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Men's Soccer Heading To St. Louis For Exhibition Game On Saturday

Aug. 21, 2003

Complete Release in PDF Format, including updated team roster, the complete NSCAA/adidas top 25 poll and additional statistical breakdowns.
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Notre Dame at Saint Louis (Exhibition)

Saturday, Aug. 23, 2003 * Robert R. Hermann Stadium * 7 p.m.

2003 Irish begin season with exhibition in Saint Louis: The 2003 University of Notre Dame men’s soccer team will head to St. Louis, Mo., this weekend to begin preparations for the 2003 regular season. The Irish will face Saint Louis at 7 p.m. in Robert R. Hermann Stadium on Saturday, Aug. 23. The Notre Dame – Saint Louis match up is the first of two exhibition contests for the Irish this preseason, they also will face Michigan on Monday, Aug. 23, at Alumni Field.

Notre Dame and Saint Louis have met nine times during regular season play since 1980. The Billikens lead the all-time series 7-2, including a 2-0 victory in 1991 (the last meeting). Notre Dame and Saint Louis were both members of the Midwest Collegiate Conference at one time.

Notre Dame ranked 12th in NSCAA preseason poll:

The University of Notre Dame men’s soccer team, coming off a 12-6-3 record in 2002 and returning nine starters from its NCAA second-round appearance, has been ranked 12th in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)/adidas preseason poll released on Tuesday.

The #12 ranking is the highest preseason slot in school history, as Notre Dame coach Bobby Clark – in his third season with the Irish – returns his most talented Irish team and adds one of the best recruiting classes in the nation.

Selected to finish second in the BIG EAST Conference this season, Notre Dame will face seven opponents from the NSCAA preseason poll in 2003 – including conference opponents #5 St. John’s, #10 Connecticut and #22 Syracuse. Other ranked opponents on the 2003 Notre Dame schedule include #7 Indiana, #17 California and Alabama-Birmingham (also receiving votes).

Irish picked to finish second in the BIG EAST Conference:

The University of Notre Dame men’s soccer team has been picked to finish second in the BIG EAST Conference in 2003, as a result of a vote from the league’s coaches. The conference preseason poll was released on Thursday and the Irish, 12-6-3 a year ago, earned 128 points, finishing behind St. John’s (135 points) and ahead of Connecticut (127) and defending league champion Boston College (117). Notre Dame received three first place votes, while the Red Storm took home five.

The conference also announced its preseason honors and junior Chris Sawyer was selected for one of the three major awards. Sawyer, who finished the 2002 season with an 8-4-3 record and 0.99 goals-against average, was named the 2003 Preseason Goalkeeper of the Year. Connecticut’s Cesar Cuellar ended up as the preseason offensive player of the year, while St. John’s Chris Wingert earned the defensive player award.

Sawyer was joined on the preseason all-BIG EAST squad by teammates Jack Stewart and Justin Detter. Stewart, a junior who is moving up to midfield from the back in 2003, posted two points last season. Detter is on the move as well, making the switch from midfielder to forward to give the Irish an extra scoring boost this season. Detter finished with 19 points (six goals, seven assists) a year ago and was a second-team all-BIG EAST performer.

Notre Dame also ranked 12th in College Soccer News Preseason Top 30:

The University of Notre Dame men’s soccer team has been ranked 12th in the College Soccer News 2003 Preseason Top 30. The Irish finished 26th in the final College Soccer News ranking a year ago after beginning the season 17th on the preseason list.

* – indicates 2003 Notre Dame opponent

College Soccer News 2003 Preseason Top 30
1. Maryland
3. St. John’s*
4. Wake Forest
5. Stanford
6. SMU
7. Penn State
8. Creighton
9. Furman
10. Indiana*
11. Wisconsin-Milwaukee
13. Clemson
14. Boston College
15. Connecticut*
16. Saint Louis*
17. Pennsylvania
18. California*
19. UC Santa Barbara
20. New Mexico
21. Virginia
22. Coastal Carolina
23. Washington
24. Duke
25. Portland
26. Northeastern
27. San Diego
28. Alabama-Birmingham*
29. Michigan*
30. Bradley*

Notre Dame returns talented, deep and experienced roster for the 2003 season: The Irish welcome back nine of 11 starters from last season’s 12-6-3 team that made its second-straight trip to the NCAA Championship. Notre Dame was eliminated 1-0 by Indiana in the second round.

The Irish lost leading scorer Erich Braun to graduation, but welcome back seniors Chad Riley (20 points, 4 G, 12 A), Justin Detter (19 points, 6 G, 7 A) and Greg Martin (13 points, 6 G, 1 A). Riley currently stands fourth on the all-time assist list with 24, as his 12 assists a year ago tied for fifth on the single-season list.

