Oct. 11, 2011
Wednesday, Oct. 12 7:00 p.m. (CT)
Valley Fields Milwaukee, Wis.
#11 NOTRE DAME (5-2-4, 1-1-1)
MARQUETTE (5-5-2, 3-0-0)
Notre Dame Leads Series 13-5-1
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SETTING THE STAGE
Notre Dame (5-2-4, 1-1-1) will travel to Milwaukee, Wis., to face Marquette (5-5-2, 3-0-0) on Wednesday night at Valley Fields. The BIG EAST Blue Division showdown is slated for a 7:00 p.m. (CT) start. The Golden Eagles currently reside in first place in the Blue Division, while the Irish are sixth. Live stats via Gametracker will be available on UND.com. Fans can also sign up for `Irish Alert' on UND.com to receive text message score updates.
Notre Dame had two ties last week. The Fighting Irish played Northwestern to a 1-1 draw on Wednesday and then had a scoreless tie against No. 1 Connecticut on Saturday. The tie against the Huskies snapped Connecticut's 11-game win streak. Junior forward Ryan Finley has a team-high four goals, while senior midfielder Adam Mena leads the Irish in points (10) and assists (4). The Fighting Irish are averaging 1.36 goals per game, while they are allowing 0.91 per contest. Senior Will Walsh has played every minute in goal so far this season. He has four shutouts and boasts a 0.82 goals-against average to go along with a .818 save percentage. He has eight clean sheets in 18 career starts.
SERIES HISTORY AGAINST MARQUETTE
Wednesday will be the 20th meeting all-time between Notre Dame and Marquette. The Fighting Irish lead the series, 13-5-1. Notre Dame has won the last seven meetings against Marquette. All of those encounters have occurred since the Golden Eagles joined the BIG EAST in 2005. The Irish topped the Golden Eagles twice last season. Both matches took place at Notre Dame's Alumni Stadium. Notre Dame claimed a 4-1 win over Marquette during the regular season and then downed the Golden Eagles, 2-1, in the quarterfinals of the BIG EAST Tournament. Marquette's last win in the series was a 4-0 home victory during the 1990 season. Notre Dame and Marquette squared off during 12 straight seasons from 1979-1990. Both programs were in the Midwestern Collegiate Conference together from 1988-1990 Notre Dame is 5-4-0 all-time at Marquette. The Fighting Irish claimed a 2-0 win in the last meeting at Marquette, which occurred during the 2009 campaign. Fighting Irish head coach Bobby Clark is 7-0-0 against Marquette.
A LOOK AT THE GOLDEN EAGLES
Marquette will bring a 5-5-2 record into Wednesday's match against the Fighting Irish. The Golden Eagles currently are in first place in the BIG EAST Blue Division with a 3-0-0 league mark. Marquette has defeated Syracuse (3-2), Rutgers (2-0) and Providence (3-1) in BIG EAST play. The Golden Eagles are 1-2-1 at home this season. The Marquette offense is averaging 1.50 goals per game, while the defense is allowing 1.33 goals per contest. The Golden Eagles have posted one shutout, while they have been blanked twice. Freshman C. Nortey has a team-high six goals and sophomore Bryan Ciesiulka has a team-best three assists. Junior David Check has started 11 matches in goal and carries a 5-4-2 record with a 1.16 goals-against average and one shutout. Check has a .823 save percentage. Head coach Louis Bennett is in his fifth season at the helm of the Marquette program.
THE LAST TIME
Notre Dame topped Marquette, 2-1, in the quarterfinals of the 2010 BIG EAST Championship at Alumni Stadium. The Fighting Irish grabbed a 1-0 lead in the eighth minute on a Jeb Brovsky goal, which was assisted by Aaron Maund and Brendan King. The Golden Eagles tied the match in the 53rd minute on a goal from Bryan Ciesiulka. Grant Van De Casteele scored the game winner for the Irish in the 66th minute off an assist from King. The Fighting Irish captured a 4-1 home victory over Marquette during the 2010 regular season. Steven Perry netted two goals for the Irish, while Dillon Powers and Adam Mena also deposited scores. The Powers goal occurred just 2:10 into the match.
Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark shares his thoughts on the Marquette match ... "They are the top team in the league right now with their 3-0 record. I believe they've only lost once in their last seven matches. They are a very good team. This is the best Marquette team I've seen in my time here at Notre Dame. This will possibly be our toughest game of the season."
Senior midfielder Michael Rose made his season debut in the Connecticut match on Saturday. Rose missed the first 10 games of the season as he was recovering from a knee injury suffered in the spring. He played the entire second half against the Huskies. Rose has appeared in 34 career matches, totaling nine points on two goals and five assists.
Six of Notre Dame's 11 games this season have been decided by one goal. The Fighting Irish are 4-2 in those contests.
Notre Dame has played seven overtime games this season. The Irish are 1-2-4 in those matches. Notre Dame's only two losses of the season have occurred in double-overtime. The Irish fell to Saint Louis (104th minute) and St. John's (110th minute) by identical 2-1 scores.
Notre Dame holds a 7-1 scoring edge in the first half of play this season. The Fighting Irish have scored the first goal in seven of their 11 matches this season (two of their matches have been scoreless draws). The Irish have not trailed at halftime this season.
BLANKING THE BEST
Three of Notre Dame's four shutouts this season have occurred against teams currently ranked in the top 15 of the Soccer America poll. The Irish blanked current No. 1 Connecticut, 0-0, on Saturday. Notre Dame posted a clean sheet against No. 9 Louisville in a 1-0 victory (Sept. 24). The Fighting Irish played No. 15 Indiana to a scoreless draw in the season opener (Aug. 27).
KLAZURA A LOWE'S SENIOR CLASS AWARD FINALIST
Greg Klazura has been named one of 10 finalists up for the 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 - community, classroom, character and competition. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Lowe's 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. Klazura graduated in May with a Bachelor of Science degree in pre-professional studies (pre-med). He finished his undergraduate career with a 3.583 cumulative grade-point average. He currently is taking courses that emphasize service and or medicine to boost his resume for medical school. Klazura was named to the 2010 National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Scholar All-Region first team. He also is a two-time BIG EAST Academic All-Star (2009 & 2010).
Notre Dame will continue its two-game road swing on Saturday at BIG EAST foe Georgetown. The Blue Division battle is slated for a 1:00 p.m. (ET) start in Washington, D.C.
IRISH DEFENSE RECOGNIZED
Notre Dame has produced two BIG EAST Defensive Players of the Week this season. Junior central defender Grant Van De Casteele earned the honor on Sept. 19, while senior left back Greg Klazura received the accolade on Sept. 26. Klazura also was named to the Soccer America national team of the week. Central defender Aaron Maund was named to the Top Drawer Soccer national team of the week on Sept. 26, while senior goalkeeper Will Walsh has been selected to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll twice this season (Aug. 29 & Sept. 26).
MENA ON A MISSION
Senior midfielder Adam Mena has had a hand in six of Notre Dame's last seven goals. Mena has a team-high 10 points on three goals and four assists. The point, goal and assists totals all are career-high figures.
NOTRE DAME IN BIG EAST PLAY
Notre Dame owns an overall record of 98-56-19 (.621) in BIG EAST regular-season play since joining the conference in 1995. The Irish have posted 10 straight winning campaigns within the league, including last season's 6-2-1 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.
HOME SWEET HOME
Notre Dame is 11-2-5 at home over the past two seasons, including a 3-0-4 mark this season. The Irish are 7-0-1 in their last eight BIG EAST regular-season home matches. Notre Dame was 5-0-0 in league play at home last season.
SPREADING THE WEALTH
Notre Dame's 15 goals this season have come from eight different players. Junior forward Ryan Finley has a team-high four goals and senior midfielder Adam Mena has three tallies. Danny O'Leary (Jr./F) and Harrison Shipp (So./F) both have two goals, while four Irish players have one goal apiece.
