Oct. 1, 2009
SETON HALL (4-4-1, 1-2-1) at
SETTING THE STAGE ... Notre Dame will conclude its three-game homestand with a BIG EAST Blue Division showdown against Seton Hall on Friday, Oct. 2. Game time is slated for 7:00 p.m. (ET) at Alumni Stadium. Both teams will bring a 4-4-1 record into the contest. The Fighting Irish have a 10-4-3 advantage in the series versus the Pirates. Live stats via Gametracker can be located on und.com.
ABOUT THE IRISH ... Notre Dame is 4-4-1 on the season and 2-2-0 in BIG EAST play ... the Irish split last weekend's league matches ... Notre Dame topped Louisville, 4-0, on Sept. 25 and fell to Cincinnati, 1-0, on Sept. 27 ... both games were played at Alumni Stadium ... the Irish are 3-2-0 at home this season ... senior forward Bright Dike was one of four Irish players to score against the Cardinals ... Michael Thomas, Steven Perry and Jeb Brovsky also tallied goals in the victory ... Dike leads the team in goals (6) and points (14) ... Thomas, a senior midfielder, has a team-high four assists ... Notre Dame is averaging 1.89 goals per game, while surrendering 1.00 per contest ... Andrew Quinn and Philip Tuttle have split time in goal ... Quinn, a fifth-year senior, has a 1-2-1 record with a 1.18 goals-against average and a .783 save percentage in 382:08 ... Tuttle, a senior, possesses a 3-2-0 record with a 0.80 goals-against average and a .765 save percentage in 449:40 ... head coach Bobby Clark is in his ninth season with the Irish ... he has a 110-49-23 (.668) record during his Notre Dame tenure.
SERIES HISTORY VERSUS SETON HALL ... Notre Dame and Seton Hall will be squaring off for the 18th time on Friday ... the Irish own a 10-4-3 record against the Pirates ... the two teams played to a 1-1 draw last season in South Orange, N.J. ... prior to that, Notre Dame had shut out Seton Hall in the past six meetings ... the last Seton Hall victory in the series came during the 2001 season, a 1-0 decision at home ... Seton Hall is 1-5-1 all-time at Notre Dame ... the Irish captured a 2-0 victory against the Pirates in the last meeting at Notre Dame, which took place in 2007 ... Notre Dame has out scored Seton Hall 28-10 in the series.
SCOUTING THE PIRATES ... Seton Hall is 4-4-1 overall this season and 1-2-1 in BIG EAST play ... the Pirates are coming off losses to Rutgers (1-0 in double-overtime) and Villanova (4-1) in league action last weekend ... Seton Hall opened the BIG EAST ledger with a win over Syracuse (3-1) and a scoreless draw at St. John's ... the Pirates are 3-1-1 on the road this season ... Seton Hall has scored 15 goals this season, while also surrendering 15 tallies (1.67 per game) ... Andrew Welker has team-high totals in goals (6) and points (14) ... Paul McHenry has started every match in goal and carries a 1.63 goals-against average and a .779 save percentage ... last season, Seton Hall went 6-8-4 overall and 2-5-4 in the BIG EAST to finish seventh in the Blue Division ... the Pirates returned nine starters and 20 letterwinners from that squad ... head coach Manfred Schellscheidt is in his 22nd season at the helm of the Pirate program.
THE LAST TIME ... Notre Dame and Seton Hall played to a 1-1 draw last season (Oct. 22, 2008) in South Orange, N.J. ... the Pirates took the lead in the 13th minute on a goal from Dritan Sela ... Alex Yoshinaga netted the equalizer for the Fighting Irish in the 82nd minute off an assist from Bright Dike ... Irish goalkeeper Andrew Quinn played all 110 minutes and made one save.
IRISH THOUGHTS ... Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark discusses the Seton Hall match ... "Seton Hall got off to a good start this season and we both have the same record at this point. We are fighting to establish ourselves and make a run for it. We are excited about this match. We've also been very excited with the fan support this season. The student support has been the best that it's ever been since I've been here. We feel the proximity of our new stadium to the rest of campus makes it an ideal situation. It's a very comfortable setting for soccer."
