Dundee United 1-1 in its fifth and final game of its Scotland tour. Erich Braun netted the contest’s lone goal off an assist from Devon Prescod. Dundee United tallied the equalizer with three minutes left in the contest.