Oct. 16, 2003
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#9 Notre Dame at Connecticut
Saturday, Oct. 18 * Morrone Stadium * Storrs, Conn. * 7:00 p.m.
Notre Dame and Connecticut lock up for a key BIG EAST Conference match on Saturday:
The University of Notre Dame men's soccer team (8-2-3, 3-3-1) begins a key three-match road trip this weekend when it hooks up with Connecticut (5-6-2, 3-2-2) on Saturday at 7 p.m. in Storrs, Conn. The Huskies are coming off a 1-0, double overtime loss to St. John's on Wednesday, Oct. 15.
The Irish will enter this weekend's match coming off their biggest win since 1998. Notre Dame defeated Cleveland State 6-0 this past Tuesday, when senior forward Devon Prescod posted the first hat trick for Notre Dame in nine seasons (see note later in this package).
The six goals against the Vikings were a team high for Bobby Clark (now in his third season) and is the first time Notre Dame has posted six goals in a contest since 1998. The Irish, ranked as high as ninth in the nation currently, also collected thier seventh shutout of the season.
Notre Dame and Connecticut will be meeting for the 11th time on Saturday ... Connecticut leads the all-time series 6-3-1 ... the Irish claimed a 3-1 victory in the last meeting in the series last season ... the 2002 victory was the first by Notre Dame over Connecticut since the Irish joined the BIG EAST Conference in 1995 ... Greg Martin scored two goals in the meeting last season ... Notre Dame is 1-4 in Storrs, Conn.
Prescod enjoys first career hat trick:
Senior forward Devon Prescod posted the first hat trick at Notre Dame since 1994 with three goals at Cleveland State on Tuesday, Oct. 14, in Notre Dame's 6-0 victory. Prescod, who now has a career-best eight goals this season, is enjoying his best season at Notre Dame in 2003 after battling through various leg injuries last year.
Prescod's hat trick was the first at Notre Dame since Konstantin Koloskov scored three goals vs. LaSalle on Sept. 25, 1994 (a 4-0 victory for the Irish).
Detter steps up to lead the Irish offense:
Senior forward Justin Detter has become one of the most dangerous attack players in the nation this season. The White Lake, Mich., native has put the ball in the net six times so far in 2003 and demands the attention of the opposing defense in each and every contest.
A two-time all-BIG EAST selection, Detter has launched a team-high 51 shots this season, incuding 24 on goal. Dangerous both in the air and on the ground with the ball, Detter has shown the ability to beat constant double teams - and has set his teammates up for numerous scoring chances (he has four assists this season).
Riley moves into second on the all-time assist list:
Senior MF Chad Riley has passed Sami Kahale for second on the all-time assist ranking at Notre Dame. With his assist on Tuesday at Cleveland State, Riley now has eight on the season, giving the Houston, Texas, native 32 in his career.
Notre Dame career assists leaders:
1. Randy Morris ('85-'88), 40
2. Chad Riley ('00- ), 32
3. Sami Kahale ('78-'81), 30
4. Bill Lanza ('92-'95), 25
5. Richard Herdegen ('81-'84), 23
Riley has led Notre Dame in assists for all three previous seasons with the Irish.
While Notre Dame has faced several top teams this season, it has been consistently out-performing its rivals on the statistical end.
As of Oct. 15, Notre Dame has out-shot its opponents 202-110, an almost 2-1 ratio (15.5 per game vs. 8.5 per game). The Irish have unleashed 109 shots in the second half, compared to just 47 for all opponents.
Continuing a look at the statistics, Notre Dame's opponents have been forced to make 84 saves, while Irish goalkeeper Chris Sawyer has been asked to make just 27 stops. Notre Dame also leads in corner kicks 74-36 and has committed 28 less fouls than its competitors. Irish competitors have earned 26 yellow cards and three red cards, compared to just eight yellow cards for Notre Dame.
Challenging schedule continues evolving into one of the toughest slates in the nation:
No one can accuse the Irish team of ducking the competition this season. The BIG EAST Conference is recognized as one of the toughest in the nation, but even with a challenging conference schedule set for the 2003 season, Notre Dame has faced a number of highly-ranked non-conference opponents.
The exhibition season alone saw Notre Dame face Saint Louis (ranked as high as third in the nation this season) and Michigan. The regular season began with a 0-0 tie with #20 Alabama-Birmingham (currently 23rd in the nation) and a 2-1 overtime victory over #11 California (now unranked).
Notre Dame then suffered its first loss of the season to St. John's, which has been ranked as high as fifth in the national rankings (currently seventh). During the Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament, the Irish defeated Fresno State 2-1, then took on an unranked Akron team. Notre Dame and Akron fought to a 0-0 scoreless tie, but the Zips, by virtue of their win over Indiana that same weekend, jumped to 10th in the Sept. 15 NSCAA poll and first in the Great Lakes Region. Akron is currently ranked 12th.
Notre Dame's second loss of the season at home to #25 Rutgers last week marked the fifth ranked team the Irish have faced this season.
