Senior midfielder Michael Thomas registered a goal and an assist in Notre Dame's 4-0 win over Louisville back on Sept. 25.

Notre Dame And Louisville To Meet In BIG EAST Semifinals On Friday

Nov. 11, 2009

Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

#25 NOTRE DAME (10-7-2)
(#2 Seed Blue Division)
#7 LOUISVILLE (13-2-3)
(#1 Seed Red Division)

BIG EAST Championship – Semifinals
Friday, Nov. 13 • 5:30 p.m. (ET)
Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium • Morgantown, W. Va.
Notre Dame leads series 9-1-0
TV: CBS College Sports (Live)
Play-by-Play: Jason Knapp; Analyst: Shep Messing
Live Stats:

SETTING THE STAGE … No. 25 Notre Dame will meet seventh-ranked Louisville in the BIG EAST Championship semifinals on Friday, Nov. 13. Game time is slated for 5:30 p.m. (ET) at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium in Morgantown, W. Va. The Fighting Irish defeated the Cardinals, 4-0, earlier this season (Sept. 25) at Notre Dame. Notre Dame is the second seed from the league’s Blue Division, while Louisville is the top seed from the Red Division. The winner of the Notre Dame-Louisville match will face the victor from the St. John’s-Providence semifinal on Sunday in the BIG EAST Championship title game.

GAME WATCH … Friday’s match will be aired live on CBS College Sports … Jason Knapp will handle play-by-play duties, while Shep Messing will provide color commentary … live stats of the contest will be available at

SERIES HISTORY VERSUS LOUISVILLE … Friday will mark the 11th meeting all-time between Notre Dame and Louisville … the Fighting Irish are 9-1 against the Cardinals … Notre Dame defeated Louisville 4-0 earlier this season (Sept. 25) … this will mark the second time that both schools have met in the BIG EAST Championship … the Irish downed the Cardinals 1-0 at home during the quarterfinals of the 2008 tournament … Louisville’s lone win in the series was a 2-1 overtime victory last season at Louisville … Notre Dame owns a 26-6 scoring advantage in the series.

ABOUT THE IRISH … Notre Dame is 10-7-2 on the season … the Fighting Irish are coming off a 2-2 tie against No. 8 USF in the BIG EAST Championship quarterfinals on Sunday … the Irish advanced past the Bulls on penalty kicks, 5-4 … Notre Dame posted an 8-3 record in the BIG EAST Conference to finish second in the Blue Division … senior forward Bright Dike tallied his team-high 10th goal of the season against USF … senior midfielder Michael Thomas collected his team-best sixth assist on the play … sophomore central defender Aaron Maund netted the equalizer in the 83rd minute for his first collegiate goal … Notre Dame is averaging 1.58 goals per game, while surrendering 1.05 goals per contest … Philip Tuttle has started 10 games in goal, while Andrew Quinn has started nine matches … Tuttle is 7-3-1 with four shutouts … the senior boasts a 0.79 goals-against average and a .690 save percentage … Quinn, a fifth-year senior, is 3-4-1 with one shutout … Quinn has a 1.32 goals-against average and a .732 save percentage … head coach Bobby Clark is in his ninth season with the Irish … he has a 116-52-24 (.667) record during his Notre Dame tenure.

SCOUTING THE CARDINALS … Louisville will bring a 13-2-3 record into its match against Notre Dame on Friday … the Cardinals are 8-1-2 since losing to Notre Dame on Sept. 25 … Louisville downed DePaul in a penalty kick shootout, 3-2, in the quarterfinals of the BIG EAST Championship on Saturday … the match was a 1-1 draw … Louisville is averaging 2.56 goals per game, while surrendering 0.67 per contest … Colin Rolfe leads the team in goals (10) and points (22) … Mark Knight has a team-high six assists … Andre Boudreaux has played every minute in goal and carries a 0.64 goals-against average and a .739 save percentage with 12 shutouts … Louisville posted an 11-8-2 record last season and fell to Jacksonville, 4-3, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament … the Cardinals went 5-5-1 in the BIG EAST to finish fourth in the Red Division … head coach Ken Lolla is in his fourth season at Louisville.

QUOTING CLARK … Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark discusses the upcoming match against Louisville … “Louisville is always a hard game. The score last time flattered us a bit because it very well could have been a one-goal game. There is no way we can underestimate them because they are having a fantastic year. It’s a great game for us to try and prepare for the NCAAs. Hopefully we can get a win and get to the final. This is our third straight trip to the final four of the BIG EAST tournament, but we’ve yet to win it in that time. Louisville is a difficult hurdle for us to try and win the championship.”

