Sept. 16, 2010
#24 NOTRE DAME (2-1-1) at MICHIGAN (3-1-1)
#15 MICHIGAN STATE (3-1-0) at #24 NOTRE DAME (2-1-1)
SETTING THE STAGE ... The Fighting Irish will encounter two Big Ten Conference rivals this weekend. Notre Dame will travel to Michigan on Friday, Sept. 17 for a 7:30 p.m. (ET) kickoff. The Irish will play host to Michigan State at 2:00 p.m. (ET) on Sunday, Sept. 19. Notre Dame is 2-1-1 this season and fresh off winning last weekend's Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament.
FOLLOW THE GAMES ... Live stats for Friday's match at Michigan will be available via UND.com ... Sunday's home match against Michigan State will feature a live audio broadcast on UND.com ... live stats through Gametracker and a live blog also will be available on UND.com for Sunday's game ... fans can sign up for `Irish Alert' on UND.com to receive text message score updates ... updates and results can also be found on Twitter at UND_com.
IRISH AT A GLANCE ... Notre Dame won the Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament last weekend with victories over No. 22 Drake (2-0) and Cal Poly (5-1) ... the Irish offense is averaging 1.75 goals per game, while the defense is surrendering 0.50 goals per contest ... senior forward Steven Perry has a team-best two goals ... sophomore midfielder Dillon Powers leads the team in assists with two ... junior goalkeeper Will Walsh has played every minute in goal and boasts a 0.47 goals-against average and a .889 save percentage to go along with two shutouts ... head coach Bobby Clark is in his 10th season with the Irish ... he has a 119-54-27 (.663) record during his Notre Dame tenure ... this is Clark's 24th season as a college head coach ... he has a combined record of 272-117-52 (.676) during his career, which included stops at Dartmouth and Stanford.
SERIES HISTORY VERSUS MICHIGAN ... The Fighting Irish and Wolverines have squared off nine times on the pitch, with Notre Dame holding a 7-1-1 advantage in the series ... this will be just the second meeting between Notre Dame and Michigan in Ann Arbor ... the Fighting Irish won the only previous encounter in Ann Arbor, 2-0, during the 2006 season ... Notre Dame captured a 5-0 home victory over Michigan last season ... that was the first game at Alumni Stadium ... Michigan's only win against the Irish was a 3-1 decision during the 2008 season in Ypsilanti, Mich. ... the tie in the series came during the 2003 NCAA Championship Round of 16 and Michigan advanced on penalty kicks, 4-3 ... Notre Dame and Michigan first met in 1977 ... the Irish won that contest, 4-2, at home ... the Irish own a 24-9 scoring advantage in the series.
SCOUTING THE WOLVERINES ... Michigan will carry a 3-1-1 record into Friday's game against Notre Dame ... Friday will be the official dedication for Michigan's new soccer stadium ... the Wolverines topped Oakland 2-1 on Wednesday ... Michigan also has registered wins over Detroit (2-1 in OT) and UIC (2-0) ... the Wolverines tied Seattle (2-2) and fell to Drake (1-0) ... the Michigan offense is averaging 1.60 goals per game, while the defense is surrendering 1.00 goal per game ... Soony Saad has a team-best four goals ... Chris Blais has played every minute in goal and carries a 0.94 goals-against average and a .792 save percentage ... Michigan went 10-7-1 last season and posted a 2-4-0 mark in Big Ten Conference play ... the Wolverines returned nine starters and 19 letter winners from last season's squad ... head coach Steven Burns is in his 10th season at Michigan.
THE LAST TIME AGAINST THE WOLVERINES ... Notre Dame opened Alumni Stadium in fine fashion last season with a 5-0 win over Michigan ... Bright Dike registered a hat trick to lead the Irish ... Jeb Brovsky and Steven Perry also netted goals for Notre Dame ... Andrew Quinn played 83:22 and made three saves in goal for the Irish, while Philip Tuttle played the remainder of the match ... Michigan's Chris Blais was in goal for all 90 minutes and made six saves.
SERIES HISTORY VERSUS MICHIGAN STATE ... The Fighting Irish and Spartans will be meeting for the 20th time when they square off on Sunday ... Notre Dame holds a 10-4-5 advantage in the series ... the Spartans topped the Irish 2-1 last season in East Lansing, Mich. ... Michigan State is 0-9-1 all-time at Notre Dame ... the Irish won the last contest against the Spartans at Notre Dame (3-0 in 2008) ... the first meeting between the two schools occurred in 1978, a 2-2 tie in East Lansing ... Notre Dame has out scored Michigan State 33-15 in the series ... five of the contests have gone to overtime, all of them resulting in a tie.
