For the second time during his Notre Dame tenure, head coach Bobby Clark will welcome in the Gatorade National Player of the Year.

Third-Ranked Irish To Open Season At Adidas/IU Credit Union Classic This Weekend

Aug. 28, 2008

2008 adidas/IU Credit Union Classic
Bill Armstrong Stadium • Bloomington, Ind.

Friday, Aug. 29
#12 Akron vs. #3 Notre Dame – 5:00 p.m. (ET)
Duke vs. #4 Indiana – 7:30 p.m. (ET)

Sunday, Aug. 31
Duke vs. #3 Notre Dame – 11:30 a.m. (ET)
#12 Akron vs. #4 Indiana – 2:00 p.m. (ET)

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Notre Dame will open the 2008 campaign at the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Ind. The third-ranked Fighting Irish will face No. 12 Akron on Friday, Aug. 29 at 5:00 p.m. (ET) and then battle Duke on Sunday, Aug. 31 at 11:30 a.m. The Irish are coming off a BIG EAST regular-season title and a trip to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championships.

FOLLOW THE GAMES: Live stats for both Fighting Irish games this weekend will be available through Gametracker on … go to the Notre Dame men’s soccer page and click on `Schedule’ and select the game to follow … also sign up for `Irish Alert’ on to receive text message score updates.

ABOUT THE IRISH: Notre Dame posted a 1-0-1 mark in exhibition play … the Irish captured a 2-1 overtime victory at No. 19 New Mexico on Aug. 20 before playing No. 16 Illinois-Chicago to a scoreless draw on Aug. 25 … Notre Dame is ranked in the top 25 of the four major national polls … the Irish peak at No. 3 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) poll, while they are sixth in the Soccer Times rankings … Notre Dame is 10th according to Soccer America and 15th in the College Soccer News preseason poll … the Irish return seven starters and 14 letter-winners from last season’s squad that notched a 14-5-5 record and advanced to the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Championships for the second straight season … Notre Dame won a share of the 2007 BIG EAST Blue Division title … Notre Dame tied Connecticut in points, but the Irish were the only team to go undefeated in league play as they posted a 7-0-4 mark … the Fighting Irish averaged 1.43 goals per game last season, while surrendering just 0.83 … fifth-year senior midfielder Alex Yoshinaga is the top returning scorer for the Irish as he tallied nine points on three goals and three assists in `07 … Yoshinaga will serve as a team tri-captain for the second straight season … senior defender Matt Besler will also be a tri-captain for the second time and junior midfielder Michael Thomas is the third captain for Notre Dame … head coach Bobby Clark is entering his eighth season with the Irish … he has a 94-38-20 (.684) record during his Notre Dame tenure.

A MARQUEE EVENT: The adidas/IU Credit Union Classic annually showcases some of the nation’s top teams … this year, Notre Dame (3), Indiana (7) and Akron (12) are all ranked among the top 12 in the NSCAA preseason poll … this is the 26th year that Indiana has hosted the classic … the eventual NCAA champion has played in the event nine times, with the Hoosiers capturing six of those titles.

IRISH HISTORY AT THE ADIDAS/IU CREDIT UNION CLASSIC: This weekend will mark the ninth trip to the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic for the Fighting Irish (1989, 1992, 1993, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008) … Notre Dame owns a 7-7-2 overall mark in the tournament … the Irish are 6-2-2 over their past five visits to the classic … the Irish captured a 2-1 overtime against top-ranked UCLA in the first game of last year’s event … Notre Dame then fell to Maryland, 3-0, on day two.

IU CLASSIC THRILLERS: Notre Dame’s past two trips to the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic have produced two overtime thrillers … in 2006, the Irish topped No. 12 Indiana, 5-4, in the first overtime period … forward Joseph Lapira, who would later go on to win the M.A.C. Hermann Trophy that season, scored the game winner in the 98th minute to put the cap on his four-goal match … last season, Notre Dame knocked off top-ranked UCLA, 2-1, in the first overtime … Alex Yoshinaga netted the `golden goal’ in the 94th minute … four of Notre Dame’s last six matches at the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic have gone to overtime … the Irish are 2-1-1 in those contests.