TAKING DOWN A TOP-10 ... The 4-0 win over seventh-ranked Louisville on Sept. 25 marked Notre Dame's first victory over a top-10 team since they defeated No. 5 USF, 5-0, last season (Sept. 7, 2008).
CRACKING THE CARDINALS ... Prior to Notre Dame's 4-0 triumph of Louisville on Sept. 25, the Cardinals had only surrendered one goal this season ... senior goalkeeper Philip Tuttle and the Irish defense posted the shutout against Louisville, who entered the match averaging 2.5 goals per game ... Tuttle made three saves to collect his second clean sheet of the season.
IRISH EXPLOSION ... The four goals scored in the second half against Louisville on Sept. 25 were the most goals scored in a single period by the Irish since they netted four in the first half in a 5-0 win over USF last season (Sept. 7, 2008).
SPREADING THE WEALTH ... Notre Dame used four different goal scorers in its 4-0 win over Louisville on Sept. 25 ... Michael Thomas, Steven Perry, Bright Dike and Jeb Brovsky did the damage for the Fighting Irish ... Thomas, Brovsky, Dike and Dave Donohue all had assists in the match.
THOMAS GARNERS LEAGUE ACCOLADE ... Senior midfielder Michael Thomas was named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll on Sept. 28 after helping the Irish to the 4-0 win over Louisville (Sept. 25) ... Thomas scored the first goal of the match and assisted on Notre Dame's second tally.
OFFENSE AT ALUMNI ... Notre Dame has scored three or more goals three times this season at the brand new Alumni Stadium ... those performances have occurred against Michigan (5-0), Seattle (3-0) and Louisville (4-0) ... Notre Dame scored the first nine goals at the stadium before surrendering a goal to the New Mexico in the 38th minute during the game on Sept. 13 ... the scoreless streak in the new venue reached 217:54.
MAUND AND POWERS AT U-20 WORLD CUP ... Sophomore defender Aaron Maund and freshman midfielder Dillon Powers are currently playing with the United States Under-20 National Team at the U-20 World Cup in Egypt ... Powers started the first match for the U.S., a 3-0 loss to Germany on Sept. 26, and played the entire first half ... Powers came on in the 73rd minute in a 4-1 win over Cameroon on Sept. 29 ... Maund has yet to see game action in the tournament ... the Irish duo are part of a 21-man roster ... they left the Fighting Irish following the game versus New Mexico on Sept. 13 and are scheduled to rejoin the team for their match against Georgetown on Oct. 21 ... the U.S. will complete Group C play against Korea Republic on Oct. 2 ... if the U.S. advances out of the group stage, the Round of 16 will take place Oct. 5-7 ... quarterfinals are set for Oct. 9-10, with the semifinals to follow on Oct. 13 ... the championship match and third-place game are scheduled for Oct. 16 ... Notre Dame and UCLA are the only two schools with multiple representatives on the team.
UP NEXT ... Notre Dame will travel to Milwaukee, Wis. and face Marquette in BIG EAST action on Wednesday, Oct. 7 ... game time is slated for 7:00 p.m. (CT).
NOTRE DAME IN BIG EAST PLAY ... Notre Dame owns an overall record of 85-52-18 (.606) in BIG EAST regular-season play since joining the conference in 1995 ... the Irish have posted eight straight winning seasons within the conference, including last season's 7-2-2 mark ... 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 ... Notre Dame's high-water mark for BIG EAST victories in a season is eight, which has been reached twice (2004 & 2006).
BACK-TO-BACK TITLES ... The Irish have won back-to-back BIG EAST regular-season titles for the first time in program history ... Notre Dame shared the Blue Division crown with Connecticut in 2007 ... the 2008 title marked the third regular-season BIG EAST championship in program history ... the Fighting Irish also won the championship outright in 2004.
