Head coach Bobby Clark brings a talented and experienced Irish squad into the 2009 campaign.

Notre Dame Ranked 16th In College Soccer News Preseason Poll

Aug. 4, 2009

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Notre Dame men’s soccer team is ranked 16th according to the College Soccer News 2009 preseason top 30 poll. The Fighting Irish have seven teams on their 2009 schedule that appear in the rankings.

Notre Dame will square off against No. 3 Wake Forest on Friday, Sept. 4 at the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic in Bloomington, Ind. before facing top-ranked St. John’s on Sunday, Sept. 6 during the second day of the event. The match against the Red Storm will not count towards the BIG EAST standings.

The Fighting Irish have two other ranked opponents on their non-conference slate. Notre Dame will play host to No. 7 Indiana on Oct. 14 before traveling to No. 25 Michigan State on Oct. 28.

Along with St. John’s and Notre Dame, three other BIG EAST teams appear in the rankings. The Irish will face South Florida, who is ranked 13th, on Sept. 20 in Tampa, Fla. Notre Dame will welcome No. 28 Louisville (Sept. 25) and No. 20 Connecticut (Oct. 31) to the soon-to-be-open Alumni Stadium during the course of the campaign.

Notre Dame brings back eight starters from last season’s squad that posted a 12-7-2 record, including a 7-2-2 conference mark en route to capturing the BIG EAST Blue Division title. Senior forward Bright Dike (Edmond, Okla./Edmond North) led the BIG EAST in goals (12) and points (29) last season and garnered first-team all-BIG EAST accolades. Fellow senior Michael Thomas (Olathe, Kan./St. Thomas Aquinas), a midfielder, earned second-team all-league honors in 2008 after tallying eight goals and five assists. Jeb Brovsky (Lakewood, Colo./Green Mountain), a junior midfielder/forward, was a third-team all-BIG EAST pick last season as he notched five goals and a team-best six assists.

The Irish will open the 2009 season at the state-of-the-art Alumni Stadium against Michigan on Tuesday, Sept. 1. Game time is slated for 7:00 p.m. (ET). For ticket information regarding that contest and all other matches of the ’09 campaign, call the Notre Dame ticket office at 574-631-7356 or visit und.com/tickets.