Sept. 5, 2000
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The Notre Dame men’s soccer team finished up 1-0-1 at the UNLV/Fila Snickers Rebel Classic to open up the 2000 campaign for first-year head coach Chris Apple. The Irish are in action twice this week playing host to 21st-ranked Bradley on Wed., Sept. 6 at 7:00 p.m. in the home opener, and then open up BIG EAST play by traveling to Boston College for 1:00 p.m. matchup on Sat., Sept. 9.
THE WEEK IN REVIEW
New Mexico: In the first-ever meeting between the two schools, the Irish gave first-year head coach Chris Apple his first win at Notre Dame with a 2-0 victory. Apple’s squad picked up the victory despite not having the services of sophomore Erich Braun (Frankfurt, Germany) who did not make the trip because of a hamstring injury. Notre Dame scored once in each half as the Irish posted a shutout in the season opener for the second consecutive year. Senior midfielder Griffin Howard (San Diego, Calif.), who made the first start of his collegiate career, scored his first career goal off of a penalty kick 17:53 into the contest. Freshman Devon Prescod (Marietta, Ga.) sealed the win for the Irish with a goal coming off an assist from Dustin Pridmore (Dallas, Texas) with 10:06 remaining in the contest. Sophomore goalkeeper Greg Tait (Fayetteville, N.Y.), making his first career start, had five saves as he played the entire game.
UNLV: The Irish battled host UNLV to a 0-0 tie to finish up 1-0-1 at the UNLV Fila/Snickers Rebel Classic. Notre Dame dominated the contest early on with six shots in the first half, but UNLV’s defense kept the Irish from capitalizing in the first half of play. The second half featured outstanding defense by both teams. Neither team managed much offense in the overtime periods as the two teams had just six shots. Tait recorded his second consecutive shutout and had four saves in the contest.
TAIT, FORSTNER COP TOURNAMENT HONORS
Sophomore Greg Tait was named Most Valuable Player of the UNLV/Fila Snickers Rebel Classic as he posted two shutouts in the first starts of his career. He played 210 minutes and recorded nine saves in the two games. Against New Mexico, he had five stops. Defender Andreas Forstner (Gerlinden, Germany), who also was instrumental in Notre Dame’s two shutouts, was selected the defensive player of the tournament.
HEAD COACH CHRIS APPLE
Chris Apple is in his first season as head coach of the Irish. He earned his first victory as the Notre Dame head coach in the 2-0 season-opening win. Apple was named head coach on March 3, 2000 after spending four seasons as an assistant on the Notre Dame sidelines. This is the second head-coaching stint for the 30-year-old Apple whose first experience as a head coach was at North Carolina Wesleyan from 1994-95. In two seasons at the school, he compiled a 12-20-1 record. He is the second-youngest coach in the BIG EAST, four years older than Chaka Daley of Providence, another first-year coach in the league who is 26 years old.
SERIES RECORD VS. UPCOMING OPPONENTS
Bradley: This will be the first-ever meeting between the two teams. Boston College: Notre Dame heads into the game having won three straight over the Eagles. The Irish own a 4-2 advantage in the series and are 1-1 in games in Chestnut Hill, Mass. Notre Dame has posted shutouts in the last two meetings between the two teams, including a 3-0 win at Boston College during the 1998 campaign.
TAIT GARNERS BIG EAST GOALKEEPER OF THE WEEK HONORS
In addition to being named MVP of the UNLV Fila/Snickers Rebel Classic, sophomore Greg Tait was named the BIG EAST Goalkeeper of the Week for the first time in his career after posting two shutouts and not allowing a goal in the two games (spanning 210 minutes). Prior to the season opener, he had played just three games as a rookie totalling 35:30 of the ’99 campaign.
HOWARD SPARKLES IN RETURN
Senior Griffin Howard (San Diego, Calif.) made the first two starts of his career against New Mexico and UNLV this past weekend at the tournament in Las Vegas. The Irish midfielder, who entered the 2000 campaign having played in just seven games in his three previous seasons, tallied his first collegiate goal against New Mexico in the 2-0 victory on a penalty kick. The score came at the 17:53 mark of the contest and proved to be the game-winning goal. Howard missed the entire 1998 campaign with an injury and only played in two contests a year ago.
PRESCOD SCORES IN COLLEGIATE DEBUT
Freshman Devon Prescod (Marietta, Ga.), who came off the bench in Notre Dame’s first two games, scored the first goal of his Irish career against New Mexico. Prescod provided the insurance score in the victory off an assist from Dustin Pridmore (Dallas, Texas) with 10:06 remaining in the contest.