IRISH IN SEASON OPENERS: Notre Dame is 20-8-3 all-time in season openers, including 5-1-1 in the Bobby Clark era … the Irish knocked off No. 1 UCLA, 2-1, in overtime during the ’07 season opener at the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic.

SERIES HISTORY VERSUS AKRON: Friday will mark the 12th meeting between the Fighting Irish and the Zips … Akron holds a 6-2-3 advantage in the series … in the last meeting, the two teams played to a scoreless draw during the 2003 campaign … Notre Dame claimed both of its wins against Akron in the same season … Notre Dame captured a 1-0 win at Akron during the 2002 regular season and then topped the Zips, 3-1, in the first round of that year’s NCAA Championships … the first-ever meeting between the two schools came in 1981, a 2-0 home victory for Akron … Friday will be the first neutral site game between the Irish and Zips.

SCOUTING THE ZIPS: In its lone 2008 exhibition contest, Akron fell to North Carolina, 2-0, on Aug. 24 … last season, Akron went 15-4-2 and earned a bye and the No. 14 seed in the NCAA Championships … the Zips were eliminated in the second round by South Florida, 1-0, in double-overtime … Akron won the 2007 Mid-American Conference title with a 4-0-1 record … the Zips return six starters and 12 letter-winners … sophomore forward Steve Zakuani was the top goal-scorer for the team last season as he netted six goals to go along with two assists en route to earning freshman All-America honors … midfielder Matt Tutich returns for his senior season after notching five goals and three assists one year ago … senior goalkeeper Evan Bush posted 12 shutouts and a 0.55 goals-against average last season … head coach Caleb Porter is in his third season at Akron … he carries a 28-9-3 record at the school.

SERIES HISTORY VERSUS DUKE: Notre Dame and Duke will be meeting for the third time when the two teams square off on Sunday … this will be the first encounter since 1992 … the Blue Devils have won the two previous showdowns … Duke topped Notre Dame, 5-2, during the 1990 season in Durham, N.C. … the Blue Devils grabbed a 2-1 decision over the Irish in 1992 in Bloomington, Ind.

SCOUTING THE BLUE DEVILS: During exhibition play, Duke fell at UNC-Greensboro, 1-0, and tied Real Maryland, 2-2 … Duke went 11-8-1 in 2007 and fell to Louisville, 1-0, in the first round of the NCAA Championships … the Blue Devils return six starters and 16 letter-winners from that squad … senior forward Mike Grella posted team-high totals in goals (10) and total points (26) last season … Duke finished third in the Atlantic Coast Conference last season with a 4-3-1 mark … head coach John Kerr is in his first season at the helm of the Blue Devil program.

IRISH THOUGHTS: Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark shares his thoughts on the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic …

“This is a fantastic way to start the season. We’ve been going down there for quite a few years and we always play two good teams and this year is no exception. There is no better way to find out where you stand at this point of the season. We are looking forward to the challenge and we hope we’re up for it.”

UP NEXT: Notre Dame hosts the seventh annual Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament on Friday, Sept. 5 and Sunday, Sept. 7 … Indiana squares off with South Florida on Friday at 5:00 p.m. (ET), while the Irish take on Dartmouth at 7:30 p.m. … on Sunday, Indiana meets Dartmouth at 11:30 a.m. and Notre Dame will take on South Florida at 2:00 p.m. to wrap up the event … that match is not an offcial BIG EAST contest.

EXHIBITION ACTION: The Irish opened their 2008 exhibition slate with a 2-1 overtime win at No. 19 New Mexico on Aug. 20 … sophomore Jeb Brovsky netted the `golden goal’ in the 105th minute as he headed in a cross from classmate Josh Thiermann … the sophomore duo also had a hand in the first Notre Dame goal of the night … with the Irish trailing, 1-0, in the 66th minute, both Brovsky and Thiermann picked up an assist on the equalizer from senior Bright Dike … in its second and final exhibition game, Notre Dame played No. 16 Illinois-Chicago to a scoreless draw at Alumni Field on Aug. 25.

