Oct. 13, 2016
by Tony Jones
#1/2 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (10-1-1, 3-1-1 ACC) vs. No. 21 Virginia Cavaliers (6-2-4, 1-2-2 ACC)
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) play kicks back into top gear this weekend for the University of Notre Dame men’s soccer team. A four-game road trip for the No. 1/2 Irish resumes on Friday at No. 21 Virginia in Charlottesville. The 7 p.m. (ET) ACC Coastal Division match inside Klöckner Stadium will air live on ACC Network Extra.
Notre Dame (10-1-1, 3-1-1 ACC) looks to continue a five-match unbeaten streak that has seen key results against No. 2 Syracuse (W, 2-1 on Sept. 23), No. 6 Indiana (W, 4-0 on Oct. 4) and No. 11 Wake Forest (T, 2-2 on Oct. 8). The Irish are 5-0-1 against opponents ranked in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) top 25 at match time in 2016.
Virginia (6-2-4, 1-2-2 ACC) looks to slow Notre Dame’s series momentum that has featured three Irish wins in the past four meetings between the teams since 2014. The Cavaliers have never fallen to Notre Dame during true home matches, logging a 2-0-1 mark against the Irish in Charlottesville dating back to 1985.
“This is a very good game for us,” Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark said. “We tied the last time we were down there (1-1 in 2014), and I remember going down there once for the quarterfinals of the NCAAs (in 2006). Greg Dalby would have been playing in these days, Andrew Quinn and Chris Cahill each played a half in that game, the two goalies, and Joseph Lapira, Bright Dike, that era, and we lost 3-2. They’re all good games, and I think it’s about time we won one down there.
“(Virginia) are always tough,” Clark added. “We’ve had the better of it up here, with the exception of the NCAA game in 2014. Every game in the ACC is going to be like that, every road game.”
Single game tickets for the 2016 Notre Dame men's soccer season remain on sale. Visit und.com/BuyTickets or call the Murnane Family Ticket Office at 574-631-7356 for more information or to purchase tickets.
Irish Shut Out Michigan In Ann Arbor
A competitive Tuesday night matchup on the pitch at the U-M Soccer Stadium ultimately shifted to the favor of Notre Dame. Goals from Mark Gormley and Jon Gallagher guided the No. 1/2 Irish to a 2-0 win over Michigan in nonconference action on Oct. 11.
Notre Dame extended its 2016 nonconference record to a perfect 7-0 with the shutout of Michigan, the 11th Irish win in the all-time series between the teams.
ND Quiets Wolverines After Fast Start
After Michigan opened the first 14 minutes with a 6-0 shots advantage, Notre Dame outshot the host Wolverines by a 12-7 margin for the remainder of a 2-0 win in Ann Arbor on Oct. 13. None of the final seven Michigan shots were credited as official shots on goal.
Gallagher Among The NCAA Elite
Following a 14-point surge (six goals, two assists) over his past five starts, Jon Gallagher has flown up the NCAA Division I scoring chart. As of Oct. 12, Gallagher was tied for second in the NCAA with 11 goals and 27 total points (five assists) as part of Notre Dame’s 10-1-1 start to the 2016 season.
Gallagher, who has scored two goals in a match on three separate occasions this season (UC Irvine on Aug. 26, Pittsburgh on Sept. 30 and No. 6 Indiana on Oct. 4), remains one of the frontrunners for the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Offensive Player of the Year award. Entering Friday’s matchup at Virginia, Gallagher holds a two-goal lead and eight-point overall cushion among all ACC scorers after 12 starts this season.
Gormley Getting It Done In Starting XI
In his first two starts at forward for Notre Dame in 2016, it is safe to say that Mark Gormley has more than made his presence felt at the top of the Irish offensive formation. Gormley notched a first half equalizer in his inaugural season start against No. 11 Wake Forest (2-2, Oct. 8) before tallying the game-winning goal at Michigan (2-0, Oct. 11).
Gormley has now scored six career goals in 33 appearances for Notre Dame, tallying three goals over 21 matches last season before adding three to his goal account thus far in 2016. In fact, Gormley has successfully converted six of his nine official shots on goal in an Irish uniform.
Aubrey Is Defensively Offensive
A career year for center back Brandon Aubrey began with a successful penalty kick to open Notre Dame’s regular season in a 4-0 win over UC Irvine on Aug. 26. A total of six goals over his first five starts sent Aubrey off and running, and the senior central defender has rarely looked back since.
Aubrey, among the top five overall scorers in the ACC in both goals (8) and points (17), has established career-highs in both statistics after 12 starts. Along with being one of top scoring defenders in the country, Aubrey has also played a key role in seven Notre Dame shutouts, the second-most among all Division I sides.
Hubbard Stands Tall In ND Goal
During his second full season as Notre Dame starting goalkeeper, Chris Hubbard has continued to excel for the Irish against an elite schedule. Through only 12 starts in 2016, Hubbard is a mere one victory away (10) and one solo shutout off (seven) of equaling career-highs that he established in 22 matches last season.
Included among Hubbard’s seven clean sheets thus far this season are a 5-0 decision against then No. 22 California (Sept. 4) and 4-0 final at home versus No. 6 Indiana (Oct. 4).
Irish In The ACC
In its fourth full season as an ACC member, Notre Dame has recorded a 20-5-7 (.734) conference mark in the regular season since 2013. The Irish shared the ACC regular season championship (7-1-3) in 2013 before claiming the top position in the ACC Coastal Division (6-1-1) in 2014.
Notre Dame has yet to drop back-to-back decisions in the ACC, posting a combined 5-0 mark immediately following a conference loss since 2013. The Irish extended that streak with a 2-1 win over No. 2 Syracuse on Sept. 23 at Alumni Stadium.
Virginia enters Friday’s match at Klöckner Stadium sporting a 6-2-4 record, fresh off a 1-1 draw with Radford on Oct. 11. The Cavaliers picked up their first ACC win of 2016 with a 2-1 triumph over No. 4 North Carolina on Oct. 7.
Edward Opoku and Pablo Aguilar are tied for the Virginia lead with 10 points (four goals and two assists each) after 12 matches, while Wesley Wade has chipped in four goals of his own.
Head coach George Gelnovatch is in his 21st season at Virginia, and has guided the Cavaliers to a 290-119-48 (.687) mark. Gelnovatch has coached in five College Cups (1997, 2006, 2009, 2013 and 2014), and won national titles in 2009 and 2014.
Tony Jones, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2012 and coordinates all media efforts for the Notre Dame softball and men's soccer programs. A native of Jamestown, New York, Jones is a 2011 graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and prior to arriving at Notre Dame held positions at the University of Louisiana Monroe and with the National Football League's Buffalo Bills.