THE LAST TIME … Notre Dame downed Louisville 4-0 earlier this season (Sept. 25) at Alumni Stadium … the match was scoreless at halftime and the Irish erupted for four second-half goals … Notre Dame used four different goal scorers in the match … Michael Thomas put the Irish on the board in the 49th minute and Steven Perry gave the Irish a two-goal advantage in the 60th minute … Bright Dike (75th minute) and Jeb Brovsky (77th minute) tallied goals two minutes apart to produce the final outcome … the Irish out shot the Cardinals 12-10 … Louisville earned one more corner kick (5-4) than the hosts … Philip Tuttle was in goal for the Irish and earned the win by making three saves … Andre Boudreaux had one save for the Cardinals.

CRACKING THE CARDINALS … Louisville has only surrendered 12 goals all season, yet four of those came in the 4-0 Irish victory back on Sept. 25 at Notre Dame … that also marked the only time this season that the Cardinals have been shut out.

FANTASTIC FRIDAYS … Notre Dame is 4-0-1 when playing on Friday this season … one of those victories was a 4-0 decision over Louisville on Sept. 25 … the Irish will look to improve their Friday mark when they square of again with the Cardinals on Nov. 13.

IRISH IN THE BIG EAST CHAMPIONSHIP … This is Notre Dame’s 13th trip to the BIG EAST Championship … the Irish own a 12-9-3 mark overall in the league playoffs … last season, Notre Dame defeated Louisville 1-0 in a home quarterfinal match before falling to USF, 2-1, in the semifinals in Tampa, Fla. … Notre Dame has won the BIG EAST Championship on two occasions, in 1996 and 2003 … Notre Dame is 6-1-3 at home all-time in the conference tournament, 1-6-0 in true road games and 5-2-0 at neutral sites … head coach Bobby Clark boasts an 8-6-3 record in BIG EAST Championship games in his nine seasons with the Fighting Irish.

SEMIFINAL HISTORY … Notre Dame is making its third straight appearance and seventh overall in the league semifinals … the Irish are 3-3 all-time in BIG EAST Championship semifinal matches … last season, the Fighting Irish fell to USF, 2-1, in the semis.

WHAT’S AT STAKE … The winner of Friday’s BIG EAST Championship semifinal match between Notre Dame and Louisville will advance to the league title game to take on either Providence or St. John’s … the Friars and Red Storm will meet in the first semifinal game on Friday (3:00 p.m.) … Providence is the No. 5 seed from the Blue Division, while St. John’s is the second seed from the Red Division … the championship game is slated for 12 noon (ET) on Sunday at Dick Dlesk Stadium.

IRISH IN MORGANTOWN … Notre Dame is 3-4 all-time in Morgantown, W. Va. … all of those matches have come against West Virginia … in their last trip to Morgantown, the Fighting Irish topped the Mountaineers, 1-0, last season.

TAMING THE TOP SEEDS … Notre Dame has defeated both of the BIG EAST Championship top seeds this season … the Irish bested Louisville, the Red Division’s No. 1 seed, 4-0 back on Sept. 25 … Notre Dame took down the Blue Division’s top seed, Connecticut, 2-1 in overtime on Oct. 31 … the Fighting Irish are the only team to beat both the Cardinals and Huskies this season.

CONFERENCE CROWNS … Notre Dame is in pursuit of its sixth conference tournament title … the Fighting Irish captured three Midwestern Collegiate Conference tournament championships (1988, 1993, 1994) … Notre Dame has won the BIG EAST Championship twice (1996, 2003).

NOTRE DAME IN BIG EAST PLAY … Notre Dame owns an overall record of 91-53-18 (.617) in BIG EAST regular-season play since joining the conference in 1995 … the Irish have posted nine straight winning seasons within the conference, including this season’s 8-3-0 mark … the eight wins in BIG EAST play tied for the most ever for the Fighting Irish … Notre Dame also won eight BIG EAST matches in 2004 (8-1-1) and 2006 (8-3) … the Irish have three regular-season BIG EAST titles … Notre Dame won the championship outright in 2004 and 2008 (Blue Division) and shared the Blue Division trophy with Connecticut in 2007 … the Fighting Irish captured BIG EAST tournament crowns in 1996 and 2003.

COMING BACK … Despite falling behind USF by two goals, Notre Dame came back to force a 2-2 draw in their BIG EAST Championship quarterfinal match on Nov. 8 … it was the first time Notre Dame had come back from a two-goal deficit since Oct. 13, 2007 when the Irish fell behind Connecticut 2-0 before claiming a 3-2 lead … that match would end in a 3-3 tie.

SHOOTOUT SUCCESS … The 5-4 shootout victory over USF on Nov. 8 marked the first Notre Dame game to go to a penalty kick shootout since the 2005 season … the Irish advanced past Syracuse in penalty kicks, 4-2, during the first round of that season’s BIG EAST Championship.