BESLER TABBED AS A PRESEASON ALL-AMERICAN: Matt Besler, a senior defender, has been named a second-team preseason All-American by Soccer America and College Soccer News … these are the first such national accolades for the team tri-captain … as a junior, Besler was named an NSCAA Scholar All-American in addition to taking home second-team all-BIG EAST honors for the second consecutive season … Besler has played in 69 games, including 52 starts, during his Notre Dame career … he has tallied 14 points on four goals and six assists.

BIG EAST ACCOLADES FOR BESLER: Senior defender Matt Besler was named to the 2008 BIG EAST All-Preseason Team … this marked the second straight season that he has been named to the all-league preseason squad … Besler has been a second-team all-BIG EAST pick the last two seasons.

BACK IN THE ATTACK: Forwards Bright Dike and Tamba Samba will be key cogs in the Notre Dame attacking unit this season … Dike, a senior, did not play at all during the 2007 campaign, while Samba, a junior, missed all but two games due to injury … as a sophomore in 2006, Dike tallied six points on two goals and two assists … he has appeared in 42 career games, including four starts … Samba has played in six career matches.

NOTRE DAME PICKED SECOND IN BLUE DIVISION: Notre Dame was selected to finish second in the BIG EAST Blue Division for the 2008 season … the Irish garnered 99 points in voting by the league’s head coaches, while Connecticut received 112 points … Connecticut totaled 14 first-place votes in the Blue Division, while Notre Dame had two … South Florida was tabbed to win the league’s Red Division and Louisville was picked to finish second.

COLLEGE SOCCER NEWS WATCH LISTS: Three Notre Dame freshmen were named to the College Soccer News `100 freshmen to keep an eye on’ list for the 2008 season … (M/F) Brendan King, (M/F) Michael Rose and (GK) Will Walsh were selected to the list and are 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 12th nationally by College Soccer News … (M/F) Brendan King, (M/D) Aaron Maund, (D) Sean McGrath, (M) Adam Mena, (M/F) Michael Rose, (M/D) Chris Sutton and (GK) Will Walsh make up the talented crop of Fighting Irish rookies.

TOUGH SLATE: The Irish will face another challenging schedule this season … Notre Dame has five teams ranked in the NSCAA preseason top-25 poll on its 2008 slate … Connecticut (3) and Indiana (7) are in the top 10, while Akron (12), West Virginia (15) and South Florida (18) appear in the top 20.

ALUMNI FIELD FAREWELL: The 2008 campaign will mark the final season for the Fighting Irish at Alumni Field, which has been home to the Notre Dame men’s soccer team since 1990 … the Irish will begin play in a new $5.7 million state-of-the-art facility starting in 2009 … in 18 seasons at Alumni Field, the Irish have won 73 percent of their contests as Notre Dame has posted a 120-38-17 home record. A NEW PITCH: The Notre Dame men’s and women’s soccer teams will begin play in a new $5.7 million state-of-the-art facility starting in 2009 … plans for the stadium include a lighted facility that will feature a natural grass field, locker rooms, restrooms, concession areas and 2,000 seats … the stadium will reside just east of the Joyce Center on the Notre Dame campus … the lead benefactors for the facility are former Irish men’s soccer players Tom Crotty and Rob Snyder.

PARKING CHANGES: Due to ongoing construction within the Notre Dame Athletics Quad, parking for Irish soccer games this year is limited to the Eck Baseball Stadium and Joyce Center lots … fans are asked to walk around the south end of Eck Stadium, then proceed north between the stadium’s right-field wall and the soccer practice field before entering at the south end of Alumni Field.

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 men’s soccer home games will be streamed live for free on, the official web site of all 26 varsity athletic programs at the University … the site also will feature live stats available through Gametracker … 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 `Watch’ to view the game and on `Gametracker’ to follow the stats.

SIGN UP FOR IRISH ALERT TEXT MESSAGE SERVICE: Go to and sign up for Irish ALERT, a text messaging service designed to give fans up-to-the-minute game updates for all 26 varsity sports at Notre Dame … men’s soccer fans can sign up to receive scores after each half of every game.