Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website

Men's Soccer Puts Four-Game Win Streak On The Line This Week

Oct. 1, 2003

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#4 Notre Dame at Syracuse

Thursday, Oct. 2 * 7:00 p.m. *Soccer Stadium at Lampe Complex

#4 Notre Dame at Pittsburgh

Sunday, Oct. 5 *12:00 p.m. * Founders Field

Irish face BIG EAST road trip after spending the month of September at home:

The University of Notre Dame men’s soccer team (6-1-2, 2-1-0), ranked fourth in the nation, faces its first road game in 32 days with a 7:00 p.m match up on Thursday evening at Syracuse(2-5-2, 0-2-1). Notre Dame’s 2003 schedule had the Irish at home last month, where the squad posted a 5-1-1 record, posting victories over Fresno State, #18 Indiana, West Virginia, Bradley and Georgetown. In fact, Notre Dame goes into the game with the Orangemen on a six-game unbeaten streak.

The Irish will head to Pittsburgh after their match up with Syracuse in preparation for their game with the Panthers on Sunday at 1 p.m. Pittsburgh (2-7-0, 1-3-0) faces Niagara on Wednesday, Oct. 1.

Series history:

Notre Dame and Syracuse will be meeting for the ninth time … the Irish lead the all-time series 6-2-0, including four-straight victories … Notre Dame defeated Syracuse 2-1 in the last meeting between the two schools (2001) at Alumni Field … current junior Kevin Goldthwaite provided the game-winning goal 3:38 into overtime … Notre Dame and Pittsburgh will be meeting for the eighth time on Sunday … Pittsburgh leads the all-time series 3-1-3 … Notre Dame’s lone victory in the season came in 1996, a 3-0 win at Alumni Field … the teams battled through three consecutive ties in 1997, ’98, and ’99 … the Panthers have won the last two meetings, a 3-2 victory in 2000 and a 1-0 win at Alumni Field last season.

Notre Dame moves up to fourth in the nation:

A shake up in the national rankings, with many top-10 teams suffering their first loss of the season last weekend, has moved Notre Dame up to fourth in the nation -according to the Soccer America poll. The Irish actually debuted a #3 in the Soccer America preseason poll, but fell when they suffered their only loss of the season (3-0 to St. John’s) to begin the month of September.

Notre Dame has not dropped another game this season. All the national polls are unanimous in placing the Irish in the top 10, as the adidas/ NSCAA, Soccer Times and College Soccer News all rank the Irish #8.

Home cooking serves the Irish well:

Notre Dame completed its seven-game homestand during the month of September with a 5-1-1 record, finishing up with a four-game win streak over #18 Indiana, West Virginia, Bradley and Georgetown.

The 2003 September marked just the second time in the program’s history the Irish spent the entire month at home. In 1978, the second season of varsity soccer, Notre Dame defeated Florissant Valley, Tri-State, IPFW, St. Joseph’s, Valparaiso, Michigan, Indiana Tech, Ablion and Purdue to start the season 9-0.

Detter and Richards land weekly awards from the BIG EAST Conference:

Senior forward Justin Detter was named co-offensive player of the week, while classmate and defender Kevin Richards earned the defensive player of the week award on Monday, Sept. 29, after helping Notre Dame to victories over Bradley and Georgetown last week.

Detter scored goals in both of Notre Dame’s victories last week. One of the most dangerous attack specialists in the conference, he is second on the team in goals with three and also has two assists this season. On his first goal of the week against Bradley, Detter out-raced the Brave defense and beat the goaltender one-on-one for an insurance goal in Notre Dame’s 2-0 victory. He notched the first goal of the game against Georgetown on Sunday, perfectly deflecting a great cross from Richards past the Hoya goalkeeper.

His first assist of the season aside, Richards has been a constant strength on the right side of the Irish defense this season. Although Georgetown broke Notre Dame’s shutout streak at four games on Sunday, Richards helped the Irish hold their opponents to just five shots on goal last week. The Warwick, Bermuda, native also has been highly effective on the attack this season.

