Oct. 2, 2012
#10 NOTRE DAME
Wednesday, Oct. 3 7 p.m. (ET)
Alumni Stadium Notre Dame, Ind.
Notre Dame leads series 10-3-3
UND.com "Game of the Week"
(free video broadcast)
Gametracker on UND.com
Irish Alert! text messaging
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#10 IRISH RETURN HOME TO FACE PITTSBURGH
No. 10 Notre Dame (8-2-0, 0-2-0) returns home following a four-game road swing to face Pittsburgh (6-3-2, 0-2-0) on Wednesday in BIG EAST Blue Division action. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. (ET) at Alumni Stadium.
Wednesday's match is the UND.com "Game of the Week". A free video broadcast will be available and live stats via Gametracker can also be found on UND.com.
Notre Dame has eight wins in its first 10 matches of a season for the first time since the 1988 campaign.
The Irish have defeated three ranked opponents this season (#4 Akron, 3-1; #10 Indiana, 1-0; #21 Duke, 1-0).
Notre Dame's season-opening seven-game win streak was tied for the second-longest win streak under head coach Bobby Clark, who took over the Fighting Irish program in 2001.
HISTORY WITH PITTSBURGH
Wednesday will be the 17th meeting all-time between Notre Dame and Pittsburgh. The Fighting Irish hold a 10-3-3 advantage in the series. The Irish have won each of the last nine showdowns with the Panthers, including a 3-1 triumph last season in Pittsburgh.
The Fighting Irish have a 5-2-1 home record versus the Panthers. The last meeting at Notre Dame was a 3-2 Irish victory during the 2010 campaign.
Head coach Bobby Clark is 9-1 against Pittsburgh during his Notre Dame tenure.
SCOUTING THE PANTHERS
Pittsburgh will carry a 6-3-2 record into Wednesday's match. The Panthers are 0-2 in BIG EAST play after falling to Cincinnati (1-0) and Georgetown (3-1). Pittsburgh opened the season with a 6-0-2 mark before dropping its last three matches.
The Panther offense is averaging 1.45 goals per game, while the defense is surrendering 1.18 goals per game.
Freshman midfielder Nick Wysong has a team-best 12 points on five goals and two assists. Wysong and junior forward Nico Wrobel share the team lead in goals with five apiece. Sophomore goalkeeper Lee Johnston has all 11 decisions. He has a 1.14 goals-against average and a .812 save percentage to go along with three shutouts.
Pittsburgh went 4-13-1 last season and finished seventh in the BIG EAST Blue Division with a 2-7-0 league record.
Head coach Joe Luxbacher is in his 29th season at the helm of the Panther program.
IRISH SPLIT ROAD SWING
Notre Dame went 2-2 in its recent four-game road swing. The stretch began with a 1-0 double-overtime victory at Michigan. Notre Dame fell at Louisville, 2-1, and rebounded with a 1-0 win at No. 10 Indiana. The Irish then fell at No. 2 Connecticut, 2-1.
SECOND HALF SUCCESS
Notre Dame has outscored its opponents 12-2 in the second half and overtime this season.
SOLID ON THE STAT SHEET
The Fighting Irish have outshot their opponents 172-96 this season, which includes a 71-29 advantage in shots on goal. The Irish also have earned 18 more corner kicks (63-45) than their opponents.
FIT (NOT) TO BE TIED
The Irish have not been shutout this season. It is the first time since the 1988 campaign that Notre Dame has not been blanked in the first 10 matches of a season.
The Fighting Irish put a halt to two opponent trends last week. Grant Van De Casteele's goal in the 71st minute in the 1-0 win at Indiana is the only second-half goal allowed by the Hoosiers this season (10 games). Dillon Powers' tally in the 49th minute at UConn snapped the Huskies' scoreless streak, which had reached 437:58 in length.
VAN DE CASTEELE ON BIG EAST HONOR ROLL
Senior central defender Grant Van De Casteele was named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll for his efforts in last Wednesday's 1-0 win at No. 10 Indiana. He headed in a Dillon Powers corner kick in the 71st minute. It was the first goal of the season for Van De Casteele and his fourth career tally.
Van De Casteele also anchored an Irish defense that blanked the Hoosiers, who entered the match averaging 1.88 goals per game.
KEEPING IT CLEAN
Notre Dame has posted five shutouts this season, including clean sheets in three of the last five matches. The Irish are allowing just 0.80 goals per game this season.
Fifth-year senior Will Walsh and junior Patrick Wall have split time in goal. Walsh has a 4-2 record with three shutouts, a 1.00 goals-against and a .684 save percentage. Wall is 4-0 with two shutouts, a 0.48 goals-against average and a .800 save percentage.
Eight of Notre Dame's 10 matches this season have been decided by one goal. The Irish are 6-2 in those contests.
Senior forward Ryan Finley and junior forward Harrison Shipp have combined for 20 points this season. Finley leads the Irish in goals (6) and points (13), while Shipp has seven points on two goals and three assists. The assist total is tied for the team lead.
Senior midfielder Dillon Powers has had a hand in three of Notre Dame's last four goals. He assisted on Ryan Finley's golden goal in the 1-0 double-overtime win at Michigan. Powers also assisted on Grant Van De Casteele's game winner in the 1-0 triumph at Indiana. Powers deposited a goal in the 2-1 setback at Connecticut.
Powers ranks second among all Fighting Irish players with nine points on three goals and three assists this season. The assist total is tied for the team lead.
Senior midfielder Dillon Powers has played in a team-best 61straight games, including 48 consecutive starts. The only five games he has missed during his Fighting Irish career were 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 48 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 48 matches during his Irish career.
NOTRE DAME IN BIG EAST PLAY
Notre Dame owns an overall record of 102-60-19 (.616) 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.
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 four top-10 teams (#2 Connecticut, #3 Akron, #7 Marquette, #9 Georgetown). The Irish will face Marquette twice during the regular season. Notre Dame foes Indiana (#11) and Northwestern (#24) also appear in the rankings. The Fighting Irish are ranked 10th in the poll.
The Irish have defeated Akron (3-1) and Indiana (1-0). Notre Dame fell at Louisville (2-1) and at Connecticut (2-1).
Notre Dame will play host to Georgetown on Saturday (2 p.m. ET).
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.
Prior to the double-overtime victory at Michigan (Sept. 16), Notre Dame's last overtime triumph was a 2-1 decision over Michigan last season at Alumni Stadium. Both games took place on Sept. 16.
BEST IN THE BERT
The Fighting Irish won the 11th annual Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament by besting Oregon State (1-0) and Akron (3-1). It was the fifth time (`03, `05, `08, `10) that the Irish captured the event, which is named after the former Notre Dame coach. Akron was the runner up, while 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.
BEASTS IN BLOOMINGTON
Last Wednesday's 1-0 victory at Indiana gave the Irish a 3-0 record in Bloomington, Ind., this season. Notre Dame won the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic (Aug. 31-Sept. 2) by posting wins over San Diego State (3-2) and Clemson (2-1).
It was the second time in 13 appearances that Notre Dame won the IU Classic. The Irish also won the 1993 tournament.
Wednesday's win gave the Irish their first-ever three-game unbeaten streak against the Hoosiers. Notre Dame is 2-0-1 in its last three matches against Indiana, including two straight victories in Bloomington.
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.
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.