Nov. 25, 2002
NOTRE DAME, Ind. –
NOTRE DAME ADVANCES PAST NCAA OPENING ROUND FOR THE SECOND TIME IN SCHOOL HISTORY – Notre Dame (12-5-3) is making its second appearance ever in the second round of the NCAA tournament after defeating Akron 3-1 on Friday, Nov. 22 as the Irish played host to the first-ever NCAA men’s soccer game at Alumni Field. Notre Dame’s only other first-round victory in the NCAAs was in 1996 when the Irish defeated the No. 2 seed, UNC-Greensboro, 2-1 on the road.
In the 26-year history of the men’s soccer program at Notre Dame, the Irish have earned six berths in the NCAA tournament. With the win over the Zips, Notre Dame improved to 2-5 in NCAA play.
Notre Dame and Indiana will be meeting for the 22nd and the second time in the NCAAs. Th only other previous postseason matchup between the two schools was in 1994 in Bloomington, Ind. In that game, the No. 1 Hoosiers earned a 1-0 overtime victory. Indiana leads the all-time series 18-2-1. The two teams last faced each other in 2001 in a regular-season matchup which saw the Irish record their first-ever victory over Indiana in Bloomington with a 1-0 victory.
Notre Dame has registered 12 wins for the second straight year under second-year head coach Bobby Clark. Last season’s Irish squad, which lost to Maryland 1-0 in the first round of NCAA tournament, finished with a 12-7 mark.
Notre Dame returned to action against Akron after a 13-day hiatus following Notre Dame’s 2-1 overtime loss to Georgetown loss in the quarterfinals of the BIG EAST Championship. This season Coach Bobby Clark’s squad finished fourth in the BIG EAST regular-season race with a 6-3-1 conference mark.
Clark has engineered a great turnaround for the Irish soccer program after it had suffered back-to-back losing seasons in 1999 and 2000 with a combined 15-17-5 record. Under Clark, Notre Dame is 24-12-3.
Notre Dame once again had a school-record five players earn all-conference honors. Erich Braun (Frankfurt, Germany) became the first two-time first-team all-BIG EAST selection as he earned that distinction for the second consecutive year. Justin Detter (White Lake, Mich.) and Jack Stewart (Torrance, Calif.) captured second-team honors, while Chad Riley (Houston, Texas) and Chris Sawyer (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) were selected as third-team honorees.
SCOUTING THE IRISH – Notre Dame heads into the second-round matchup with Indiana having won eight of their last 10 outings. The Irish are ranked 20th in the Soccer America poll. Coach Bobby Clark’s squad lost only two games during the month of October – at home to Pittsburgh (1-0 in overtime on October 4) and on the road at Georgetown (3-2 on October 26).
Notre Dame registered 11 regular-season wins for the second straight year, something no Irish team had done since 1993 prior to last season.
The Irish have doubled the goal-scoring output of its opponents, outscoring their foes 40-20 and holding a 325-193 shot advantage. Seven of Notre Dame’s 20 games have been decided in overtime (the Irish are 2-2-3 in those contests), while 11 matches have been decided by a single goal (the Irish own a 6-5 record in those games). The Irish defense has held their opponents to one goal or fewer on 16 occasions. Overall, Notre Dame has a 0.95 team goals against average.
Notre Dame has defeated four ranked opponents and three top 10 foes – both firsts in the 25-plus years of the program. Tonight’s matchup with Indiana marks the fifth top 10 opponent for the Irish this season.
Senior Erich Braun leads the team in scoring for the third time in four years with 23 points, while junior Chad Riley stands second in the scoring column with 20 points. Braun has a team-leading 11 goals and has dished off one assist. He has registered three two-goal outings – vs. Southwest Missouri State, Seton Hall and Providence.
Riley has scored four goals and leads the team with 12 assists. His assist total is the highest by an Irish player since Randy Morris had 12 during the 1988 campaign.
Justin Detter stands third on the team in scoring with six goals (second most by an Irish player) and seven assists for 19 points. His seven assists ties him for second on the squad this season. Greg Martin (Plano, Texas) is tied for second in goals scored with six and ranks fourth on the team in scoring with 13 points.