The defensive honor is the second weekly award of Richards’ career, as he shared the honor on Oct. 21, 2002, after helping Notre Dame to victories over Michigan State and Connecticut. Although a three-time all-BIG EAST honoree, the co-offensive player of the week award is the first conference weekly award of Detter’s career. He shared this week’s award with Villanova’s David O’Donnell.

Detter steps up to lead the Irish offense:

Senior forward Justin Detter has become one of the most dangerous attack players in the nation this season. Although the White Lake, Mich., native has only put the ball in the net three times this season, he demands the attention of the opposing defense in each and every contest.

A two-time all-BIG EAST selection, Detter has launched a team-high 35 shots this season, incuding 18 on goal. Dangerous both in the air and on the ground with the ball, Detter has shown the ability to beat constant double teams – and has set his teammates up for numerous scoring chances (he has two assists this season).

Riley moves up to third on the all-time assist list:

Senior MF Chad Riley now has sole possession of third place on the all-time assist ranking at Notre Dame. With his two assists in the Georgetown contest, Riley now has four on the season, giving the Houston, Texas, native 28 in his career.

Notre Dame career assists leaders:

1. Randy Morris (’85-’88), 40

2. Sami Kahale (’78-’81), 30

3. Chad Riley (’00- ), 28

4. Bill Lanza (’92-’95), 25

5. Richard Herdegen (’81-’84), 23

Riley has led Notre Dame in assists for all three previous season with the Irish.

Statistical domination:

While Notre Dame has faced several top teams this season, it has been consistently out-performing its rivals on the statistical end.

As of Oct. 1, Notre Dame has out-shot its opponents 138-79, an almost 2-1 ratio (15.3 per game vs. 8.8 per game). The Irish have unleashed 74 shots in the second half, compared to just 34 for all opponents.

Continuing a look at the statistics, Notre Dame’s opponents have been forced to make 54 saves, while Irish goalkeeper Chris Sawyer has been asked to make just 21 stops. Notre Dame also leads in corner kicks 44-26 and has committed 21 less fouls than its competitors. Irish competitors have earned 19 yellow cards and two red cards, compared to just five yellow cards for Notre Dame.

Challenging schedule continues evolving into one of the toughest slates in the nation:

No one can accuse the Irish team of ducking the competition this season. The BIG EAST Conference is recognized as one of the toughest in the nation, but even with a challenging conference schedule set for the 2003 season, Notre Dame has faced a number of highly-ranked non-conference opponents.

The exhibition season alone saw Notre Dame face Saint Louis (ranked as high as third in the nation this season) and Michigan. The regular season began with a 0-0 tie with #20 Alabama-Birmingham (currently eighth in the nation) and a 2-1 overtime victory over #11 California (now ranked 25th).

Notre Dame then suffered its first loss of the season to St. John’s, which has been ranked as high as fifth in the national rankings. Last weekend, the Irish defeated Fresno State 2-1, then took on an unranked Akron team. Notre Dame and Akron fought to a 0-0 scoreless tie, but the Zips, by virtue of their win over Indiana that same weekend, jumped to 10th in the Sept. 15 NSCAA poll and first in the Great Lakes Region. Akron is currently ranked ninth.

Several ranked teams for Notre Dame as well. #17 Connecticut and #22 Rutgers are on the 2003 schedule, along with regionally-ranked Michigan State.

Devon Prescod on course for a career season:

Senior forward Devon Prescod is making the most of his final season with the Irish. After struggling through a series of leg injuries last season, Prescod is healthy and leading the Irish in scoring this season with five goals. His scores against #11 California,West Virginia and Georgetown proved to be the game winners, as well.

Prescod came into the 2003 season with 10 career goals after scoring six as a sophomore in 2001. His five goals this season already eclipses his three from a year ago. Named the BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week on Sept. 1, Prescod is first on the team in points with 10 and second in shots on goal with 11.