SCOUTING THE SPARTANS ... Michigan State will bring a 3-1-0 record into its game against Marquette on Friday ... the Spartans have posted wins over Maryland (4-3 in OT), Providence (4-0) and Niagara (4-1) ... Michigan State dropped a 4-0 decision to Georgetown ... the Spartan offense is averaging 3.00 goals per game, while the defense is allowing 2.00 goals per game ... Rubin Bega has a team-high three goals ... Spencer Thompson has a team-best four assists ... Avery Steinlage has started all four games in goal and has a 1.91 goals-against average and a .731 save percentage ... Michigan State went 11-8-2 last season and posted a 2-4-0 record in Big Ten play ... the Spartans fell to Duke, 2-1, in the second round of the 2009 NCAA Championship ... the Spartans returned 10 starters and 22 letter winners from last season's team ... head coach Damon Rensing is in his second season as the head coach of the Spartans.
THE LAST TIME AGAINST THE SPARTANS ... Notre Dame fell at Michigan State, 2-1, last season ... Adam Mena scored for the Irish in the 37th minute ... Rubin Bega (15th minute) and Cyrus Saydee (57th minute) netted goals for the Spartans ... Michigan State scored on its only two shots on goal ... Andrew Quinn played all 90 minutes in goal for the Irish, while Avery Steinlage was in goal for the Spartans and made three saves ... the Irish out shot the Spartans 14-8 and Notre Dame earned one more corner kick (5-4) than Michigan State.
BIG EAST/BIG TEN ... This weekend will be a BIG EAST/Big Ten showdown as the Irish face Big Ten Conference foes Michigan (Friday) and Michigan State (Sunday) ... fellow BIG EAST school Marquette will face Michigan State on Friday and Michigan on Sunday.
QUOTING CLARK ...
Irish head coach Bobby Clark shares his thoughts on the upcoming weekend ...
"Michigan and Michigan State are two good teams and they are two good challenges. Michigan will be a big challenge because it's their stadium dedication so there will be a big crowd. It'll be a fun atmosphere for our guys to play in. Hopefully we play well. Michigan State beat us last year up there and they are a very good team. They are well organized and well coached. That won't be an easy game either. This weekend will give us two good tests and will show us where we stand at this point of the season."
UP NEXT ... The Fighting Irish will open BIG EAST play on Saturday, Sept. 25 when they welcome St. John's to Alumni Stadium ... kickoff against the Red Storm is slated for noon (ET), which precedes Notre Dame's home football game versus Stanford at 3:30 p.m. (ET) ... there is no admission to the Notre Dame-St. John's match.
BEST AT THE BERTICELLI ... Notre Dame won the Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament, which is named in honor of the former Fighting Irish head coach, for the fourth time during its nine-year existence ... the Irish also took home the crown in 2003, 2005 and 2008.
EARLY SEASON OFFENSE ... The five goals scored in Sunday's 5-1 win over Cal Poly marked the fourth time in the past five seasons that Notre Dame has tallied five goals in one of its first four matches of the season ... last year, the Irish bested Michigan 5-0 in the season opener ... in 2008, Notre Dame topped USF 5-0 in the fourth game of the campaign ... in the fourth contest of the 2006 season, the Fighting Irish bested Indiana 5-4 in overtime.
CORNERING THE MARKET ... Notre Dame has gained 25 more corner kicks (40-15) than its opponents this season ... the Irish have had more corner kicks than their opponents in each match ... Notre Dame's high-water mark for corner kicks this season was 13 versus California.
SHOOTING DOWN THE COMPETITION ... The Fighting Irish have out shot their competition 96-48 this season, including a 34-18 advantage in shots on goal.
ALL-TOURNAMENT ACCOLADES ... Notre Dame junior central defender Aaron Maund was named the defensive MVP of the Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament, while senior forward Steven Perry was tabbed as the tournament's offensive MVP ... fellow senior forward Jeb Brovsky and sophomore midfielder Dillon Powers joined Maund and Perry on the all-tournament team.
PERRY PERFORMS AGAINST DRAKE ... Senior forward Steven Perry netted a career-high two goals in the 2-0 win over Drake on Sept. 10 ... Perry registered a game-high nine shots in the match ... he was named to the TopDrawerSoccer College Team of the Week for his performance against the Bulldogs.
MAUND MAKING A DIFFERENCE ... Junior central defender Aaron Maund has played every minute on the pitch so far this season ... he has helped the Irish produce a 0.50 goals-against average and limit opponents to 4.5 shots on goal per game ... Maund put the Irish on the board in the 51st minute in the 5-1 win over Cal Poly ... the junior was named to the BIG EAST weekly honor roll on Sept. 13 for his efforts in helping the Irish to the Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament title.
A DAY OF FIRSTS FOR THE IRISH ... Notre Dame used five different goal scorers in Sunday's 5-1 win over Cal Poly ... it marked the first career goal for three Fighting Irish players, Greg Klazura (Sr./D), Dillon Powers (So./M) and Grant Van De Casteele (So./D).
CLEAN SHEETS ... Junior goalkeeper Will Walsh has posted a shutout in two of the past three games ... Walsh nearly made it three straight clean sheets, yet Cal Poly scored with six seconds left in Sunday's 5-1 Irish victory ... that goal snapped a scoreless streak of 357 minutes for Walsh, who had not seen game action prior to this season.
