Men's Soccer

@NDmenSoccer

August 20, 1997

Notre Dame Men's Soccer Team Picked Third In Preseason Big East Poll

NOTRE DAME, Ind.-- The Notre Dame men's soccer team, defending BIG EAST tournament champions, has been chosen to finish third in the league's regular season race as voted on by the league 12 head coaches. A year ago, the Irish finished third in the final regular season standings and then went on to win its first-ever tournament crown.

Defending national champion St. John's is picked to finished first. Rutgers, who lost to the Irish in the tournament's championship game, has been chosen to finish second. Along with Notre Dame and St. John's, the Scarlet Knights were the third BIG EAST team to receive an NCAA bid.

In it second year as member of the BIG EAST Conference a year ago, the Irish had a 14-7-2 overall record and placed in the league's regular season standings with a 6-3-2 mark. The Irish won their first-ever NCAA tournament game in '96 as they defeated second-seeded UNC Greensboro, 1-0. Notre Dame lost in the second round to eventual NCAA semifinalist UNC Charlotte 1-0 in a contest that was decided in the last 24 seconds of regulation.

Rutgers also advanced to the second of the '96 tournament and marked the first time that three BIG EAST teams appeared in the round of 16.

Notre Dame head coach Mike Berticelli, beginning his eighth season with the Irish, has seven returning starters and 12 returning letterwinners. Forward Ryan Turner heads the list of returnees. The senior co-captain is the team's top returning scorer off of last year's squad as he scored five goals and dished off four assists (14 points).

Other top returnees include junior midfielder Matt Johnson and junior goalkeeper Greg Velho. Both started all 23 games a year ago and are two-year starters. Johnson has started 41 of 42 games he has played in during this career. Velho was one of the leading goalkeepers nationally in '96 as he registered a .76 goals against average, recorded 9.5 shutouts and allowed just 18 goals.

Notre Dame begins its regular season at Pittsburgh on Friday, August 29 at 7:15 p.m.

Event Calendar

Delta

August 14
8:00 PM
SIUE
Edwardsville, Ill. (Korte Stadium)
August 17
8:00 PM
Bradley
Peoria, Ill. (Shea Stadium)
August 22
5:00 PM
Valparaiso
Notre Dame, Ind. (Alumni Stadium)
August 26
7:30 PM
UC Irvine
Notre Dame, Ind. (Alumni Stadium)
August 28
2:00 PM
New Mexico
Notre Dame, Ind. (Alumni Stadium)
September 2
5:00 PM
Stanford
Bloomington, Ind. (Armstrong Stadium)
September 4
12:30 PM
California
Bloomington, Ind. (Armstrong Stadium)
September 9
7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Notre Dame, Ind. (Alumni Stadium)
September 13
7:00 PM
UConn
Notre Dame, Ind. (Alumni Stadium)
September 16
7:00 PM
Louisville
Louisville, Ky. (Lynn Stadium)
September 23
7:00 PM
Syracuse
Notre Dame, Ind. (Alumni Stadium)
September 30
7:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, Pa. (Ambrose Urbanic Field)
October 4
7:00 PM
Indiana
Notre Dame, Ind. (Alumni Stadium)
October 8
7:00 PM
Wake Forest
Notre Dame, Ind. (Alumni Stadium)
October 11
7:00 PM
Michigan
Ann Arbor, Mich. (U-M Soccer Stadium)
October 14
7:00 PM
Virginia
Charlottesville, Va. (Klockner Stadium)
October 18
8:00 PM
Northwestern
Bridgeview, Ill. (Toyota Park)
October 21
7:00 PM
Duke
Durham, N.C. (Koskinen Stadium)
October 25
7:00 PM
Michigan State
Notre Dame, Ind. (Alumni Stadium)
October 28
7:00 PM
North Carolina
Notre Dame, Ind. (Alumni Stadium)
November 2
TBA
ACC First Round
Campus Sites
November 6
TBA
ACC Quarterfinals
Campus Sites
November 9
TBA
ACC Semifinals
Campus Sites
November 13
TBA
ACC Final
Charleston, S.C. (MUSC Health Stadium)

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