Following his first-ever multiple-goal outing against Akron, Rafael Garcia (Palmdale, Calif.) now stands fifth in the Irish scorng column with four goals and four assists (12 points).
Kevin Goldthwaite has scored one goal this season and has seven assists (second most behind Riley’s 12) for nine points.
Devon Prescod (Marietta, Ga.) has registered eight points with his three goals and two assists. Luke Boughen (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) also has three goals, while Jack Stewart and Justin Ratcliffe (Miami, Fla.) round out the scoring with one goal each. Kevin Richards (Warwick, Bermuda) has been credited with three assists this season.
Junior goalkeeper Chris Sawyer (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) has started all 15 games he has played and has seen action in 1367:22 of a possible 1893:54 minutes. He missed five games because of a hamstring injury suffered in the second half of the Pittsburgh game on October 4. Sawyer has allowed 15 goals this season and made 45 saves for a 0.99 goals against average. He also owns a .750 save percentage and has posted two complete-game shutouts.
Senior Greg Tait (Fayetteville, N.Y.) has started five of the seven contests he has played. He has registered four complete-game shutouts and has played 526:32 minutes with a 0.85 goals against average and .815 save percentage.
SCOUTING THE HOOSIERS – Indiana received a first-round bye and enters tonight’s game with a 14-3-2 record after finishing with a 6-0 mark in Big Ten play. The Hoosiers are ranked fifth in the NSCAA/adidas and fourth in the Soccer America rankings. Indiana is 2-2 in its last four outings after falling to Penn State 2-1 in the semifinals of the Big Ten tournament. The Hoosiers ran off a string of 11 straight victories following a 3-0 loss to St. John’s on September 7. Indiana is led in scoring by Pat Noonan who has 14 goals and nine assists (37 points).
IRISH IN THE COLLEGE SOCCER CUP – Notre Dame has a 2-5 record in six NCAA tournament appearances. The first Irish team to earn an NCAA berth was the 1988 squad and that was followed by back-to-back appearances in 1993 and ’94. In 1996, after winning the BIG EAST crown and earning the automatic berth, the Irish stunned No. 2 seed UNC Greensboro in Greensboro, N.C. with a 1-0 victory and then dropped a 1-0 decision to UNC Charlotte with the game-winning goal scored in the final 24 seconds of the contest.
RECAPPING NOTRE DAME’S NCAA FIRST-ROUND WIN vs. AKRON – Rafael Garcia scored a pair of goals in Notre Dame’s 3-1 win over Akron as the Irish recorded the second-ever NCAA tournament win in the program’s 26-year history. The win was the second for the Irish over the Zips in 2002 after posting a 1-0 victory on the road during the regular season.
Garcia got the Irish on the scoreboard in the 15th minute of the contest when he headed in Greg Martin’s cross from the left corner of the field. Ross McKenzie scored the Zips’ lone goal to even the contest at 1-1 at the 30:01 mark.
Notre Dame took the lead in the 69th minute of the contest when Garcia scored off assists from Justin Detter and Chad Riley. Erich Braun netted the insurance goal at the 80:11 off an assist from Detter.
Notre Dame outshot Akron 17-11 and registered 11 of the 13 corner kicks taken in the contest. Chris Sawyer came up with six saves in the game, while Dan Pinho made 10 stops for the Zips.
HEAD COACH BOBBY CLARK – Bobby Clark is in his second season at Notre Dame after being named the fifth head coach in the program’s history on January 19, 2001. In his 16th season as a collegiate coach, Clark has an overall record of 177-75-28 for an overall winning percentage of .682 and is 24-12-3 (.654) at Notre Dame. Heading into the 2002 campaign, he ranked 16th all-time among active Division I coaches in terms of winning percentage. Last season, he guided the Irish to a 12-7 mark and their first NCAA tournament appearance since 1996. Prior to coming to Notre Dame, he spent five seasons coaching the Stanford Cardinal to a 71-21-12 mark and .740 winning percentage from 1996-2000. Clark also was head coach at Dartmouth from 1985-93 where he led the Big Green to an 82-42-13 record (.646). Seven of Clark’s teams have advanced to NCAA tournament play with his ’98 Stanford squad finishing as the NCAA runnerup that season. In between his coaching stints at Dartmouth and Stanford, he was head coach of the New Zealand National Team (1994-95).
