Sept. 21, 2012
#2 NOTRE DAME
Saturday, Sept. 22 7 p.m. (ET)
Cardinal Park Louisville, Ky.
Notre Dame leads series 10-3-1
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#2 IRISH OPEN BIG EAST PLAY AT LOUISVILLE
No. 2 Notre Dame will carry a 7-0 record into Saturday's BIG EAST opener at Louisville (4-3). Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. (ET) at Cardinal Park.
This will be the 15th meeting all-time between Notre Dame and Louisville. The Fighting Irish hold a 10-3-1 advantage in the series. Notre Dame defeated Louisville, 1-0, last season at Alumni Stadium.
Notre Dame is 3-2 all-time at Louisville. The Irish have dropped their last two matches at Cardinal Park.
An internet broadcast and live stats will be available at UofLsports.com. Live stats via Gametracker can also be found on UND.com.
Notre Dame's 7-0 start is the third best in program history and the best since the Irish strung together nine straight victories to open the 1987 season.
Here are the top starts to a season for the Fighting Irish ...
Notre Dame is ranked second in this week's Soccer America poll. It matches the highest ranking ever for the Fighting Irish. Notre Dame also reached No. 2 in the national polls during the 2007 campaign.
Notre Dame's seven-game win streak is tied for the longest under head coach Bobby Clark, who took over the Notre Dame program in 2001. The Irish put together a seven-game win streak during the 2006 campaign.
Entering play this weekend, Notre Dame is one of six teams with a perfect record in NCAA Division I men's soccer. The other perfect squads are UC Riverside (7-0), Cornell (5-0), High Point (7-0), Marquette (7-0) and Old Dominion (6-0).
LOOKING AT LOUISVILLE
Louisville will bring a 4-3 record into Saturday's showdown with the Irish. The Cardinals are coming off a 4-0 win over Ohio State on Tuesday. The other Cardinal wins have come against Belmont (3-1), Army (3-0) and Wake Forest (3-2 in 2ot). Louisville has lost to Maryland (3-0), Saint Louis (1-0) and Kentucky (1-0). Louisville is 4-1 at home this season.
The Cardinals are averaging 1.86 goals per game, while allowing 1.14 per contest. Senior defender Greg Cochrane leads Louisville in goals (3) and points (7). Sophomore midfielder/forward Will Vitalis has a team-best three assists. Sophomore goalkeeper Joachim Ball has a 3-3 record and carries a 1.30 goals-against average and a .500 save percentage with one shutout.
Louisville posted a 14-7-2 record last season and finished fourth in the BIG EAST Red Division with a 3-4-2 league mark. The Cardinals fell to UCLA, 1-0 in double-overtime, in the quarterfinals of the 2011 NCAA Tournament.
Head coach Ken Lolla is in his seventh season at Louisville.
BIG EAST BEGINNERS
The Fighting Irish are 12-4-1 all-time in BIG EAST Conference openers, including an 8-3 mark under head coach Bobby Clark.
The Irish have won their last five BIG EAST openers. Notre Dame opened league play last season with a 1-0 victory over Louisville at Alumni Stadium.
RIGID ROAD SWING
Notre Dame is in the middle of four straight road matches. The Irish began the stretch on Sunday with a 1-0 double-overtime victory at Michigan. Following Saturday's game at Louisville, the Irish will play at No. 14 Indiana on Wednesday and at No. 3 Connecticut next Saturday.
IRISH SWEEP WOLVERINE STATE WEEKEND
Notre Dame posted wins over Michigan State (2-0) and Michigan (1-0 in 2ot) last weekend.
Junior forward Harrison Shipp (28') and freshman midfielder Patrick Hodan (54') netted goals against the Spartans, while senior forward Ryan Finley deposited the golden goal in the 104th minute against the Wolverines.
Senior Will Walsh was in goal against Michigan State and made two saves to notch his third shutout of the season. Junior goalkeeper Patrick Wall had two saves versus Michigan to record his first career clean sheet.
Prior to Sunday's overtime victory at Michigan, Notre Dame's last overtime triumph was a 2-1 decision over Michigan last season at Alumni Stadium. Adam Mena scored that golden goal in the first overtime period. Both games took place on Sept. 16.
The Notre Dame defense currently is riding a 234:52 scoreless streak. The Fighting Irish have posted four shutouts in seven games this season. Notre Dame is allowing just 0.57 goals per game this season.
MISHU COPS ACCOLADES
Junior right back Luke Mishu was named the BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts in shutout wins over Michigan State (2-0) and Michigan (1-0 in double-overtime). He also was selected to the Soccer America National Team of the Week for his weekend performance.
The Fighting Irish allowed just two shots on goal to both Michigan State and Michigan. The Wolverines entered the match averaging 1.8 goals per game.
BIG EAST BEST
The Irish have produced a BIG EAST player-of-the-week honoree during each of the first four weeks of the 2012 season. Juniors Andrew O'Malley (Aug. 27) and Luke Mishu (Sept. 17) along with sophomore Max Lachowecki (Sept. 10) have been named the league's defensive player of the week, while senior Ryan Finley (Sept. 3) was tapped as the offensive player of the week.
Notre Dame is the only BIG EAST school to have a men's soccer player-of-the-week honoree in each of the first four weeks of the 2012 campaign.