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS … Five of Notre Dame’s past six matches have been decided by one goal … the other game in that stretch was a tie … the Fighting Irish have played a total of 11 one-goal games this season … the Irish are 6-5 in those contests.

DOUBLE DIGITS … Since head coach Bobby Clark took over the Fighting Irish program in 2001, he has steered the Irish to a double-digit win total in each of his nine seasons … Notre Dame currently is 10-7-2.

GOLDEN MOMENTS … Notre Dame has netted a golden goal three times in its past eight matches … Bright Dike produced a game winner in the 110th minute against Providence on Oct. 10 … junior right back Bilal Duckett tallied a golden goal in the 97th minute versus Georgetown on Oct. 21 … Dike then delivered his second golden tally of the season when he scored in the 91st minute against Connecticut on Oct. 31.

SENIOR DAY … Seniors Michael Thomas and Bright Dike both tallied goals in Notre Dame’s 2-1 overtime triumph of Connecticut on Oct. 31 … they were part of the nine Fighting Irish seniors recognized prior to that day’s match.

SETTING THE PACE … Notre Dame is 6-1-1 this season when Bright Dike scores a goal … Dike leads the Irish in goals (10) and points (23) … the Irish are 5-0-1 when Michael Thomas nets a goal … Thomas is second on the Irish squad with six goals to go along with a team-high six assists.

AMONG THE LEAGUE LEADERS … Senior forward Bright Dike, the BIG EAST Preseason Offensive Player of the Year, leads the league with 23 points … Dike’s 10 goals ties him for the BIG EAST lead with Louisville’s Colin Rolfe.

CORNERING THE MARKET … The Fighting Irish have gained 38 more corner kicks (123-85) than their opponents … Notre Dame’s 123 corner kicks leads the BIG EAST.

FIRST TIMERS … In the past five matches, four Notre Dame players have scored their first career goal … junior right back Bilal Duckett tallied the golden goal in the 97th minute in a 2-1 win at Georgetown on Oct. 21 … sophomore midfielder Michael Rose netted the lone goal (48th minute) in Notre Dame’s 1-0 win at Pittsburgh on Oct. 24 … sophomore midfielder Adam Mena scored the only Irish goal (37th minute) in a 2-1 setback against Michigan State on Oct. 28 … sophomore central defender Aaron Maund netted the equalizer in the 83rd minute in a 2-2 draw against USF in the BIG EAST Championship quarterfinals on Nov. 8.

SECOND HALF SUCCESS … Notre Dame has out scored its opponents 22-11 in the second half and overtime periods this season.

SHOOTING DOWN THE COMPETITION … Notre Dame has out shot 16 of its 19 opponents so far this season … the Irish hold a 278-185 advantage in shots, including 119-74 in shots on goal, over their opponents … Notre Dame’s 278 shots lead the BIG EAST.

NIGHT OWLS … Notre Dame is 5-1-1 this season when playing at night … last season, the Fighting Irish were 7-4-2 during night games.

TAKING DOWN A TOP-FIVE … The 2-1 overtime win against fifth-ranked Connecticut on Oct. 31 marked Notre Dame’s first victory over a top-five team since they defeated No. 5 USF 5-0 last season (Sept. 7, 2008).

TOUGH SLATE … Notre Dame faced four teams this season that were ranked in the top-five nationally at the time of the match … the Irish took on #3 Wake Forest (T, 1-1) and #1 St. John’s (L, 0-2) at the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic (Sept. 4 & 6) … the back-to-back games against Wake Forest and St. John’s was the first time ever the Fighting Irish had faced back-to-back top-three teams … Notre Dame fell at #5 South Florida, 2-1, on Sept. 20 … the Fighting Irish took down #5 Connecticut, 2-1 in overtime, on Oct. 31 … Notre Dame is 3-3-2 this season versus teams ranked in the national top-25.

IRISH EXPLOSION … The four goals scored in the second half against Louisville on Sept. 25 were the most goals scored in a single period by the Irish since they netted four in the first half in a 5-0 win over USF last season (Sept. 7, 2008).

OFFENSE AT ALUMNI … Notre Dame has scored three or more goals three times this season at the brand new Alumni Stadium … those performances have occurred against Michigan (5-0), Seattle (3-0) and Louisville (4-0) … Notre Dame scored the first nine goals at the stadium before surrendering a score to New Mexico in the 38th minute during the game on Sept. 13 … the scoreless streak in the new venue reached 217:54.

