May 11, 2015
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — A 20-game schedule that features 12 teams from last season’s NCAA Championship field awaits the University of Notre Dame men’s soccer squad in 2015. The Fighting Irish will play 17 regular-season games and three exhibition matches.
“Once again, we’ve put together a fantastic schedule that is going to test us right from the start,” Irish skipper Bobby Clark says. “We’ve always played one of the toughest schedules in the country, and 2015 is not different for us.”
The slate includes 10 home contests at Alumni Stadium, nine true road matches and one neutral-site showdown. The Irish again face eight Atlantic Coast Conference foes, with four home games and four road trips. Notre Dame has claimed a regular-season title in each of its first two seasons in the ACC. The Fighting Irish were the 2014 ACC Coastal Division champion.
Prior to the regular season, the Irish will take to the pitch for three exhibition matches, two of which are on the road. Preseason games at Ohio State (Aug. 16) and Butler (Aug. 19) are followed by a home exhibition matchup against St. Louis (Aug. 24).
Notre Dame once again starts the regular season versus two familiar foes at the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic in Bloomington, Ind. The Irish face Maryland on Aug. 28 and Indiana on Aug. 30. These matchups are merely two of five Big Ten teams the Irish face in the 2015 regular season, with Notre Dame maintaining storied histories with both teams; notably, the Irish beat the Terrapins for the program’s first-ever NCAA title in December of 2013.
The Irish will then welcome UAB, South Florida and Indiana for the 2015 Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament. The first day (Sept. 4) will showcase Indiana playing UAB, while Notre Dame squares off with South Florida. The final day of the tournament (Sept. 6) has Indiana facing South Florida, and Notre Dame playing UAB. This year’s tournament marks the 13th time Notre Dame has hosted the event, named in honor of the program’s former head coach who passed away suddenly in January of 2000.
“We open up our season in Bloomington, playing Indiana and Maryland — then a couple weeks later head straight into conference play; we’ve got a tough non-conference schedule that is going to challenge us, without a doubt,” says Clark.
The Irish open ACC action Sept. 12 with Clemson’s first-ever trip to South Bend. Notre Dame will play host to Xavier Sept. 15 before hitting the road to face conference rival North Carolina on Sept. 18.
The Fighting Irish are slated to make a mid-week trip up to East Lansing, Michigan to play Michigan State (Sept. 22) before finishing the month of September with home tilts against Virginia (Sept. 25) and Marquette (Sept. 29).
Moving into October, the Irish travel to Raleigh, N.C. to face North Carolina State (Oct. 4) and Blacksburg, Va. for a matchup with Virginia Tech (Oct. 16), with a home game against Duke (Oct. 10) scheduled in between.
The Irish will square off against Northwestern Oct. 20 at Toyota Park, which is home to the Chicago Fire. Notre Dame plays at Wake Forest on Oct. 23 before finishing the regular season Oct. 31 with a home match versus Pittsburgh.
“Our aim every year is to win the league championship, the tournament title, and ultimately the NCAA Championship,” muses Clark. “We are fortunate to play in the best conference in the country, and the big thing about that is that the ACC really prepares us for the postseason and winning a national championship.
“We always put together a schedule that will test us in every way, and prepares us for postseason play at the end of the year,” finishes Clark.
Two of Notre Dame’s regular-season contests at Alumni Stadium — South Florida (Sept. 4) and Virginia (Sept. 25) — are slated to take place the Friday night before a home Fighting Irish football game. The home tilt with Duke on Oct. 10 is scheduled for noon at Alumni Stadium, and the Notre Dame football team will play host to Navy later that afternoon.
The ACC Championship will start Nov. 4 with the first round, while quarterfinal play is set for Nov. 8. The tournament semifinals and finals are slated for Nov. 11 and 15, respectively. All rounds of the ACC Championship will take place at campus sites.
Following the conference tournament, the Irish will hope to see their name amongst the 48-team NCAA Championship field. Tournament play begins Nov. 19 and College Cup Weekend is scheduled for Dec. 11-13 at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Missouri.
Last season, Notre Dame went 12-5-4 (6-1-1 ACC) and earned the top overall seed in the NCAA Championship. The Fighting Irish advanced to the round of 16 before falling to eventual national champion Virginia, 1-0.
Tickets for the 2015 Fighting Irish men’s soccer season are on sale through Notre Dame’s Murnane Family Athletics Ticket Office, which can be reached by phone (574-631-7356), in person through the ticket windows in the Rosenthal Atrium at Purcell Pavilion (located inside Gate 9) from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) weekdays, or by going on-line to the tickets page of the official Notre Dame athletics web site (UND.com/tickets).
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