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    Fighting Irish

    Feb. 4, 1998

    Notre Dame Men's Soccer Team Signs Three Recruits

    NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- University of Notre Dame men's soccer coach Mike Berticelli announced the signing of three players to National Letters of Intent today. Two players from California, SHANE WALTON (San Diego, Calif.) and EVAN OLIVER (Los Angeles, Calif.) and MATT ROSSO (Churchville, Pa.) have been added to the Irish roster for the upcoming 1998 campaign.

    Notre Dame's class of 2002 filled some specific needs for Berticelli and his squad as the Irish added players at forward, in the midfield and on defense.

    "Our coaching staff has done an exceptional job working to fill the major needs of our current team," Berticelli says. "These players, coupled with two more we are expected to sign later this week will bring a truly talented and well-balanced freshman class to Notre Dame next fall."

    WALTON, at 5-11, can play both in the midfield or on the forward line. He ranks as one of the top players in Southern California and plays at The Bishop School where he has led his team to three consecutive California Interscholastic League (CIL) Western League championships. Currently, WALTON's squad is 10-2-2 and is in a tie for first-place in the league standings and he has seven goals and 24 assists.

    Last season, The Bishop School finished with a 19-3-1 mark and posted a 12-0 mark in league play. He scored 24 goals and dished off 36 assists and earned all- California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) honors as he was rated one of the top 11 players in Southern California.

    WALTON has twice earned league MVP honors and has been a three-time Coastal League all-conference honoree.

    He has been a member of the California Olympic Development Program for five years and plays for the LaJolla Nomads club team which won the 1997 Under-18 national championship.

    A four-year starter and two-year captain, he also was a standout receiver and defensive back on his school's football team earning all-CIF honors in that sport as well.

    "Shane Walton is probably the most gifted, pure athlete we have ever signed as a soccer player at Notre Dame. His speed, balance and explosiveness are incredible.

    "I am very excited about his future in our program," Berticelli continues. "He passed up several opportunities to play Division I football to focus on soccer and the academic challenges offered at Notre Dame. He may choose to test his reputation as one of San Diego' top football starter and kick returner with the Irish as well. Shane Walton's future as a student-athlete here is very promising."

    OLIVER, a 5-11 defender, has been a two-year starter at Loyola High School and has helped his team to 14 shutouts thus far during his final scholastic season. His team currently has a 19-3 record and is tied for first with a 6-2 mark in the Mission League.

    OLIVER, who also has eight goals and two assists, has been a member of the ODP Under-18 District squad the past two seasons. Last year, his team claimed the Mission League title and lost in the second round of the CIF playoffs finishing with a 21-2-3 mark.

    An honorable mention all-CIF selection following his junior season, he also has twice been named second-team all-Mission League.

    OLIVER is in his second year as a member of the Santa Anita Sting club team after playing for three years with the Real Madrid Redhawks. He served as captain and starter on that premier team. Currently, his Santa Anita squad is second in the club league standings.

    "Evan is a talented defender with very solid skills and excellent athleticism," Berticellis says. "He will bring immediate speed and quickness to our defense. Evan has competed in an outstanding league and has been a major contributor to the success of the Santa Anita Sting."

    ROSSO, a 5-8 midfielder/forward, was a three-year starter at Holy Ghost Preparatory School. This past fall his team he helped his squad to the Bicentennial Athletic League championship and a 19-3-1 record, its best in school history.

    ROSSO scored 27 goals and dished off 11 assists to set the school's single-season scoring record. His 55 career goals also established a new school mark. Rosso garnered league MVP honors for the second consecutive year in his final scholastic season and was honored as the Courier Times Player of the Year.

    As a junior, he earned MVP honors while leading his team to the quarterfinals of the district championship. In 1996, his squad finished with a 14-7-3 record and he garnered all-state and all-East regional honors.

    ROSSO is a member of the Pennsylvania ODP, the Eastern Pennsylvania and Region I Select Teams. His Region I Select Team claimed the state crown last year before losing in the regional championships.

    ROSSO recently represented the Regional team at the Under-18 National Team camp in San Diego, Calif.

    "Matt is a dynamic, explosive midfielder with a tremendous work ethic," Berticelli says. "His play with FC Delco has helped them become one of the top teams nationally."

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