Senior forward Ryan Finley and junior forward Harrison Shipp have combined for 18 points this season. Finley leads the Irish in goals (5) and points (11), while Shipp has seven points on two goals and a team-best three assists.
Shipp scored what proved to be the game winner in last Friday's 2-0 triumph of Michigan State, while Finley deposited the golden goal in Sunday's 1-0 double-overtime victory at Michigan.
Notre Dame has scored 13 goals in its first seven games of the season. The Irish have not been shut out in the first seven games of a season for the first time since 2002. Seven different Fighting Irish players have scored a goal this season.
SECOND HALF SUCCESS
Notre Dame has outscored its opponents 9-1 in the second half and overtime this season. The Irish have a 4-3 scoring edge in the first half of play.
SOLID ON THE STAT SHEET
The Fighting Irish have outshot their opponents 131-64 this season, which includes a 52-18 advantage in shots on goal. The Irish also have earned 17 more corner kicks (44-27) than their opponents.
STAYING IN THE LEAD
Notre Dame has trailed for just 44:36 out of 642:42 minutes played this season. When Akron grabbed a 1-0 lead in the fourth minute on Sept. 9, it marked Notre Dame's only deficit of the season. The Fighting Irish produced the equalizer in the 49th minute in the eventual 3-1 victory.
HODAN HELPING THE IRISH
Freshman midfielder Patrick Hodan gave the Irish a 2-0 lead in the 54th minute in last Friday's victory over Michigan State. It was his first career goal.
Hodan made his first career start in the Akron match (Sept. 9) and delivered in the 49th minute when he assisted on Leon Brown's equalizer.
SENIOR CLASS CANDIDATES
Dillon Powers (M) and Grant Van De Casteele (D) have been named candidates for the Senior CLASS Award in the men's soccer division. The Fighting Irish duo is among 30 student-athletes up for the prestigious honor.
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 - community, classroom, character and competition.
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School ®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
The Senior CLASS Award winner will be announced during the 2012 NCAA Men's College Cup, which will take place December 7 and 9 in Hoover, Ala.
The 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 one candidate who best exemplifies excellence in the four Cs of community, classroom, character and competition.
Senior midfielder Dillon Powers has played in 58 straight games, including 45 consecutive starts. The only five games he has missed during his Fighting Irish career was during his freshman season when he played for the U.S. at the Under-20 World Cup in Egypt.
Senior central defender Grant Van De Casteele has started 45 straight matches. He did not play during the 2009 campaign, but has not missed a game since.
Junior forward Harrison Shipp has appeared in all 45 matches during his Irish career.
NOTRE DAME IN BIG EAST PLAY
Notre Dame owns an overall record of 102-58-19 (.623) in BIG EAST regular-season play since joining the conference in 1995. The Irish have posted 11 straight winning campaigns within the league, including last season's 5-3-1 mark.
The most wins for Notre Dame in BIG EAST play is eight, which occurred in 2004 (8-1-1), 2006 (8-3) and 2009 (8-3).
The Irish have three regular-season BIG EAST titles. Notre Dame won the championship outright in 2004 and 2008 (Blue Division) and shared the Blue Division trophy with Connecticut in 2007. The Fighting Irish captured BIG EAST tournament crowns in 1996 and 2003.
BEST IN THE BERT
The Fighting Irish captured the 11th annual Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament by besting Oregon State (1-0) and No. 4 Akron (3-1). It was the fifth time that the Irish won the event (2003, 2005, 2008, 2010). Akron was the runner up, while No. 7 Indiana and Oregon State finished third and fourth, respectively.
Leon Brown (Jr./F), Max Lachowecki (So./D), Dillon Powers (Sr./M) and Grant Van De Casteele (Sr./D) represented Notre Dame on the all-tournament team. Brown was the tournament's offensive MVP, while Van De Casteele was the defensive MVP. Junior Patrick Wall and senior Will Walsh were the goalkeeping co-MVP honorees.
HAULING IN THE HARDWARE
Notre Dame has played in both the Indiana Classic and the Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament in each of the last 10 seasons and this year marks the first time the Irish have won both events in the same season.
The Irish have another challenging schedule this season as six of their opponents appear in the latest Soccer America top-25 poll. Included in that group are three top-10 teams (#3 Connecticut, #7 Akron, #10 Marquette). The Irish will face Marquette twice during the regular season. Notre Dame foes Indiana (#14), Georgetown (#15) and Northwestern (#19) also appear in the rankings. Notre Dame is ranked 2nd in the poll.
The Irish defeated Akron, 3-1, when the Zips were ranked fourth.
Freshman midfielder/defender Michael Shipp has joined his older brother, Harrison, this season on the Irish roster. Harrison is a junior forward.
Midfielders Dillon Powers and Michael Rose will serve as Notre Dame team captains during the 2012 campaign. Powers, a senior, will be serving as captain for the second straight season, while Rose, a fifth-year senior, is a first-time captain.
FOLLOW THE IRISH ON UND.COM
All 2012 Notre Dame home matches that are not televised can be seen live on UND.com. The streaming broadcasts are free of charge. Log on to UND.com to stay up to date on the Fighting Irish men's soccer team throughout the 2012 campaign.