Nov. 7, 2002
Notre Dame, Ind. –
NOTRE DAME EARNS NO. 2 SEED – Notre Dame is the No. 4 seed in the BIG EAST Men’s Soccer Championship and has advanced to the conference championship for the sixth time in eight years. The Irish head into the contest with an 11-4-3 mark and finished the BIG EAST regular season with a 6-3-1 record. Coach Bobby Clark’s squad has won seven of its last eight – its only loss in the stretch was a 3-2 setback to Georgetown in Washington, D.C. on October 26. Notre Dame’s six conference wins ties for the second-most since becoming a BIG EAST member in 1995. Last year, Notre Dame earned the No. 2 seed after finishing with a 7-3 mark, which represented the most wins in conference history. Notre Dame’s 13 conference wins over the past two season are the most in a two-year span. Georgetown owns a 7-8-1 overall record and finished with a 5-4-1 BIG EAST mark. The Hoyas are 3-3-1 in their last seven games. This will be the second straight year the Irish and the Hoyas will be playing a quarterfinal match at Alumni Field. Ironically, all three three times Notre Dame has hosted a BIG EAST quarterfinal game, it has been against Georgetown. Last season, the Irish earned a 3-1 victory.
SCOUTING THE IRISH – The Irish have been one of the league’s most consistent teams of late, having won seven of their last eight. Coach Bobby Clark’s squad is ranked 15th in the Soccer America poll and 18th in the adidas/NSCAA ranking. Notre Dame has lost only once during the month of October – at home to Pittsburgh (1-0 in overtime on October 4) and on the road at Georgetown (3-2 on October 26). Notre Dame has registered 11 regular season wins for the second straight year. The Irish reached the 11-win mark during the regular season a year ago for the first time since 1993. Notre Dame has outscored its opponents 36-17 and has outshot them 289-178. Six of Notre Dame’s 18 games have been decided in overtime (the Irish are 2-1-3 in those contests), while 10 matches have been decided by a single goal (the Irish own a 6-4 record in those games). The Irish defense has held their opponents to one goal or less on 15 occasions. Overall, Notre Dame has a 0.90 goals against average. Notre Dame has defeated four ranked opponents and three top 10 foes – both firsts in the 25-plus years in the history of the program. Senior Erich Braun (Frankfurt, Germany) and junior Chad Riley (Houston, Texas) lead the team in scoring with 19 points each. Braun has a team-leading nine goals and has dished off one assist. He has registered three two goal outings – versus Southwest Missouri State, Seton Hall and Providence. In addition, he tallied the final Irish score in Notre Dame’s 3-1 victory over Connecticut, which snapped a six-game streak in which he didn’t register a goal or an assist. Riley has scored four goals and leads the team with 11 assists. His 11 assists are the most by an Irish player since Bill Lanza’s had 11 during the 1995 campaign. Justin Detter (White Lake, Mich.) stands third on the team in scoring with six goals (second most by an Irish player) and four assists for 16 points. Greg Martin (Plano, Texas) is tied for second in goals and ranks fourth in scoring with 12 points. Kevin Goldthwaite (Sacramento, Calif.) stands fifth on the team in scoring with a goal and seven assists (the second most by an Irish player). Rafael Garcia (Palmdale, Calif.) has eight points as he has scored two goals and dished off four assists. Luke Boughen (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) and Devon Prescod (Marietta, Ga.) have three goals each, while Jack Stewart (Torrance, Calif.) and Justin Ratcliffe (Miami, Fla.) round out the scoring with one goal each. Kevin Richards (Warwick, Bermuda) has been credited with three assists this season. Junior goalkeeper Chris Sawyer (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) has started all 13 games he has played and has seen action in 1182:36 of a possible 1709:08 minutes. He has missed five games games because of a hamstring injury suffered in the second half of the Pittsburgh game on October 4. Sawyer has allowed 12 goals this season and made 37 saves for a 0.91 goals against average. He owns a a .755 save percentage and 0.91 goals against average and has posted two complete-game shutouts. Senior Greg Tait (Fayetteville, N.Y.) has started five of the seven contests he has played. He has registered four complete-game shutouts. He has played 526:32 and has a 0.85 goals against average and .815 save percentage.
SCOUTING THE HOYAS – Georgetown heads into the contest with an overall record of 7-8-1 and finished with a 5-4-1 record in BIG EAST play. Georgetown has been outscored by its opponents 31-23 this season. Kemmons Feldman leads the team in scoring with six goals and an assist (13 points), while Ben Jefferson-Dow is the only other Georgetown player who has registered double-digit points in scoring as he has netted four goals and dished off four assists (12 points).