LOSE THE SHOES ... At halftime of the Notre Dame-Cincinnati match on Sept. 27, the championship game of the `Lose the Shoes' tournament was held at Alumni Stadium ... the preliminary games of the tournament took place on the Notre Dame campus on Sept. 26 ... the proceeds from the 3-on-3 barefoot soccer tournament benefitted Grassroot Soccer, a South Africa-based non-governmental organization that integrates the cross-cultural appeal of soccer with evidence-based HIV prevention and life skills programs that arm African youth with the knowledge, skills, and support to live HIV free ... Tommy Clark, the eldest son of Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark, is a cofounder of Grassroot Soccer ... in the fall of 2006, Dartmouth College held the first ever `Lose the Shoes' tournament ... since then, over 90 `Lose the Shoes' tournaments have raised almost $150,000 ... Notre Dame raised approximately $1,200.
DIKE DELIVERS ... Senior forward Bright Dike scored the game-winning goal in the 60th minute in the 2-1 win over DePaul in the BIG EAST opener on Sept. 18 ... in the following match, Dike netted the equalizer in the 78th minute in a 2-1 setback at USF ... he was named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll for his efforts ... Dike has registered at least one point in 12 of the last 15 BIG EAST games (regular season or postseason).
DIKE DEPOSITS HAT TRICK ... Senior forward Bright Dike had a stellar start to the 2009 season as he registered the first hat trick of his career in a 5-0 win over Michigan ... it marked the second multiple-goal game in Dike's career ... he scored twice in a 4-1 victory against Duke last season ... the hat trick was the first for a Notre Dame player since Dave Donohue scored three times against Marquette last season (Sept. 11, 2008).
OFFENSIVE OPENER ... Notre Dame's five-goal outburst against Michigan in the season opener was the first for the Fighting Irish since a 5-0 triumph of USF on Sept. 7, 2008 ... the five tallies are the most in a season opener for Notre Dame since a 5-0 victory over Villanova in 2001 ... that was head coach Bobby Clark's first game with the Irish.
SHOOTING DOWN THE COMPETITION ... Notre Dame has out shot eight of its nine opponents so far this season ... the Irish hold a 128-96 edge in shots over their opponents.
ALUMNI STADIUM ... The 2009 season will mark a new era for Fighting Irish soccer as Notre Dame begins play in Alumni Stadium ... the Irish opened the facility with a 5-0 victory over Michigan on Sept. 1 ... the $5.7 million venue resides just east of the Joyce Center on the Notre Dame campus and features a natural grass field, lights, locker rooms, restrooms, concession areas and permanent seating for over 2,000 spectators ... the lead benefactors for the facility are former Irish soccer players Tom Crotty and Rob Snyder.
ONE FOR THE RECORD BOOK ... A Jeb Brovsky goal in the 26th minute of the season-opening 5-0 win over Michigan was the first goal scored in Alumni Stadium ... Michael Thomas collected the assist on the play.
TOUGH SLATE ... The Fighting Irish opened the 2009 season against three ranked teams (#21 Michigan, #3 Wake Forest, #1 St. John's) ... that signified the first time since 2003 that Notre Dame opened a campaign against three ranked opponents ... the back-to-back games against Wake Forest and St. John's was the first time ever the Fighting Irish had faced back-to-back top-three teams ... it was the first time Notre Dame had consecutive matches against top-10 foes since 2007 (#7 Santa Clara and #2 Wake Forest in the NCAA Tournament) ... a match against No. 5 USF on Sept. 20 marked the third time this season that the Irish have met a top-five squad.
LEAGUE HONORS FOR DIKE AND THOMAS ... Senior forward Bright Dike was named the 2009 BIG EAST Preseason Offensive Player of the Year ... he was joined on the league's all-preseason squad by Irish senior midfielder Michael Thomas.
IRISH PICKED TO WIN BLUE DIVISION ... Notre Dame was selected to win the 2009 BIG EAST Blue Division title according to a vote by the league's head coaches ... the Fighting Irish received 12 first-place votes among the Blue Division squads, while Connecticut garnered three and Georgetown had one vote ... the league's 16 head coaches were not permitted to vote for their own teams ... St. John's was picked to win the Red Division.
