Notre Dame opens the 2018 by welcoming Saint Louis to Alumni Stadium at 7 p.m. ET on August 24. The fixture will mark the beginning of the Chad Riley era, who took the reins of the program in January of 2018. The game will be broadcast live on ACC Network Extra (WatchESPN).
OWNING THE OPENERS
- Notre Dame has historically gotten off to a good start to its season, posting a record of 25-9-7.
- The Irish are unbeaten in their last seven openers to a season, going 4-0-3. Notre Dame has outscored the opposition by a combined score of 10-2 over that stretch.
- Notre Dame has been even better in home openers, recording a mark of 30-8-3.
- Last season the Irish defeated San Diego in a 2-0 shutout at home to start the 2017 campaign.
THE SAINT LOUIS SERIES
- Friday will be the 13th meeting between the the Irish and Bilikins in the series history.
- Notre Dame trails Saint Louis 3-8-1 in the series but own a 2-1-0 record when playing at home.
- The last three meetings between the two sides have gone to double overtime, with Notre Dame going 1-1-1.
The CHAD RILEY ERA BEGINS
- Head coach Chad Riley will coach his first official match for the Irish on Friday evening, as he was named the sixth head coach in program history on January 4, 2018.
- 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 Championships.
BERNESKI NAMED TEAM CAPTAIN
- Senior center back Patrick Berneski will wear the captains armband for the Irish in 2018, as he was given the honor after a vote by the team.
- Berneski started all 19 games on the backline as a junior and has accrued 26 starts in his career.
- The center back scored the first goal of his career as a junior in 2017 in a victory over NC State.
TOUGHEST SCHEDULE IN THE COUNTRY
- The Irish have never shied away from playing a challenging slate of opponents and the 2018 schedule looks to be no different.
- Notre Dame is set to face six of the top seven ranked teams in the preseason United Soccer Coaches poll in No. 2 Indiana, No. 3 UNC, No. 4 Akron, No. 5 Wake Forest, No. 6 Louisville and No. 7 Michigan State.
- Eleven of the 17 teams on Notre Dame’s regular-season schedule enter the 2018 year in the national rankings.
PROTECT THIS HOUSE
- The Irish have done a good job of defending their home field over the last six seasons, posting a combined record of 48-11-10 (.768).