IRISH IN THE BIG EAST TOURNAMENT – Notre Dame is making its sixth appearance in eight years in the BIG EAST Men’s Soccer Championship. The Irish have a 5-4 record in the nine tournament games they have played. Notre Dame won the conference tournament crown in its first-ever appearance in 1996 and also has advanced to the semifinals on two other occasions – 1997 and 2001. This is the third time that Notre Dame will be hosting a quarterfinal match at Alumni Field.
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 January 19, 2001. In his 16th season as a collegiate coach, Clark has an overall record of 176-74-28 for an overall winning percentage of .683 and is 23-11-3 (.662) 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. GEORGETOWN – Notre Dame leads the series 6-5-. This will be the second meeting of the season between the two teams. The Hoyas defeated the Irish 3-2 in Washington, D.C., in a match which snapped a two-game Irish win streak. Last season, Notre Dame defeated the Hoyas twice at Alumni Field – 3-1 during the regular season and 1-0 in the quartefinals of the BIG EAST championship. Georgetown has won five of the last seven meetings between the teams and owned a four-game winning streak prior to the two wins in 2001. Notre Dame is 5-5 versus the Hoyas since joining the BIG EAST in ’95.
NOTRE DAME-GEORGETOWN PART I – Notre Dame carried a No. 11 ranking into the contest and was riding a five-game win streak. The Irish fell to the Hoyas 3-2 as Jeff Curtin scored the game-winning goal off of a penalty kick with 24 seconds remaining in the contest. Notre Dame jumped out to an early 1-0 lead on Justin Detter’s goal off an assist from Erich Braun at the 15:39 mark of the contest. Georgetown evened the score on Kemmons Feldman’s score which was assisted by Ben Jefferson-Dow. The game remained tied through the halftime intermission before Georgetown took the lead 18:03 into the second half as Curtin headed in Michael Banner’s corner kick from the right side of the field. Notre Dame, which outshot the Hoyas 24-15, continued to apply offensive pressure. Greg Martin netted the game-tying score with less than five minutes remaining at the 84:46 mark. The game appeared headed into overtime until Curtin’s penalty kick. With less than 30 seconds left, Georgetown set up for a throw-in in the Notre Dame end, well within range of the Irish box. Following a header by the Hoyas Paul Brandley, the ball touched the hand of a Notre Dame defender which resulted in the penalty kick. Greg Tait finished with four saves in the game, while Tim Hogan made eight stops for Georgetown.
GOLTHWAITE EARNS COLLEGE SOCCER NEWS HONOR – Kevin Goldthwaite, who had a goal and an assist in Notre Dame’s wins over Virgina Tech and Loyola last weekend, was named to the College Soccer News Team of the Week for the first time in his career. He scored the game-tying goal against the Hokies in the come-from-behind victory at the 80:05 mark and then assisted on Greg Martin’s game-winning score with 11:38 remaining.
ROLLING ALONG – Before its loss to Georgetown on Oct. 26, Notre Dame had won five straight, its longest win streak of the season. Currently, the Irish have won seven of their last eight and five of their last six. Notre Dame closed out the 2001 regular season by winning nine of its last 10 contests.
SEEMS FAMILIAR – Under head coach Bobby Clark, Notre Dame seems to play well at the end of the season. The Irish, winners of seven of their last eight contests, enjoyed a similar win-streak to close out the 2001 regular season as they won nine of their last 10 games prior to the postseason.
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 October 4. 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. Notre Dame has a 14-2-1 record at Alumni Field under Clark.
FOUR WINS OVER RANKED OPPONENTS – The 3-1 win over Connecticut gave the the Irish their fourth win over a ranked opponent this season – a first in the 26-year history of the program. The victory also was the third by Notre Dame versus a top-10 opponent – also a first by an Irish team. Prior to this season, the most wins by an Irish team over a ranked opponent was three in 1996. During that season, Notre Dame defeated No. 14 Connecticut (2-1), No. 12 Rutgers (1-0) and No. 2 UNC Greensboro (1-0) in conecutive outings. The Irish’s other three ranked wins this season have been at home to No. 6 Seton Hall (4-0) and No. 7 Furman (2-1) and on the road at No. 15 Boston College (1-0) in overtime. In its 25-plus seasons of varsity competition, Notre Dame has 10 wins over teams that have been ranked in the top 10 of either the NSCAA or Soccer America polls.
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.
