The No. 8 Irish host No. 3 North Carolina for the first ACC match of the season at Alumni Stadium. The top 10 matchup will be the third straight for the Irish. The match will be streamed live on ACC Network Extra via the WatchESPN app.
THE NORTH CAROLINA SERIES
• The Irish and Tar Heels will meet on the pitch for the seventh time on Friday evening.
• The series is level at 2-2-2.
• Notre Dame and North Carolina split the 2017 series, going 1-1. The Tar Heels won the regular season matchup by a score of 3-0 but the Irish responded with a 2-1 win in the ACC Championship quarterfinal in Cary, North Carolina.
• The Irish are 1-0-2 against UNC when playing at Notre Dame.
• Five of the 10 Irish goals scored this season have come directly from set pieces.
• Patrick Berneski has done the bulk of the damage, scoring four headers off set pieces.
• The other set-piece goal came from a sublime Felicien Dumas free kick that proved to be the game winner against Syracuse.
THE SKIPPER DOES IT ALL
• Senior center back Patrick Berneski has gotten off to an impressive start in his senior season after earning the captain position prior to the season.
• Berneski has scored in four of six matches this season, leading the team with four goals.
• After scoring two goals and helping the Irish to two clean-sheet victories, Berneski earned ACC Defensive Player of the Week honors (9/3) as well as Most Outstanding Defensive Player of the Adidas/IU Credit Union Classic.
HERE TO ASSIST
• Senior full back Felicien Dumas has been a weapon for the Irish this season in the attack, as the set-piece specialist has four assists and a goal in 2018.
• Dumas has assisted on three of Berneski’s four goals.
• The senior also scored one of the best goals of the season, striking a perfect free kick into the top right corner of the goal in what proved to be the game winner against Syracuse.
Dumas was named the ACC Defensive Player of the Week on following his performance at Syracuse.
BETTER LATE THAN NEVER
• Of Notre Dame’s 10 goals scored, eight have come in the second half this season.
• All three of Notre Dame’s goals in the ACC-opening win over Syracuse came in the final 45 minutes of play.
• Just as impressive, the Irish defense has not allowed a goal in the first half in any match this season.
The CHAD RILEY ERA UNDERWAY
• Chad Riley was named the sixth head coach in program history on Jan. 4, 2018.
• Riley was just the second coach in program history to start his Irish career unbeaten through his first four matches (3-0-1), joining Dennis Grace who started 4-0-0 in 1984.
• Riley is a 2004 graduate of Notre Dame, where he was a standout on the soccer team under the previous head coach Bobby Clark.
• Riley was a three-time All-BIG EAST selection during his time with the Irish and was named the skipper of the squad in 2003.
• Prior to taking the reins of the Notre Dame program, Riley spent the last five seasons as the head coach of Dartmouth, posting a record of 51-26-14.
• Dartmouth won the Ivy League Championship in each of the last four seasons under Riley’s direction, earning four trips to the NCAA Championship.