Nate Norman's goal in the 56th minute put a cap on the Irish's 2-0 victory over DePaul on Wednesday evening.

No. 15 Notre Dame To Open Season This Weekend With Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament

Aug. 24, 2006

Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament

Friday, Aug. 25
No. 8 Creighton vs. No. 12 Indiana – 5:00 p.m. – Alumni Field
UAB vs. No. 15 Notre Dame – 7:30 p.m. – Alumni Field
Sunday, Aug. 27
UAB vs. No. 12 Indiana – 11:30 a.m. – Alumni Field
No. 8 Creighton vs. No. 15 Notre Dame – 2:00 p.m. – Alumni Field

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The Notre Dame men’s soccer team will host the fifth-annual Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament this Friday, Aug. 25 and Sunday, Aug. 27. A solid quartet of teams will take to Alumni Field for what should be yet another competitive tournament. A match-up between No. 8 Creighton and No. 12 Indiana will get things underway on Friday at 5:00 p.m. The 15th-ranked Fighting Irish will then square off against UAB at 7:30 p.m. Sunday’s play begins with Indiana battling UAB at 11:30 a.m., followed by Notre Dame and Creighton at 2:00 p.m. Friday will mark the season-opener for all four squads. Notre Dame went 2-0-0 in exhibition play with wins over Drake and St. Francis (Pa.).

ABOUT THE IRISH: Notre Dame has high hopes entering the 2006 campaign as the squad returns several key components from last year’s unit, including the bulk of the offense … the Irish went 12-8-3, including a 6-4-1 mark in BIG EAST play, which tied them for third in the league’s Blue Division … Notre Dame is bringing back 27 of 29 goals and 77 of 87 total points from one year ago … the Irish made their fifth straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament and made the program’s third trip to the round of 16 before falling to Clemson, 1-0 … Joseph Lapira led the team in goals (7) and points (19) last season, while tying for the lead in assists (5) … Notre Dame defeated Drake (1-0) and Saint Francis (Pa.) (2-0) in preseason play … freshman Tamba Samba scored the lone goal against the Bulldogs, while sophomore Bright Dike and senior Nate Norman tallied goals against the Red Flash.

THE MIKE BERTICELLI MEMORIAL TOURNAMENT: This year will mark the fifth year in which the Fighting Irish have hosted a tournament in honor of the former Notre Dame men’s soccer head coach Mike Berticelli … Berticelli coached the Fighting Irish from 1990-99 before passing away in January of 2000 … he posted a record of 104-80-19 during his 10-year stint at Notre Dame.

IRISH HISTORY AT THE MIKE BERTICELLI MEMORIAL TOURNAMENT: Notre Dame is 5-0-3 all time in the Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament … the Irish won the 2003 and 2005 tournaments … six of Notre Dame’s eight matches have gone to overtime … the inaugural tournament featured the Irish tying Cornell 1-1 and then knocking off No. 7 Furman 2-1 in double-overtime … in 2003, Notre Dame downed Fresno State 2-1 in overtime and then played Akron to a scoreless tie to take home the tournament title … in 2004, the Fighting Irish defeated in-state foe Evansville 2-1, before a scoreless tie versus Cal State Fullerton … last season, Notre Dame topped Boston University 1-0 and then bested Saint Louis 1-0 in double-overtime to capture the title … here is a glance at the previous tournaments … Year Order of Finish
2005 Notre Dame, Indiana, Saint Louis, Boston University
2004 Indiana, Notre Dame, Cal State Fullerton, Evansville
2003 Notre Dame, Akron, Fresno State, Indiana
2002 Bradley, Notre Dame, Furman, Cornell

IRISH IN SEASON-OPENERS: Notre Dame is 19-7-3 all time in season-openers, including 4-0-1 in the Bobby Clark era … the Irish downed No. 7 SMU, 4-1, in last year’s season-opener, which took place in the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic … Notre Dame has not lost a season-opener since the 1994 campaign, a 1-0 loss at No. 15 Penn State …the four-goal performance against SMU last season was the most goals scored in a lid-lifter for the Irish since 2001, a 5-0 win versus Villanova.

SERIES HISTORY VERSUS UAB: The Fighting Irish and the Blazers have met one other time on the soccer field, playing to a scoreless tie at the 2003 adidas/IU Credit Union Classic in Bloomington, Ind.