Notre Dame’s defense should be strong this season as well, bringing back starters senior Kevin Richards, sophomore Dale Rellas while adding the services of freshman stand out Greg Dalby.

A key position switch this season will be the move of junior Jack Stewart from the back to midfield. Stewart started and appeared in all 21 games last season, taking 17 shots and scoring one goal, which turned out to be a game-winner.

Martin named captain of 2003 team, first three-time captain in team history:

Senior Greg Martin has been named captain of the 2003 Notre Dame men’s soccer team, while classmates Justin Detter, Devon Prescod, Kevin Richards and and Chad Riley will serve as assistant captains during the season. Martin will have the distinction of being the first-ever three-time captain in the program’s history.

Martin, a midfielder, was the first sophomore ever to be named a captain at Notre Dame when he served in that role during the 2001 campaign. He started all 21 games for the Irish in ’02 and scored a career-high six goals while dishing off one assist. Martin heads into his final campaign with career totals of seven goals and two assists (16 points). Last season, he was named to the all-tournament team at the Diadora Challenge and was selected as the BIG EAST’s Co-Offensive Player of the Week for the week of October 21. Martin netted a team-leading three game-winning goals a year ago and registered the first mulitple-goal game of his career with his two-goal performance in a 3-1 victory over Connecticut in October of ’02.

Detter was a second team all-BIG EAST selection following his junior year after earning first-team accolades in ’01. In addition, the Irish midfielder was a third-team pick to the adidas/NSCAA all-Great Lakes Region squad. The Irish midfielder was in the starting lineup for all 21 games and finished third on the scoring list with 19 points (6 goals and 7 assists). He has started 56 in the 57 games he has played during his career and has scored 14 goals and dished off 13 assists (41 points).

Prescod, a midfielder, batttled injuries throughout last season, but still managed to play in all 21 contests. He scored three goals and dished off two assists in ’02 and was named to the all-tournament team at the Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament. As sophomore, Prescod started 18 of the 19 contests he played and finished second in the scoring column with six goals and six assists (18 points). He heads into his final season with 10 goals and eight assists (28 points).

Richards, a two-year starter at back, has been a mainstay in the Irish backfield since his freshman year. Last year, he anchored an Irish defense that registered six shutouts and posted a team 0.95 goals against average. Richards also dished off three assists in ’02 and was named co-BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week for the first time in his career. He heads into the ’03 campaign having been in the starting lineup in 39 straight contests.

Riley has garnered third team all-BIG EAST honors each of the last two seasons and has ranked among the Irish’s leading scorers. He finished second in the Irish scoring column as a junior with four goals and a team-leading 12 assists (the most assists by aNotre Dame player since Randy Morris’ 12 in 1988). Riley ranks fourth all-time with 24 career assists and was 14th nationally in that category with a 0.57 assist average. He boasts career totals of eight goals and 24 assists (40 points).

“This is a great group of young men and is possibly the strongest group of seniors I have ever been fortunate enough to coach,” head coach Bobby Clark says. “They are all strong players with strong personalities and should provide the correct leadership for what we hope can be a very exciting year. I have always found that success is directly proportional to the leadership.

Class of 2007 earns top-five recruiting class status:

University of Notre Dame men’s soccer coach Bobby Clark has announced the signing of seven highly-regarded prep standouts to national letters of intent. Three of those players have been members of the U.S. national team program and are current members of the under-18 national squad. Joining the Irish program beginning in the fall of 2003 will be goalkeeper Chris Cahill (Louisville, Ky./St. Francis DeSales) central defender Greg Dalby (Poway, Calif./Poway), midfielder Ian Etherington (Temecula, Calif./Chaparral HS), forward Justin McGeeney (Ames, Iowa/Ames), midfielder Ryan Miller (Barrington, Ill./Barrington), forward Brian Murphy (Granger, Ind./St. Joseph’s) and forward/midfielder Nate Norman (Rochester, Mich./Rochester Adams).

“These seven players comprise a fabulous recruiting class for us,” Clark says. “All the individuals we identified early on in the recruiting process decided to come to Notre Dame. We were looking for players who would come in and give up depth as well as have an impact immediately. We’re very excited to have all of them join our program.

“I think we’ve been very successful with our recruiting efforts the past two seasons. This year’s class adds tremendous depth to our team and continues to move the program in the direction that we want to go.”

The group ended up ranked fifth in the country by Soccer America and third by College Soccer