POWERS EARNS NATIONAL HONORS ... Freshman midfielder Dillon Powers was named the 2008-09 Gatorade Boys Soccer Player of the Year ... in addition, he was selected as the U.S. Soccer Development Academy Co-Player of the Year in July.
THOMAS A LOWE'S SENIOR CLASS AWARD CANDIDATE ... Midfielder Michael Thomas has been named one of 30 candidates for the 2009 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award for men's soccer ... a national media committee will select 10 finalists for the 2009 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award at the end of September ... those 10 names will then be placed on the official ballot for a nationwide vote beginning October 5 and concluding November 13 ... fan balloting will be coupled with votes from coaches and media to determine the recipient of the award ... the winner will be announced during the 2009 NCAA Division I Men's College Cup in Cary, North Carolina, scheduled for December 11-13.
RETURNING FIREPOWER ... Notre Dame returned 38 of 41 goals scored from last season ... leading the way is senior forward Bright Dike, who led all BIG EAST players in goals (12) and points (29) one year ago ... Michael Thomas was the top scoring midfielder in the league with 21 points on eight goals and five assists ... junior forward Jeb Brovsky is back after totaling five goals and six assists as a sophomore ... seniors Dave Donohue (5g, 5a) and Justin Morrow (2g, 4a) registered 15 and eight points, respectively, one season ago ... sophomore Brendan King and senior Tamba Samba chipped in two goals apiece for the Irish ... King also added three assists.
COLLEGE SOCCER NEWS WATCH LISTS ... Two Notre Dame freshmen were named to the College Soccer News `100 Freshmen To Keep An Eye On' list for the 2009 season ... midfielder/defender Danny O'Leary and midfielder Dillon Powers were selected to the list and are part of a very talented six-man freshman class for the Irish.
FRESHMAN CLASS NATIONALLY RANKED ... Notre Dame's freshman class was ranked ninth according to College Soccer News ... Bob Novak (M), Danny O'Leary (M/D), Dillon Powers (M), Kyle Richard (M/F), Grant Van De Casteele (D) and Eric Tilley (M/D) make up the stellar class.
IRISH NAME CAPTAINS ... Senior midfielders Dave Donohue, Justin Morrow and Michael Thomas along with fifth-year senior midfielder/defender Cory Rellas have been named team captains for the 2009 campaign ... this is the second straight season in which Thomas has been an Irish captain, while the other three are first-time captains.
SEASON IN REVIEW ... Last season, Notre Dame posted a 12-7-2 mark, including a 7-2-2 record in conference play, en route to capturing its second straight BIG EAST Blue Division title ... the Fighting Irish garnered the 12th seed for the NCAA Championship ... the Irish fell to Northwestern, 2-1, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Alumni Field ... the Fighting Irish concluded the season ranked 16th in the final National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) poll ... Notre Dame averaged 1.95 goals per game last season, while allowing 1.10 per contest ... Bright Dike led the BIG EAST in goals (12) and total points (29) ... the forward copped first team all-league and all-region honors in 2008 ... central defender Matt Besler was named a first-team All-American and first team Academic All-American in addition to being tabbed as the NSCAA Scholar-Athlete of the Year ... Besler became the highest MLS SuperDraft pick in program history as he was selected eighth overall by the Kansas City Wizards ... the New York Red Bulls drafted his backline mate, Jack Traynor, with the 29th overall selection.
TICKETS ON SALE ... To purchase a 2009 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 on the second level of the Joyce Center ... tickets can also be purchased at Alumni Stadium on gamedays.
PARKING ... Fans coming to enjoy Fighting Irish soccer at the brand new Alumni Stadium are encouraged to park at the Joyce Center's C1 lot.
SIGN UP FOR IRISH ALERT ...
Go to und.com and sign up for Irish ALERT, a text messaging service designed to give fans up-to-the-minute game updates for all 26 varsity sports at Notre Dame ... men's soccer fans can sign up to receive scores after each half of every game.