CLARK’S NCAA SUCCESS – As a head coach, Bobby Clark is certainly NCAA tournament tested and proven. He has guided three different schools – Notre Dame, Stanford and Dartmouth – into NCAA tournament postseason competition and eight of his 16 teams have played in the NCAAs. At each school, Clark has taken the program to new postseason heights. His Irish teams have earned back-to-back NCAA berths for the second time in school history and this year’s squad earned the second NCAA victory by a Notre Dame team. Neither Stanford nor Dartmouth had ever won an NCAA tournament game when Clark arrived. The Big Green advanced to the NCAAs on two occasions under Clark, including an appearance in the national quarterfinals in 1990. Clark’s Cardinal teams made four straight postseason appearances, finishing as the NCAA runners-up in 1998 and falling in the national quarterfinals in 2000. His combined coaching record in NCAA tournament action is 12-9 (.571).
SERIES RECORD VS. INDIANA – Indiana leads the series between the schools 18-2-1, but Notre Dame was victorious over the Hoosiers in the last meeting. During the 2001 campaign, the Irish registered their first-ever win over Indiana in Bloomington. Prior to the game, Notre Dame’s only win was a 4-3 overtime decision in 1987. Heading into last season’s contest, the Irish were 0-9-1 in the 10 previous matchups and had not met since 1997.
COMMON OPPONENTS – Notre Dame and Indiana has faced three common opponents this season – Rutgers, St. John’s and Michigan State – and own identical 1-1-1 records against these foes. The Irish tied Rutgers 1-1, lost to St. John’s 1-0 and beat Michigan State 2-0, while the Hoosiers battled the Scarlet Knights to a 0-0 deadock, lost to the Red Storm 3-0 and beat the Spartans 6-1.
NOTRE DAME-INDIANA IN 2001 – Erich Braun provided the game’s lone score 4:06 into the second half as the Irish recorded one of the biggest upsets in school history in posting a 1-0 victory over the sixth-ranked Hoosiers.
The win was just the second ever for Notre Dame in the history of the series, spanning 21 games. Heading into the contest, the Hoosiers had won nine straight as the Irish had not been victorious since a 4-3 overtime victory in 1987. The victory was the first for the Irish over a ranked opponent since the 2000 campaign and first over a team ranked in the top six since the 1996 season.
Braun scored the game-winning goal off assists from Kevin Goldthwaite and Devon Prescod. Chris Sawyer made four stops on 12 Indiana shots.
RACKING UP THE BIG EAST AWARDS – For the second straight year, Notre Dame had a record five players earn all-conference honors. Erich Braun garnered first team honors for the second consecutive year and became the first Irish player to earn first-team all-BIG EAST honors twice. Justin Detter and Jack Stewart claimed second-team honors, while Chad Riley and Chris Sawyer received third-team all-conference recognition.
BIG EAST BONANZA – The Irish were one of five BIG EAST teams in this year’s 48-team field. Three squads from the league earned top-seven seeds: St. John’s (4th), Boston College (5th) and Connecticut (7th). The Irish posted victories over both the Eagles and Huskies during the regular season and topped Seton Hall, which also gained entrance to the NCAAs but fell 1-0 to Pennsylvania in the first round.
IRISH OPPONENTS IN THE NCAAs – Eight of Notre Dame’s 19 regular-season opponents advanced to the NCAA’s 48-team field in 2002 and four are still alive in this week’s round of 32. In addition to Boston College, Connecticut, St. John’s and Seton Hall earning berths, four non-conference opponents – Creighton, Furman, Bradley and Akron – also gained entrance into the tournament. B.C., UConn, St. John’s, and Creighton all received first-round byes and will play host to second-round games, while Seton Hall, Furman, Bradley and Akron lost in the opening round. Notre Dame had a 5-2-1 regular-season record against this year’s NCAA tournament field. The two losses – Bradley and St. John’s – were both by a single goal.