PLAYING OVERTIME – Through 18 games of the season, Notre Dame has played six overtime contests. The Irish are 2-1-3 in those contests with four of them going to double overtime. Notre Dame’s two overtime wins were against Boston College and Furman. In the victory against the Paladins, they 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 3-3-3 in overtime games.
SUCCESSFUL TWO-YEAR STRETCH – Notre Dame’s 23 wins over the past two years marks the most successful two-year stretch since the 1996 and ’97 campaigns when the it finished with 24 victories. The Irish finished 14-7-2 in ’96 and 10-9-2 in ’97.
BRAUN MOVING UP THE CHARTS – With his nine goals this season, Erich Braun is tied for eighth on the Irish goal-scoring chart with 34 career goals. His 81 points (34 goals, 13 assists) places him 10th on the all-time scoring list.
RILEY ALSO MOVING UP – Chad Riley’s team-leading 11 assists this season nearly match the 12 he had in his first two seasons. Riley is tied for 14th nationally with 0.61 assists per game. His 23 career assists tie him for fourth all-time at Notre Dame.
MARTIN MAGIC – Greg Martin’s two goals against Connecticut on October 20 marked the first two-goal outing of his career. He scored Notre Dame’s first two goals as he helped the Irish erase a 1-0 halftime deficit. His second score came at the 53:41 mark of the contest, which proved to be the game-winning goal. He has scored six goals on the season and leads the team with three game-winners. Martin also had the decisive goal in Notre Dame’s 2-1 overtime win against Furman and in the regular-season finale against Loyola. He scored his first goal of the season in the season opener against Southwest Missouri State – a 3-2 Irish victory. Last year, Martin played in 13 games and earned starts in nine of those contests. Heading into the 2002 campaign, he had scored one goal and had dished off just one assist.
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 11 assists this season, exceeding his previous single-season best of six during both the 2000 and ’01 campaigns.
BIG EAST PLAY BRINGS OUT THE BEST IN SAWYER – Chris Sawyer has a knack for playing well in BIG EAST games. In the seven BIG EAST games he played and started, Saywer surrendered just three goals in 585:07 minutes of action. In 15 career regular-season league games, he has registered five complete-game shutouts.
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. He also had the game-winning goal in Notre Dame’s 1-0 overtime win at Boston College.
RAFAEL IS COMING UP BIG – One Irish player who has stepped up his level of play this season has been senior forward Rafael Garcia. He has two goals and three assists on the season for seven points. Garcia registered goals in both the Creighton and Seton Hall contests and is credited with assists in the Southwest Missouri State and Furman matches. Garcia has started all 18 games. Heading into the 2002 campaign, he had made 13 starts in 38 games and had scored two goals and dished off two assists.
DETTER DOING IT – Justin Detter is Notre Dame’s fourth-leading goal scorer this season with six goals (second best on the team) and and four assists (16 points). Detter has already equalled his single-season best for goals scored and has 14 career goals and 10 assists (38 points).
IRISH LOOK TO GOLDIE – Sophomore Kevin Goldthwaite has been one of the team’s most consistent players at both ends of the field this season. The Irish defender has scored a goal and dished off seven assists (second most on the team). In his rookie season, he has four goals and five assists (13 points).
IRISH MAINSTAYS – Four Irish veterans have started 90.0 percent or better in Notre Dame games during their careers: Erich Braun (Sr.) – 68 of 70 (.971); Justin Ratcliffe (Sr.) – 67 of 73 (.918); Justin Detter (Jr.) – 53 of 54 (.981); and Chad Riley (Jr.) – 51 of 53 (.962).
QUICK FLICKS – Notre Dame has wasted little time in getting on the scoreboard in six games this season. 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. In the win over Villanova, Chad Riley knocked in the first Irish goal 22:20 into the game, while Justin Detter tallied the game’s first score against Georgetown 15:30 into the game.
GETTING HIS STARTS – Freshman Dale Rellas (Plano, Texas) has been in the starting lineup all 18 of Notre Dame’s games in 2002. He was the only Irish rookie to see action against Southwest Missouri State in the season opener. Rellas came up with a critical back save in the Connecticut which prevented the Huskies from going up 2-0 in the contest.
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.
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 338-169-45 record for a .653 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 is 7-1-1 at home this season after finishing the 2001 campaign with a 7-1 mark at Alumni Field (its only loss was to Rutgers). `The Irish own an 82-29-8 mark all-time for a .723 winning percentage. The ’02 campaign marks the 12th for Notre Dame at Alumni Field.
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.
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.
LIGHTNING 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.