CLARK MOVES TO TOP OF PROGRAM WINS LIST
Notre Dame's 2-1 victory over Bucknell on Sept. 11 gave Irish head coach Bobby Clark the most wins in program history. Clark, who is in his 11th season on the Notre Dame sidelines, has a 132-61-34 record with the Irish. He moved past Rich Hunter, who was Notre Dame's first varsity head coach from 1977-83.
GUARDING THE GOAL
Notre Dame has allowed just 29 goals over the past two seasons, a span of 31 matches. The Fighting Irish allowed just 19 goals all of last season and they have given up just 10 so far this season. The Irish have not surrendered more than two goals in a single match since a 3-1 loss at Northwestern in the second round of the 2009 NCAA Tournament.
QUITE A CROWD
A sellout crowd of over 3,000 fans attended Notre Dame's season opener against Indiana on Aug. 27. That is a record attendance for a men's contest at Alumni Stadium, which opened in 2009. It was Notre Dame's largest crowd for a regular-season match since Sept. 22, 1995 when 3,339 fans came to see the Irish and Hoosiers at old Alumni Field.
Senior defender Aaron Maund has started all 70 matches in which he has played during his Notre Dame career. The only five games he has missed was during his sophomore campaign in 2009 when he was with the United States Under-20 National Team at the U-20 World Cup in Egypt. He has started all 44 matches with the Irish since returning from the international competition. He played every possible minute on the pitch during the 2008 and 2010 campaigns and he has not left a match this season.
Since Bobby Clark took over the reins of the Notre Dame program in 2001, the Irish have won at least 10 matches during all 10 seasons of the Clark era. The Fighting Irish have qualified for the NCAA Tournament in each of the past 10 seasons. That streak ranks in a tie for fifth nationally. Notre Dame is the only team in the BIG EAST to finish in the top two of either division standings in each of the past four seasons. The Fighting Irish also are the only BIG EAST squad to qualify for the semifinals in each of the past four league tournaments.
TRIO OF IRISH PLAYERS NAMED PRESEASON ALL-AMERICANS
Ryan Finley (Jr./F), Aaron Maund (Sr./D) and Dillon Powers (Jr./M) all received preseason All-America honors. Finley and Maund copped the accolades from College Soccer News, while Maund and Powers were tabbed by Soccer America.
Notre Dame's 2011 freshman class was selected as the 14th best rookie class in the nation according to College Soccer News. The five-man class features four high school All-Americans. Comprising the class are: midfielder/defender Nick Besler (Overland Park, Kan.), forward Vince Cicciarelli (Peoria, Ill.), midfielder Robby Gallegos (Aptos, Calif.), midfielder/forward Max Lachowecki (Evansville, Ind.) and midfielder Brendan Lesch (Westport, Conn.).
A GREAT NIGHT FOR GRASSROOT
Notre Dame held its annual exhibition game to benefit Grassroot Soccer on Aug. 22. A total of 2,444 fans packed into Alumni Stadium to watch the Irish play Creighton to a 2-2 draw. All of the proceeds from the match went to Grassroot Soccer, an international AIDS awareness and education organization that reaches youth in Africa through soccer clinics. Dr. Tommy Clark, the eldest son of Irish head coach Bobby Clark, is the founder and CEO of Grassroot Soccer. Notre Dame has held a match to benefit Grassroot Soccer in each of the past eight seasons.
FOLLOW THE IRISH ON UND.COM
All 2011 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 2011 campaign.
PURCHASE YOUR IRISH SOCCER TICKETS
To purchase a season pass or single-game tickets for Fighting Irish soccer, call the Murnane Family Athletics Ticket Office at (574) 631-7356, visit the tickets page at the official Notre Dame athletics web site, UND.com (UND.com/tickets) or stop by the Murnane Family Athletics Ticket Office windows inside the new Rosenthal Atrium at Purcell Pavilion (entrance via Gate 9). Tickets also can be purchased at Alumni Stadium on gamedays. For group discount pricing information call Rita Baxter in the Notre Dame Ticket Office at (574) 631-4165.