SCOUTING THE BLAZERS: UAB is coming off a 10-7-1 season, including a 5-3-1 mark in Conference USA … the Blazers ended the 2005 campaign ranked 23rd in the final NSCAA/adidas poll … UAB returns seven starters and 18 letterwinners … Sandy Gbandi, Jerson Monteiro and Dejan Jakovic were all named to the Preseason All-Conference USA Team … Gbandi and Monteiro return as the team’s leading scorers from a year ago … Gbandi collected 16 points (5G, 6A) last season on his way to earning second-team all-conference accolades … Monteiro accounted for 14 points (5G, 3A), which earned him third-team honors … Jakovic, who also garnered second-team All-C-USA honors, started 17 of UAB’s 18 contests a year ago as a freshman … he anchored a Blazer defense that gave up an average of just over a goal per contest … UAB was picked to finish third overall in Conference USA this season … the Blazers played Louisville to a scoreless tie in exhibition play on Saturday (Aug. 19) … UAB defeated Mobile, 3-1, in a preseason contest on Aug. 17.

SERIES HISTORY VERSUS CREIGHTON: Notre Dame and Creighton have squared off twice in the history of their programs, with both matches resulting in a tie … the Irish and Bluejays first met during the 1990 season at Notre Dame … that match ended 0-0 in overtime … the second encounter took place at Creighton’s Diadora Challenge during the 2002 campaign and that game ended 1-1.

SCOUTING THE BLUEJAYS: Creighton, one of five schools in the nation to appear in the last 14 NCAA tournaments, opens its pursuit of 15-straight versus Indiana … the Bluejays are picked to win the Missouri Valley Conference this season, after finishing 15-5-3 and advancing to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament last year … Creighton returns nine players who started at least 14 matches last year, including 2005 MVC Freshman of the Year Byron Dacy … Dacy, who is on the M.A.C. Hermann Trophy Watch List, led the team with nine goals and 27 points as a rookie last year … the Bluejays returns seven of its top nine leading scorers and preseason all-MVC team goalkeeper Matt Allen … the junior played all but 20 minutes in net for the Jays last year, logging nine shutouts and a 0.81 goals against average … Dacy and Allen are joined by a trio of seniors on the preseason all-MVC team, forward Michael Kraus and backs Ryan Junge and Andrew Peterson … the 2005 Bluejays led the MVC in both offense (2.13 goals per game) and defense (0.80 GAA), while ranking among national leaders in both categories … Creighton has never lost a season-opener under head coach Bob Warming … the Bluejays have tallied a 7-0-3 mark in Warming’s 10 season-openers at the helm, including draws in three of the last five season lid-lifters … since 1990 Creighton has lost just one debut, falling to No. 20 Duke in Bret Simon’s first game as the Bluejay head coach, Sept. 2, 1995.

WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN: Notre Dame and Creighton nearly met in the quarterfinals of last year’s NCAA College Cup … the Irish fell to Clemson, 1-0, in the third round and Creighton suffered the same fate at the hands of the Tigers in the quarterfinals.

TAKING DOWN A TOP-10: Notre Dame hopes to be in familiar territory with the match-up against No. 8 Creighton on day two of the Berticelli Tournament … the Irish have claimed a victory against a top-10 opponent in six straight seasons … last season, the Irish took down No. 7 SMU (4-1) and No. 5 Indiana (2-0) … the victory against the Hoosiers came in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

NEXT UP: Notre Dame will travel to Bloomington, Ind. for the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic … the Irish will take on Saint Louis on Friday, Sept. 1 (5:00 p.m.) and then take on No. 12 Indiana on Sunday, Sept. 3 (2:00 p.m.).

IRISH THOUGHTS: Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark shares his thoughts on the Berticelli Tournament and the Fighting Irish …

“This is going to be a fabulous weekend of soccer. We will be facing two great teams and it’ll be a good test to see where we are. Then you throw Indiana into the mix and it’ll just make for a tremendous weekend.”

“It’s hard to say where we are at right now as a team. We had some positives in both exhibition games and we also had some negatives, but that’s good. This is the time you look to plug some holes and hopefully we’ll be able to do that. The games this weekend will test us and so will the ones next weekend at Indiana’s tournament, but that’s how we like it. It’s important to be tested before you start league play so you know where the team stands.”

GIVING TO GRASSROOT: Notre Dame raised $7,000 for the Grassroot Soccer organization during its exhibition game versus Saint Francis (Pa.) on Monday, Aug. 21 … admission to the match was $1 with all proceeds benefiting the foundation, which is an international AIDS awareness and education organization that reaches youth in Africa through soccer clinics … a crowd of 2,534 fans showed up at Alumni Field to watch the match … a Notre Dame soccer alumnus, who wishes to remain anonymous, more than matched the amount from the crowd and Irish head coach Bobby Clark and the Notre Dame men’s soccer camp matched the attendance output dollar-for-dollar.