THREE AMONG TOPDRAWER TOP 100 ... Three Notre Dame players are ranked among the National Top 100 players according to TopDrawerSoccer.com ... Dillon Powers (So./M) is ranked fourth, while Aaron Maund (Jr./D) is 32nd and Jeb Brovsky (Sr./F) is 90th ... the rankings will be updated weekly.
EFFICIENT OFFENSE ... Notre Dame scored on five of its seven shots on goal in Sunday's 5-1 triumph of Cal Poly.
TOUGH SLATE ... The Irish have another challenging schedule this season ... Notre Dame has seven teams on its 2010 slate that are ranked in the latest NSCAA top-25 poll ... Connecticut (8), Louisville (12), UCLA (17), Michigan State (19), St. John's (20), Indiana (24) and California (25) are the Irish opponents that appear in the poll.
PRESEASON ACCOLADES ... Aaron Maund (Jr./D) and Dillon Powers (So./M) were named Soccer America Preseason All-Americans ... Notre Dame was one of five schools with multiple representatives on the 25-man Soccer America Preseason All-America Team ... Akron had four players on the squad, while Virginia, North Carolina and Tulsa joined the Irish with two apiece.
MORE HONORS FOR MAUND AND POWERS ... Fighting Irish junior Aaron Maund, a central defender, was named the 2010 BIG EAST Preseason Defensive Player of the Year in a vote by the league's head coaches ... Irish sophomore Dillon Powers, a midfielder, joined Maund on the All-BIG EAST Preseason Team.
IRISH PICKED TO FINISH SECOND IN DIVISION ... Notre Dame was picked to finish second in the BIG EAST Blue Division, while Connecticut was tabbed to win the division ... the Huskies received 12 first-place votes among the eight Blue Division squads, while the Irish garnered four ... St. John's was picked to win the Red Division ... the league's 16 head coaches were not permitted to vote for their own teams.
BROVSKY A LOWE'S SENIOR CLASS AWARD CANDIDATE ... Forward Jeb Brovsky has been named one of 30 candidates for the 2010 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award in the men's soccer division ... to be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - classroom, character, community and competition ... the list of 30 candidates will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the regular season, and those 10 names will be placed on the official ballot ... ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans, who will select a candidate that best exemplifies excellence in the four Cs of community, classroom, character and competition.
CAPTAIN KEEPER ... Fifth-year senior goalkeeper Philip Tuttle is Notre Dame's lone captain for the 2010 campaign ... this is Tuttle's first season as a captain.
POWERS PACES TEAM USA ... Sophomore Dillon Powers helped the United States Under-20 national team capture the Milk Cup Tournament in early August ... Powers was named the MVP of the Milk Cup, which is an international youth soccer tournament held annually in Northern Ireland ... the midfielder earned a start in two of the three matches as the U.S. posted a 3-0 record.
TWO ON FRESHMAN LIST ... Two Notre Dame freshmen were named to the College Soccer News `100 Freshmen To Keep An Eye On' list for the 2010 season ... goalkeeper Adam LaPlaca and defender Andrew O'Malley were selected to the list and are part of a very talented eight-man freshman class for the Irish.
ROOKIE RANKINGS ... Notre Dame's freshman class was ranked ninth according to College Soccer News ... Leon Brown (F), Kyle Craft (M), Adam LaPlaca (GK), Luke Mishu (D), Andrew O'Malley (D), Alex Priede (F), Harrison Shipp (M/F) and Patrick Wall (GK) make up the stellar class.
A GREAT NIGHT FOR GRASSROOT ... Notre Dame held its annual exhibition game to benefit Grassroot Soccer on Aug. 23 against UIC ... over 2,000 fans packed into Alumni Stadium to watch the Irish defeat the Flames, 3-2 ... a grand total of $3,000 was raised for Grassroot Soccer, an international AIDS awareness and education organization that reaches youth in Africa through soccer clinics ... $1,000 worth of donations were received at the gate and during the match ... head coach Bobby Clark, whose son Tommy is the founder and CEO of the organization, and the Notre Dame men's soccer camp donated $2,000.
LOOKING BACK ... Last season, Notre Dame posted an 11-8-4 record ... the Irish were runners-up in the BIG EAST Blue Division with an 8-3 mark ... the Fighting Irish were finalists at the BIG EAST Championship ... Notre Dame defeated Green Bay 2-1 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament before falling at Northwestern, 3-1, in the second round ... that marked Notre Dame's ninth straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
PURCHASE YOUR IRISH SOCCER TICKETS ...
To purchase a season pass or single-game tickets, call the Notre Dame ticket office at (574) 631-7356, visit und.com/tickets or stop by the Notre Dame ticket office inside Purcell Pavilion ... tickets can also be purchased at Alumni Stadium on gamedays.