SEEMS FAMILIAR – Under head coach Bobby Clark, Notre Dame seems to play well at the end of the season. The Irish, winners of eight of their last 10 contests, enjoyed a similar win-streak to close out the 2001 regular season as they won nine of their last 10 games prior to the postseason.
FOUR WINS OVER RANKED OPPONENTS – The 3-1 win over Connecticut gave the the Irish their fourth win over a ranked opponent this season – a first in the 26-year history of the program. The victory also was the third by Notre Dame vs. a top-10 opponent – also a first by an Irish team. Prior to this season, the most wins by an Irish team over ranked opponents was three in 1996. During that season, Notre Dame defeated No. 14 Connecticut (2-1), No. 12 Rutgers (1-0) and No. 2 UNC-Greensboro (1-0) in consecutive outings. The other three ranked wins for Notre Dame this season have been at home to No. 6 Seton Hall (4-0) and No. 7 Furman (2-1) and on the road at No. 15 Boston College (1-0) in overtime. In its 25-plus seasons of varsity competition, Notre Dame has 10 wins over teams that have been ranked in the top 10 of either the NSCAA/adidas or Soccer America polls.
BREAKING THE IRISH HEART – All five of Notre Dame’s losses have come in either overtime or in the final nine minutes of the contest. Here’s at look at the Irish misfortune:
* Bradley (3-2 loss on the road): Braves scored two goals in final 12:38, including the game winner at the 81:51 mark.
* St. John’s (1-0 loss on the road): Red Storm tally the game’s only score at the 88:12 mark.
* Pittsburgh (1-0 loss at home): Panthers net the only score of the contest 8:03 into overtime.
* Georgetown (3-2 loss on the road): Playing a man down, the Hoyas score the game- winning-tally on a penalty kick with 24 seconds left in regulation.
* Georgetown (2-1 loss at home): Again playing a man down,Georgetown nets the game- winning score at the 94:46 mark of the contest.
PLAYING OVERTIME – Through 20 games of the season, Notre Dame has played in six overtime contests. The Irish are 2-2-3 in those contests with four of them going to double overtime. Notre Dame’s two overtime wins were against Boston College and Furman. In the victory against the Paladins, they tallied the game-winner with 2:31 left in the second overtime session. Last season, Notre Dame played just three overtimes in 19 outings and were 1-2 in those contests. Under head coach Bobby Clark, Notre Dame is 3-4-3 in overtime games.
SUCCESSFUL TWO-YEAR STRETCH – Notre Dame’s 24 wins over the past two years marks the most successful two-year stretch since the 1996 and ’97 campaigns when it finished with 24 victories. The Irish finished 14-7-2 in ’96 and 10-9-2 in ’97.
QUICK FLICKS – On seven occasions this season, Notre Dame has wasted little time in getting on the scoreboard, tallying a goal in the first 25 minutes. Erich Braun tallied the season’s first goal 17 seconds into the contest in the season opener against Southwest Missouri State, while Rafael Garcia put in the Irish’s lone goal versus Creighton at the 7:12 mark. Against Seton Hall, Garcia scored Notre Dame’s initial goal 23:28 into the contest and Braun gave the Irish a 1-0 lead at the 11:04 mark of the match against Providence. In the win over Villanova, Chad Riley knocked in the first Irish goal 22:20 into the game, while Justin Detter tallied the game’s first score against Georgetown 15:30 into the game. Garcia got Notre Dame’s initial score 14:39 into its first-round NCAA win over Akron.
BRAUN MOVING UP THE CHARTS – With his 11 goals this season, Erich Braun is tied for sixth on the Irish goal-scoring chart with 36 career goals. He ranks ninth all-time in career scoring with 85 points (36 goals, 13 assists).
RILEY ALSO MOVING UP – Chad Riley’s team-leading 12 assists this season match the 12 he had after two seasons. His 24 career assists are the fourth all-time by a Notre Dame player. Riley’s 0.60 assist-per-game average ties him for 12th nationally.