Notre Dame’s defensive line is a tough one to break:

The Notre Dame defensive line of junior Kevin Goldthwaite, junior Jack Stewart, freshman Greg Dalby and senior Kevin Richards has meshed into one of the best in the country early in the 2003 season. In fact, the Irish are rated 13th in the nation according to team goals-against average (0.61).

Just a glance at Notre Dame’s team statistics show how well the Irish defense has played this season. Notre Dame’s opponents have managed just 27 shots on goal (three per game) and have taken only 26 corner kicks (3.0 per game). Starting goalkeeper Chris Sawyer has been asked to make just 21 saves his season as well.

Notre Dame’s defensive intensity steps up in overtime as well. While the Irish offense has uncorked 18 shots in both overtime periods this season, Notre Dame’s opponents have posted just 10 – including four in the first overtime period.

The defensive line play is even more impressive when it is considered that sophomore Dale Rellas, who started every game in the middle back for Notre Dame last season, has been sidelined with a foot injury.

Another key to Notre Dame’s defensive performance has been the outstanding play Kevin Richards and Kevin Goldthwaite on the outside. Both have consistently dominated their section of the field and moved up at crucial times to provide Notre Dame with an additional scoring punch. Goldthwaite is third on the team in shots (13), while Richards has tormented opposing teams with his quickness down the sidelines.

The middle of Notre Dame’s defensive line has been impressive as well. Junior Jack Stewart and freshman Greg Dalby have played every second of every game on the Notre Dame defense which has allowed just six goals this season.


Greg Dalby has played every minute in each contest this season.



Stewart is among the best in the nation in the air – and is also among the most dangerous attack defenders as well. Dalby, the captain of the U.S. under-17 squad during his prep career, has started each game this season as a steady force in the backline for the Irish.

Notre Dame’s defense ranked among the national leaders:

In the latest NCAA statistical rankings, the Irish are among the top 25 in three different categories. Notre Dame is 13th in goals-against average (0.61), 13th in shutout percentage (0.56) and 21st in win-loss percentage (0.778).

Individually, junior goalkeeper Chris Sawyer is ranked 17th in the country in goals-against average (0.609).

Irish home attendance on the rise:

Notre Dame men’s soccer has developed a solid following in the local South Bend market over the past six seasons. In 2003, the Irish are averaging 1,274 fans for each home contest – a mark that would have placed Notre Dame 14th in the final attendance figures for the nation last season.

Here is a look at Notre Dame’s home attendance over the six seasons:

2003: 1,247 (as of Oct. 1)

2002: 803

2001: 886

2000: 810

1999: 587

1998: 491

Notre Dame’s 1-0 victory over Indiana was attended by 2,131 fans, the largest crowd this season at Alumni Field.

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).


Ian Etherington (pictured), Greg Dalby and Nate Norman, three members of Notre Dame’s talented freshman class, have seen significant minutes so far this season.



“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

Notre Dame leads the nation in student-athlete graduation rate:

The University of Notre Dame compiled the nation’s highest overall graduation rate for Division I-A student-athletes to take top honors in the 2003 USA Today/NCAA Academic Achievement Awards announced today.

Ninety-two percent of the Fighting Irish student-athletes who enrolled in 1996 earned a degree from the University, three percentage points higher than second-place Tulsa University. Duke and Wisconsin finished third at 88 percent, followed by Northwestern, 87; Boston College, 86; Stanford, 84; Western Michigan, 83; Michigan, 82; and Syracuse, Rice and Utah State, 81.

In addition to the overall rate, Academic Achievement Awards are presented to the institutions with the best student-athlete graduation rates in comparison to the overall student body and to those that show the most improvement from the previous year.

Now in their third year, the awards include a $20,000 prize for the top institutions in each category. They are based on federally compiled figures submitted by NCAA member institutions.

The NCAA bases graduation rates on the raw percentage of student-athletes who entered an institution and graduated within six years. Students who leave or transfer, regardless of academic standing, are considered non graduates. Notre Dame’s graduation rate for student-athletes who complete all four years of athletic eligibility is 99 percent.