IRISH IN HOME OPENERS
Notre Dame owns a 19-4 record in home openers since the inaugural season of the program in 1977. The Irish have not lost a home opener since the 1997 when they dropped a 4-0 decision to Indiana. Notre Dame was 8-0 in season openers before the 1985 campaign when it lost to Wisconsin-Milwaukee 3-2 in overtime. The Irish suffered their next loss in a home opener in 1991 when they dropped a 1-0 overtime decision to Loyola (Ill.). Two years following that loss, Notre Dame was defeated by Butler 4-2 in the home opener in 1993.
FRESHMEN OF INFLUENCE
Six of Notre Dame’s seven freshmen played in both the New Mexico and UNLV contests. Three of those players
Justin Detter (White Lake, Mich.), Greg Martin (Plano, Texas) and Chad Riley (Houston, Texas) were in the starting lineups for both games.
THE GERMAN CONNECTION
Notre Dame’s two German imports
defender Andreas Forstner and forward Erich Braun
certainly played significant roles in their rookie seasons. Forstner started all 18 contests for the Irish. In addition, he was twice named to the Dean’s List and has a 3.549 grade point average following two semesters. Braun was one of six players to start all 20 games while garnering the BIG EAST’s rookie of the year award. Prior to Forstner and Braun, only two other Germans have played soccer at Notre Dame.
THE OLD AND THE NEW
Head Coach Chris Apple named Mike Avery and Nino Berticelli to his coaching staff in the spring. Avery, who spent the last three years as head men’s soccer coach at Cal State University San Bernardino, is no stranger to the South Bend/Michiana area. The 1990 Westmont College graduate was the head coach at Bethel College (in nearby Mishawaka, Ind.) from 1994-96 where his teams enjoyed tremendous success in compiling a 43-21-2 record. Berticelli is the oldest son of former Irish head coach Mike Berticelli. Nino was as goalkeeper on the Notre Dame soccer team and played for his father from 1996-98. He was a member of the ’96 BIG EAST squad which won the BIG EAST tournament title and advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament for the first time in school history.
IRISH START SEASON AS ROAD WARRIORS
Notre Dame opens up the 2000 campaign by playing four of its first five games on the road. The Irish began the season with two games in Las Vegas, Nev., at the UNLV Fila/Snickers Rebel Classic. After the home opener against Bradley on Wednesday (Sept. 6), Apple’s squad is on the road for its first two BIG EAST games of the season against Boston College (Sept. 9) and Syracuse (Sept. 16) before returning home against non-league foe Cleveland State on Sept. 19 which begins a five-game homestand.
Eight of Notre Dame’s 20 games in 1999 were decided by a single goal, with seven of those contests ending in a 1-0 decision. The Irish were 4-2 in games which ended with a 1-0 final score and ended up 4-4 in games decided by a single goal.
Notre Dame has averaged nearly five overtime contests per season since 1996. The Irish went to overtime five times in 1999 and were 0-2-3 in those matches, tying Pittsburgh and Seton Hall (1-1), and Valparaiso (2-2), while dropping decisions to Western Michigan (1-0) and Connecticut (2-1). During the 1998 campaign, the Irish were involved in six overtime contests, including a school-record five straight games.
HOME SWEET HOME
Notre Dame finished the ’99 season with a 7-3-0 mark at home posting a 5-1-2 record at Alumni Field in ’98. The Irish lost two one-goal decisions at home (to Western Michigan and Rutgers) and also suffered a 3-1 setback to Georgetown. Last season marked the 10th season for the Irish playing at Alumni Field where Notre Dame owns a 65-23-5 mark overall for .721 winning percentage.
LYSKAWA EXCELS IN THE CLASSROOM
Alan Lyskawa was one of four freshmen honored by Notre Dame’s Office of Academic Services for achieving the highest cumulative grade point averages among first-year student-athletes. Lyskawa, who is enrolled in the College of Engineering, earned Dean’s List distinction both semesters and had a cumulative grade point average for the 1999-2000 school year.
BRAUN ON PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM
Erich Braun, the 1999 BIG EAST Rookie of the Year, was tabbed for preseason all-conference honors. Also named to the list along with the sophomore forward were: Kevin Bacher (Syracuse, goalkeeper), Guy Abrahamson (Rutgers, midfielder), David Boutilier (Rutgers, defender), Jim Curtin (Villanova, defender), Chris Gbandi (Connecticut, defender), Kevin Jones (Providence, forward), Darin Lewis (Connecticut, midfielder/forward), Jeff Matteo (St. John’s, midfielder), Craig Patton (West Virginia, forward), Brent Rahlm (Connecticut, midfielder), Greg Strohmann (Seton Hall, forward).
FREE TICKETS AVAILABLE FOR BRADLEY GAME
Free tickets will be available for the home opener against Bradley within the South Bend area. The season opener is one of four games where free admissions tickets will be distributed in the community. Free tickets will also be available for the Cleveland State (9/19), Northwestern (10/3) and West Virginia (10/27).