HOME COOKIN’ FOR THE IRISH UNDER CLARK – Notre Dame suffered its first home loss of 2002 when the Irish dropped a 1-0 decision to Pittsburgh in overtime on October 4. It was just the second loss at home for Notre Dame during Bobby Clark’s tenure. The setback was the first for the Irish since dropping a 3-0 decision to Rutgers on September 22, 2001. Notre Dame’s 2-1 overtime loss to Georgetown was just the third loss for a Clark-coached team at Alumni Field. Notre Dame has a 15-3-1 record (.816) at Alumni Field under Clark. The Irish own an 8-2-1 mark at Alumni Field this season and were 7-1 a year ago.
ROLLING ALONG – Notre Dame ended the regular season by winning seven of eight games and putting together a five-game winning streak during a stretch in the month of October. Prior to that five-game win streak, which began with an October 6 win at Akron and ended when the Irish lost to Georgetown (3-2) on the road, Notre Dame did not win consecutive outings.
THE CAPTAINS – Seniors Erich Braun and Justin Ratcliffe and junior Greg Martin are serving as captains for the 2002 men’s soccer team. Braun and Ratcliffe are captains for the first time in their careers, while Martin is one of the Irish leaders for the second consecutive year. In 2001, Martin was the first sophomore in the 25-year history of the program to be a captain and became just the 10th player ever to serve as a two-time captain.
IRONIC ENDINGS VERSUS HOYAS – Both of Notre Dame’s losses to Georgetown came with the Irish playing a man-up in the contest. The Irish were playing a man-up on the road against the Hoyas for nearly four minutes when a Notre Dame player was called for a handball in the box and Georgetown converted on a penalty kick in the final 24 seconds of the contest. The Hoyas had a player receive a red card at the 86:31 mark of the game and then tallied game-winning goal 4:46 into the first overtime session.
OCTOBERFEST – Notre Dame has outscored its opponents 40-20 this season. During the month of October, while racking up a 5-2 record, the Irish outscored their opponents 14-5. Notre Dame’s 40 goals are the most scored by an Irish team since the ’95 squad scored 45 in 19 games. Notre Dame’s 33 goals last season were 14 more than the entire 2000 campaign (19 goals).
RAFAEL RISES TO THE OCCASION – Rafael Garcia recorded the first two-goal outing of his career in Notre Dame’s win over Akron. Heading into the game, Garcia had scored two goals all season and had not recorded a goal since the third game of the season, a 4-0 win over Seton Hall on Sept. 7. Prior to this season, Garcia had just two career goals.
MARTIN MAGIC – Greg Martin’s two goals against Connecticut on Oct. 20 marked the first two-goal outing of his career. He scored Notre Dame’s first two goals as he helped the Irish erase a 1-0 halftime deficit. His second score came at the 53:41 mark of the contest, which proved to be the game-winning goal. He has scored six goals on the season and leads the team with three game-winners. In addition, he dished off his first assist of the season against Akron on Friday night when he assisted on Rafael Garcia’s first goal. Martin had the decisive goal in Notre Dame’s 2-1 overtime win against Furman and in the regular-season finale against Loyola. He scored his first goal of the season in the season opener against Southwest Missouri State – a 3-2 Irish victory. Last year, Martin played in 13 games and earned starts in nine of those contests. Heading into the 2002 campaign, he had scored one goal and had dished off just one assist.
THREE CHEERS FOR CHAD – Chad Riley’s three assists against Providence marked a single-game career-best for the junior who has led the Irish in that category during his two-plus seasons. He leads the team with 12 assists this season, exceeding his previous single-season best of six during both the 2000 and ’01 campaigns.
BOUGHEN HAS CAREER DAY AGAINST FRIARS – Sophomore Luke Boughen registered the first two goals of his collegiate career against Providence just 1:12 apart from each other. It also marked his first career points in an Irish uniform. Boughen scored his first goal at the 51:19 mark and then followed with his second score at 52:31. He also had the game-winning goal in Notre Dame’s 1-0 overtime win at Boston College.