See Irish men’s soccer action on CSTV’s “Notre Dame Primetime”:

College Sports Television (CSTV) has launched “Notre Dame Primetime” on Sunday evenings. Those with Direct TV can catch the show, hosted by former Irish football player Derrick Mayes. “Notre Dame Primetime” recaps all of Notre Dame’s athletic action over the past week, features interviews with student-athletes and highlights from all of the Irish athletic teams.

“Notre Dame Primetime” is on each Sunday evening at 8:30 p.m. (EDT). Local Irish sports fans can catch a rebroadcast of “Notre Dame Primetime” at 7:00 p.m. Monday evenings on WHME-TV 46 (cable channel 11).

Keep up with the Irish via the Notre Dame hotline:

The Notre Dame athletic department hotline has realigned its menu offerings for the 2003 fall sports season.

The hotline provides schedule and results information for varsity sports and serves as a supplement to the live coverage and game recaps already provided on the official athletic website at

Here’s how the hotline now is realigned (as of Aug. 28):

*Dial (574) 631-3000

*Select any of the following subgroups:

(1) Upcoming schedule and recent results of ALL varsity sports currently in action (select cells 3-9 for the most updated results for specific sports).

(2) Football schedules for the 2003, ’04, ’05, ’06 and ’07 seasons.

(3) Basketball information (then press 1 for men’s basketball and 2 for women’s basketball)

(4) Soccer information (then press 1 for men’s soccer and 2 for women’s soccer).

(5) Women’s volleyball (press 1) and men’s ice hockey (press 2) information.

(6) Men’s and women’s cross country information.

(7) Men’s and women’s swimming and diving information (then press 1 for men’s swimming and 2 for women’s swimming).

(8) Tennis information (then press 1 for men’s tennis and 2 for women’s tennis) and men’s and women’s fencing information (press 3).

(9) Women’s golf (press 1), men’s golf (press 2) and women’s rowing (press 3) information.

Other national polls:

There are several polls supported by various magazines and websites that rank the Irish. Here is a look at the Soccer Times and College Soccer News polls.

Soccer Times: 1. Maryland, 2. UCLA, 3. Old Dominion, 4. SMU, 5. UAB, 6. North Carolina, 7. Saint Louis, 8. NOTRE DAME, 9. UCSB, 10. Washington, 11. Coastal Carolina, 12. St. John’s, 13. Santa Clara, 14. Wake Forest, 15. Akron, 16. Florida International, 17. South Carolina, 18. Oakland, 19. Rutgers, 20. CS Northridge, 21. Penn State, 22. Tulsa, 23. Connecticut, 24. Brown, 25. Hartwick College

College Soccer News: 1. Maryland, 2. UCLA, 3. SMU, 4. Old Dominion, 5. UAB, 6. North Carolina, 7. UCSB, 8. NOTRE DAME, 9. Saint Louis, 10. Washington, 11. St. John’s, 12. Coastal Carolina, 13. Santa Clara, 14. Rutgers, 15. Hartwick College, 16. Oakland, 17. Penn State, 18. South Carolina, 19. Akron, 20. Florida International, 21. Connecticut, 22. CS Northridge, 23. William & Mary, 24. Indiana, 25. Tulsa, 26. Wake Forest, 27. California, 28. Dayton, 29. Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 30. Farleigh Dickinson. Others: Lehigh, Virginia Tech, Creighton, Seton Hall, LIU, VCU, Massachusetts, San Diego State, Louisville.

Notre Dame in the BIG EAST statistical rankings:


Shots: 2nd (138)

Goals: 7th (10)

Points Per Game: 8th (3.33)

Assists: 7th (10)

Assists Per Game: 6th (1.11)

Goals Allowed: 1st (6)

Goals Against Average: 1st (0.61)

Saves: 13th (21)

Shutouts 1st (5)


Shots: Detter, 1st (35)

Points: Prescod, 5th (10)

Goals: Prescod, 2nd (5)

Assists: Riley, 3rd (4)

Game-Winning Goals: Prescod, 1st (3)

Goals Against Average: Sawyer, 2nd (0.61)

Shutouts: Sawyer, 1st (5)