July 28, 2003
The University of Notre Dame men's soccer team, which returns nine starters from its NCAA-second round squad from 2002, has been ranked 12th in the College Soccer News 2003 Preseason Top 30. The Irish finished 26th in the final College Soccer News ranking a year ago after beginning the season 17th on the preseason list. Head coach Bobby Clark welcomes back several key players for the 2003 season, including three-time captain senior Greg Martin (MF), along with classmates Justin Detter (F/MF) and Chad Riley (MF). Clark has also landed one of the most respected recruiting classes in the nation, bringing in seven talented freshman to add to his ever-improving veteran roster.
The College Soccer News 2003 Preseason Top 30 also provides a glimpse of Notre Dame's challenging schedule this fall. The Irish will face nine teams mentioned in the College Soccer News poll, including #3 St. John's, #10 Indiana and #14 Boston College. Notre Dame's two exhibition match ups, Saint Louis (#16) and Michigan (#29) also appear on the list.
The Irish are set to begin the 2003 season on Saturday, Aug. 23, at Saint Louis for an exhibition match before their home debut, another exhibition, against Michigan on Monday, Aug. 25, at 7 p.m.
The regular season begins with the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic in Bloomington, Ind., on Aug. 29 and 30. Notre Dame will face #28 Alabama-Birmingham and #18 California during the two-day event.
College Soccer News 2003 Preseason Top 30
3. St. John's*
4. Wake Forest
7. Penn State
12. NOTRE DAME
14. Boston College*
16. Saint Louis*
19. UC Santa Barbara
20. New Mexico
22. Coastal Carolina
27. San Diego
* - indicates 2003 Notre Dame opponent