NOTRE DAME PICKED SECOND IN BLUE DIVISION: Notre Dame was selected to finish second in the BIG EAST’s Blue Division behind Connecticut, while South Florida was tabbed to be the league’s Red Division champion … the Irish collected five first-place votes compared to the Huskies’ 11 … Notre Dame was tabbed to finish second in the conference’s Blue Division last year and wound up placing in a tie for third with West Virginia … the Irish did garner the division’s No. 3 seed in the BIG EAST Tournament as a result of a tie-breaker.

DALBY AND ETHERINGTON NAMED TO PRESEASON ALL-BIG EAST TEAM: Senior midfielders Greg Dalby and Ian Etherington were named to the 2006 Preseason All-BIG EAST Team as voted on by the league’s 16 head coaches … both Dalby and Etherington were first-team all-BIG EAST selections last season.

DALBY NAMED TO M.A.C. HERMANN TROPHY WATCH LIST: Greg Dalby was named to the 2006 Missouri Athletic Club (M.A.C.) Hermann Trophy Watch List … the trophy is presented annually to the top male and female Division I soccer player in the United States … the 25-man watch list was compiled by a panel of coaches from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA).

COLLEGE SOCCER NEWS WATCH LIST: Greg Dalby was selected to the College Soccer News Pre-Season All-America first team … the senior co-captain was not the only Irish student-athlete honored by the publication, as two incoming freshmen were named to the `100 Freshmen to Watch’ list for the 2006 season … (M/F) Justin Morrow and (M/D) Michael Thomas were selected to the list and are all part of a very talented seven-man freshman class for the Irish.

FRESHMAN CLASS NATIONALLY RANKED: Notre Dame’s seven-man freshman class was ranked 16th nationally by College Soccer News … (M) John Baumgardner, (M) Dave Donohue, (M/F) Justin Morrow, (F) Tamba Samba, (D) John Schaefer, (M/D) Michael Thomas and (GK) Philip Tuttle make up the talented crop of Fighting Irish rookies.

RIGHT OUT OF THE GATE: Once again, the Irish will be facing a number of difficult opponents this season … four teams on Notre Dame’s schedule appear in the NSCAA/adidas preseason rankings and the Irish will be facing three of them in the first two weeks of the season … Notre Dame faces No. 8 Creighton in its second match of the season on Aug. 27 in the Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament … a match-up with No. 12 Indiana awaits the Irish during the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic on Sept. 3 … the Fighting Irish will then open BIG EAST play against No. 18 South Florida at Alumni Field on Sept. 8 … Notre Dame plays No. 2 Connecticut on Oct. 21 in Storrs, Conn.

NUMBER CHANGES: Seven members of the Fighting Irish team will be sporting new numbers for the 2006 season …

Name New Number Old Number
Luke Seibolt 1 24Kyle Dulworth 4 21Joseph Lapira 10 4Kurt Martin 11 8Bright Dike 14 18Nate Norman 19 20Alex Yoshinaga 20 19

NEW COACHES: The Fighting Irish are welcoming three new assistant coaches to the sidelines for the 2006 season … assistant coaches Jamie Clark and Chad Riley joined the program in March … Clark, the youngest son of head coach Bobby Clark, spent the last four seasons at New Mexico, where he helped guide the Lobos to the finals of the 2005 College Cup … Clark was a two-time All-American at Stanford, where he played from 1996-98 … Riley returns to Notre Dame, where he played from 2000-03 … he was a two-time all-BIG EAST performer at midfield … he was an assistant coach last season at St. John’s as the Red Storm compiled a record of 11-6-5 and made it to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament … Rick King is the Irish’s new volunteer assistant coach … King, a 1995 graduate of East Stroudsburg, also coaches the Indiana Invaders club soccer team.

STAY UP-TO-DATE ON NOTRE DAME ATHLETICS: To stay updated on all 26 varsity sports at Notre Dame you can log on to the official Notre Dame athletics web site at or you can call the official Notre Dame athletics hotline at (574) 631-3000 … to access men’s soccer information on the hotline all you need to do is dial 4 from the main menu and then dial 1.

FOLLOW ALL ND HOME GAMES ONLINE: All Notre Dame home games will feature livestats available through, the official web site of all 26 varsity athletic programs at the University … simply go to the men’s soccer page and click on `Schedule’ at the top of the page and find the game that is being played that day and click on `Gametracker’ to follow the game for free … live audio is also available for certain home matches.