RAFAEL IS COMING UP BIG – One Irish player who has stepped up his level of play this season has been senior forward Rafael Garcia, a starter in all 20 contests. He has four goals and four assists on the season for 12 points. Prior to the Akron game, Garcia registered goals in both the Creighton and Seton Hall contests and is credited with assists in the Southwest Missouri State, Furman, Bradley and Connecticut matches. Heading into the 2002 campaign, he had made 13 starts in 38 games and had scored two goals and dished off two assists.
DETTER DOING IT – Justin Detter is Notre Dame’s third-leading goal scorer this season with six goals (second best on the team) and and five assists (second most on the team). Detter already has equalled his single-season best for goals scored and has 14 career goals and 13 assists (41 points).
IRISH LOOK TO GOLDIE – Sophomore Kevin Goldthwaite has been one of the team’s most consistent players at both ends of the field this season. The Irish defender has scored a goal and dished off seven assists (tied for second most on the team). In his rookie season, he had four goals and five assists (13 points).
IRISH MAINSTAYS – Four Irish veterans have started 90.0 percent or better in Notre Dame games during their careers: Erich Braun (Sr.) – 70 of 72 (.972); Justin Ratcliffe (Sr.) – 69 of 75 (.920); Justin Detter (Jr.) – 55 of 56 (.982); and Chad Riley (Jr.) – 53 of 56 (.946).
GETTING HIS STARTS – Freshman Dale Rellas (Plano, Texas) has been in the starting lineup in all 20 of Notre Dame’s games in 2002. He was the only Irish rookie to see action against Southwest Missouri State in the season opener. Rellas came up with a critical back save in the Connecticut game which prevented the Huskies from going up 2-0 in the contest.
PLAYING THE BEST – The ’02 men’s soccer schedule featured nine teams that advanced to NCAA tournament play a year ago. Those teams featured on the 18-game slate include: Akron, Boston College, Connecticut, Creighton, Furman, Michigan State, Rutgers, St. John’s and Seton Hall. This year, eight Notre Dame opponents earned invitations to the NCAAs.
25 AND COUNTING – The 2001 campaign marked the 25th season of varsity competition for the Notre Dame men’s soccer program. Since its inaugural season in 1977, Irish teams have compiled a 339-170-45 record for a .653 winning percentage. Notre Dame has won 20-plus games on three occasions and 15 or more contests 11 times. In the program’s history, only five teams have had a losing season.
ALL IN THE FAMILY – Freshman defender John Stephens (Woodbridge, Ill.) is no stranger to athletics at Notre Dame. His grandfather, Colonel John Stephens, served as Notre Dame’s longtime associate athletics director until the mid-80’s. His father, John, is a graduate of Notre Dame and received a law degree from the University.
HOME SWEET HOME – Notre Dame is 8-2-1 at home this season after finishing the 2001 campaign with a 7-1 mark at Alumni Field (its only loss was to Rutgers). The Georgetown contest on November 9 marked 120th game at Alumni Field. The Irish own an 83-30-8 mark all-time for a .719 winning percentage. The ’02 campaign marks the 12th for Notre Dame at Alumni Field.
LEADER OF THE PACK – For the first time in the history of the BIG EAST Conference, six teams represented the league in the 2001 NCAA Men’s Soccer Championship. The BIG EAST led all conferences with six selections. In addition to Notre Dame, Boston College, Connecticut, Rutgers, St. John’s and Seton Hall earned spots in the 48-team field.
DIADORA CHALLENGE ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM – Notre Dame had four players named to the all-tournament team at the Diadora Challenge – Erich Braun, Greg Martin, Jack Stewart and Luke Boughen. In addition, Braun was selected as the tournament’s MVP as the Irish also won the tournament crown.
MIKE BERTICELLI CLASSIC ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM – Three Notre Dame players – Justin Ratcliffe (Miami, Fla.), Devon Prescod (Marietta, Ga.) and Kevin Goldthwaite – were named to the all-tournament team. Bradley had four players selected, including goalkeeper Chris Dunsheath who also earned MVP honors. Furman and Cornell each placed two players on the squad.
LIGHTNING STRIKES TWICE – Notre Dame has had two games this season delayed by lightning – Creighton and Bradley. Against Creighton, there was a 30-minute lightening delay, while the Bradley contest was delayed 20 minutes in the 16th minute of the contest.