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Men's Soccer Ready To Host Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament This Weekend

Sept. 10, 2003

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2003 Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament

University of Notre Dame * Alumni Field * Sept. 12 & 14

Friday, Sept. 12

#14/11 Indiana vs. Akron, 5 p.m.

#16/18 Notre Dame vs. Fresno State, 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, Sept. 14

Fresno State vs. #14/11 Indiana, 11 a.m.

#16/18 Notre Dame vs. Akron, 1:30 p.m.

Mike Berticelli Tournament on campus this weekend:

The second-annual Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament is set for this weekend, welcoming three visiting teams to Alumni Field on the campus of the University of Notre Dame. Three of the top programs in the midwest, #16 Notre Dame, #14 Indiana and Akron will combine with the West Coast’s Fresno State for the two-day event.

This weekend’s tournament will be played for, and dedicated to, the memory of former Irish head coach Mike Berticelli. The Notre Dame head man for 10 seasons 1990-1999, Berticelli compiled a 104-80-19 record with the Irish, advanced to the NCAA Championship three times and claimed three conference championships. Berticelli died suddenly of a heart attack in January of 2000, just months after claiming his 100th victory at Notre Dame.

A quick look at the field:

#14 Indiana, Akron and Fresno State are making the trip to Alumni Field this weekend. The Hoosiers, who will return to Notre Dame on Thursday, Sept. 18, to renew their rivalry with the Irish, are 1-1-2 on the young season. Indiana actually faced two other BIG EAST teams last weekend, suffering a 2-1 loss to Conneticut and fighting Georgetown to a 2-2 tie. Ned Grabavoy and Brian Plotkin have paced the Hoosier offense thus far, scoring two goals a piece and both leading the team with 14 shots. Jay Nolly patrols the net for IU, compiling a 0.90 goals-against average this season with 13 saves.

Akron is a familiar foe of the Fighting Irish, as the two teams met twice last season – a 1-0 victory on Oct. 6 and a 3-1 win in the first round of the NCAA tournament. The Zips are 2-1-0 in 2003, getting victories over Seton Hall and IPFW. Akron and Notre Dame have a common foe, as Notre Dame defeated Saint Louis in exhibition play while the Zips fell 1-0 to the Billikens in the season opener. Alex Conwell has scored three of the Zips seven goals this season, while goalkeeper Justin Christafaris is 2-1 with a 1.00 goals-against average. Akron leads the all-time series against Notre Dame 6-2-2.

Fresno State and Notre Dame will be meeting for the first time on Friday evening. The Bulldogs are 0-2 this season, suffering losses to UC Irvine and nationally-ranked Santa Clara by identical 1-0 scores. The Fresno State offense has struggled thus far in 2003, managing just 15 shots in two contests. Goalkeeper Eric Kronberg has made 14 saves to go along with his 1.00 goals-against average.

Home sweet home:

Notre Dame’s two games this weekend during the Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament will be the second and third contests for the Irish in September of 2003. In fact, Notre Dame will play each of its seven games during September at Alumni Field. The last time the Irish played host to all of its games during September was in 1978 – the second season of varsity soccer. Notre Dame defeated Florissant Valley, Tri-State, IPFW, St. Joseph’s, Valparaiso, Michigan, Indiana Tech, Albion and Purdue to start the season 9-0.

St. John’s takes advantage of defensive miscues to down Irish 3-0:

In the first big match up of the BIG EAST Conference season, the St. John’s Red Storm utilized three Notre Dame defensive miscues to walk away with a 3-0 victory over the Irish on Saturday, Sept. 6. The loss was the first of the season for Notre Dame, while the victory provided St. John’s with its first of the year.

While the scoreboard was unbalanced, Notre Dame was actually able to out shoot the Red Storm 12-9. St. John’s goalkeeper Guy Hertz made six saves, while Notre Dame’s Chris Sawyer had two saves – after being left one-on-one for the three Red Storm goals.

Justin Detter was extremely active for the Irish, setting up his fellow players as well as taking five shots (including four on goal).

National rankings update:

Notre Dame dropped several spots in the national polls after its 3-0 setback to St. John’s last weekend. The Irish are currently 18th in the NSCAA/adidas poll, 16th in the Soccer America ranking, 11th in the College Soccer News ranking and 19th in the Soccer Times poll.

The NSCAA also has released its first regional ranking. Notre Dame is third in the Great Lakes Region behind Indiana and Oakland (complete regional rankings are located on page four).

Devon Prescod named first BIG EAST offensive player of the week in 2003:

Senior forward Devon Prescod, who single-handedly provided a victory over #11/17 California on Saturday, Aug. 30, was named the BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week on Monday. Prescod led Notre Dame (1-0-1) to a come-from-behind victory over the Bears, scoring with nine minutes left in the contest to knot the game at 1-1. He then put in the game winner just over one minute into the second overtime.

Prescod was the most active offensive player for the Irish all weekend, getting off seven shots, including four shots on goal. The Notre Dame offense as a unit was aggressive all weekend, out-shooting their opponents 31-18, but managing just the two goals against California and a scoreless tie vs. #20 Alabama-Birmingham on Saturday.

The weekly award is the second of Prescod’s career, as the Marietta, Ga., native earned offensive player of the week honors on Oct. 15, 2001.

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 earlier this month 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 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 a 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

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.

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. Wake Forest, 3. UCLA, 4. Saint Louis, 5. North Carolina, 6. SMU, 7. Stanford, 8. South Carolina, 9. St. John’s, 10. Connecticut, 11. Indiana, 12. Alabama-Birmingham, 13. Rutgers, 14. Old Dominion, 15. Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 16. Creighton, 17. Coastal Carolina, 18. VCU, 19. NOTRE DAME, 20. Penn State, 21. Santa Clara, 22. Clemson, 23. Santa Barbara, 24. Florida International, 25. CS Northridge

College Soccer News: 1. Maryland, 2. UCLA, 3. Wake Forest, 4. Saint Louis, 5. SMU, 6. Stanford, 7. North Carolina, 8. Creighton, 9. Indiana, 10. St. John’s, 11. NOTRE DAME, 12. Penn State, 13. Alabama-Birmingham, 14. Connecticut, 15. VCU, 16. Santa Barbara, 17. Pennsylvania, 18. Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 19. Clemson, 20. Santa Clara, 21. Coastal Carolina, 22. Washington, 23. Old Dominion, 24. New Mexico, 25. Rutgers, 26. South Carolina, 27. Boston College, 28. Duke, 29. Northeastern, 30. Oakland. also receiving votes: CS Northridge, Bradley, Michigan, Hartwick College, Portland, San Diego, Tulsa, William & Mary, South Florida, FDU, Loyola Marymount.