MAUND AND POWERS AT U-20 WORLD CUP … Sophomore defender Aaron Maund and freshman midfielder Dillon Powers were members of the United States Under-20 National Team that recently competed at the U-20 World Cup in Egypt … the U.S. went 1-2 and finished in 17th place, one slot shy of advancing to the Round of 16 … Powers started the first contest of group competition, a 3-0 loss to Germany on Sept. 26, and played the entire first half … in a 4-1 win over Cameroon on Sept. 29, he came on in the 73rd minute and completed the game for the United States … Powers and Maund did not enter the final match of Group C play, a 3-0 loss to Korea Republic on Oct. 2 … Maund did not see match time during the tournament … Notre Dame and UCLA were the only two schools with multiple representatives on the team … the duo returned to the Irish for the match at Marquette on Oct. 7 … Notre Dame went 3-2 in their absence.

DIKE DEPOSITS HAT TRICK … Senior forward Bright Dike had a stellar start to the 2009 season as he registered the first hat trick of his career in a 5-0 win over Michigan … the hat trick was the first for a Notre Dame player since Dave Donohue scored three times against Marquette last season.

OFFENSIVE OPENER … Notre Dame’s five-goal outburst against Michigan in the season opener was the first for the Fighting Irish since a 5-0 triumph of USF on Sept. 7, 2008 … the five tallies are the most in a season opener for Notre Dame since a 5-0 victory over Villanova in 2001, which was head coach Bobby Clark’s first game with the Irish.

ALUMNI STADIUM … The 2009 season signifies a new era for Fighting Irish soccer as Notre Dame begins play in Alumni Stadium … the Irish opened the facility with a 5-0 victory over Michigan on Sept. 1 … the $5.7 million venue resides just east of the Joyce Center on the Notre Dame campus and features a natural grass field, lights, locker rooms, restrooms, concession areas and permanent seating for over 2,000 spectators … the lead benefactors for the facility are former Irish soccer players Tom Crotty and Rob Snyder.

ONE FOR THE RECORD BOOK … Jeb Brovsky’s goal in the 26th minute of the season-opening 5-0 win over Michigan was the first goal scored in Alumni Stadium … Michael Thomas collected the assist on the play.

LEAGUE HONORS FOR DIKE AND THOMAS … Senior forward Bright Dike was named the 2009 BIG EAST Preseason Offensive Player of the Year … he was joined on the league’s all-preseason squad by Irish senior midfielder Michael Thomas.

POWERS EARNS NATIONAL HONORS … Freshman midfielder Dillon Powers was named the 2008-09 Gatorade Boys Soccer Player of the Year … in addition, he was selected as the U.S. Soccer Development Academy Co-Player of the Year in July.

RETURNING FIREPOWER … Notre Dame returned 38 of 41 goals scored from last season … leading the way was senior forward Bright Dike, who led all BIG EAST players in goals (12) and points (29) one year ago … Michael Thomas was the top scoring midfielder in the league with 21 points on eight goals and five assists … junior forward Jeb Brovsky is back after totaling five goals and six assists as a sophomore … seniors Dave Donohue (5g, 5a) and Justin Morrow (2g, 4a) registered 15 and eight points, respectively, one season ago … sophomore Brendan King and senior Tamba Samba chipped in two goals apiece for the Irish … King also added three assists.

COLLEGE SOCCER NEWS WATCH LISTS … Two Notre Dame freshmen were named to the College Soccer News `100 Freshmen To Keep An Eye On’ list for the 2009 season … midfielder/defender Danny O’Leary and midfielder Dillon Powers were selected to the list and are part of a very talented six-man freshman class for the Irish.

FRESHMAN CLASS NATIONALLY RANKED … Notre Dame’s freshman class was ranked ninth according to College Soccer News … Bob Novak (M), Danny O’Leary (M/D), Dillon Powers (M), Kyle Richard (M/F), Grant Van De Casteele (D) and Eric Tilley (M/D) make up the stellar class.

IRISH CAPTAINS … Senior midfielders Dave Donohue, Justin Morrow and Michael Thomas along with fifth-year senior midfielder/defender Cory Rellas were named team captains for the 2009 campaign … this is the second straight season in which Thomas has been an Irish captain, while the other three are first-time captains.

SEASON IN REVIEW … Last season, Notre Dame posted a 12-7-2 mark, including a 7-2-2 record in conference play, en route to capturing its second straight BIG EAST Blue Division title … the Fighting Irish garnered the 12th seed for the NCAA Championship … the Irish fell to Northwestern, 2-1, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Alumni Field … the Fighting Irish concluded the season ranked 16th in the final National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) poll … Notre Dame averaged 1.95 goals per game last season, while allowing 1.10 per contest … Bright Dike led the BIG EAST in goals (12) and total points (29) … the forward copped first team all-league and all-region honors in 2008 … central defender Matt Besler was named a first-team All-American and first team Academic All-American in addition to being tabbed as the NSCAA Scholar-Athlete of the Year … Besler became the highest MLS SuperDraft pick in program history as he was selected eighth overall by the Kansas City Wizards … the New York Red Bulls drafted his backline mate, Jack Traynor, with the 29th overall selection.

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