Connecticut, Notre Dame's opponent this weekend, has been ranked in the top 25 for most of this season, but dropped out of the rankings last week. They are ahead of Notre Dame in the BIG EAST Conference standings (see page four of this notes package).
The Irish have yet to face #20 Virginia Tech, that match is set in Blacksburg on Oct. 25.
Notre Dame's defense continues its impressive play:
Although Rutgers was able to score a season-high five goals (for a Notre Dame opponent) last weekend, the Irish have held their opponents to two or less goals in 11 of thier 13 matches this season.
Notre Dame's back line defense of senior Kevin Richards, juniors Kevin Goldthwaite and Jack Stewart, along with rookie Greg Dalby, have aided goalkeeper Chris Sawyer's performance this season. Sawyer has a 0.89 goals-against average and has allowed just 12 goals (eight of those goals coming in two games).
Notre Dame opponents have managed just 35 shots on goal this season - 2.69 per contest.
Devon Prescod on course for a career season:
Senior forward Devon Prescod is making the most of his final season with the Irish. After struggling through a series of leg injuries last season, Prescod is healthy and leading the Irish in scoring this season with eight goals. His scores against #11 California,West Virginia, Georgetown and Cleveland State proved to be the game winners, as well.
Prescod came into the 2003 season with 10 career goals after scoring six as a sophomore in 2001. His eight goals this season already eclipses his three from a year ago. Named the BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week on Sept. 1, Prescod is tied for first on the team in points with 16 and second in shots on goal with 14.
Perhaps the Notre Dame players enjoy playing soccer a little too much. The Irish have played extra time in six of 13 games this season, posting a record of 3-0-3 in those contests. The first weekend of the season, Notre Dame tied UAB 0-0, then defeated California 2-1 in two overtime periods. The Irish eventually defeated Fresno State and Indiana in OT, while tieing Akron and Syracuse.
Notre Dame is one overtime game away from matching the team record of seven overtime contests in 1985 (compiling a 1-2-4 record). The Irish have posted several seasons with six overtime contests (1981, '97, '98, '02). Notre Dame is 29-21-16 all-time in overtime contests (.561).
Home cooking serves the Irish well:
Notre Dame completed a seven-game homestand during the month of September with a 5-1-1 record, finishing up with a four-game win streak over #18 Indiana, West Virginia, Bradley and Georgetown.
The 2003 September marked just the second time in the program's history the Irish spent the entire month at home. In 1978, the second season of varsity soccer, Notre Dame defeated Florissant Valley, Tri-State, IPFW, St. Joseph's, Valparaiso, Michigan, Indiana Tech, Ablion and Purdue to start the season 9-0.
Irish home attendance on the rise:
Notre Dame men's soccer has developed a solid following in the local South Bend market over the past six seasons. In 2003, the Irish are averaging 1,228 fans for each home contest - a mark that would have placed Notre Dame 14th in the final attendance figures for the nation last season.
Here is a look at Notre Dame's home attendance over the six seasons:
2003: 1,228 (as of Oct. 15)
Notre Dame's 1-0 victory over Indiana was attended by 2,131 fans, the largest crowd this season at Alumni Field.
Etherington logs first career goal vs. Rutgers:
Lost in the aftermath of Notre Dame's 5-2 defeat at the hands of #25 Rutgers was freshman Ian Etherington's first goal of his career. Etherington has seen significant minutes this season on the right side of the Irish midfield, appearing in all 13 games and 551 minutes. He made his first start of the season at Cleveland State.
Etherington's first career goal came at the 66:05 mark, a header off a cross from Chad Riley.
Class of 2007 earns top-five recruiting class status:
University of Notre Dame men's soccer coach Bobby Clark has announced the signing of seven highly-regarded prep standouts to national letters of intent. Three of those players have been members of the U.S. national team program and are current members of the under-18 national squad. Joining the Irish program beginning in the fall of 2003 will be goalkeeper Chris Cahill (Louisville, Ky./St. Francis DeSales) central defender Greg Dalby (Poway, Calif./Poway), midfielder Ian Etherington (Temecula, Calif./Chaparral HS), forward Justin McGeeney (Ames, Iowa/Ames), midfielder Ryan Miller (Barrington, Ill./Barrington), forward Brian Murphy (Granger, Ind./St. Joseph's) and forward/midfielder Nate Norman (Rochester, Mich./Rochester Adams).
"These seven players comprise a fabulous recruiting class for us," Clark says. "All the individuals we identified early on in the recruiting process decided to come to Notre Dame. We were looking for players who would come in and give up depth as well as have an impact immediately. We're very excited to have all of them join our program.
"I think we've been very successful with our recruiting efforts the past two seasons. This year's class adds tremendous depth to our team and continues to move the program in the direction that we want to go."
The group ended up ranked fifth in the country by Soccer America and third by College Soccer News.com.
Notre Dame leads the nation in student-athlete graduation rate:
The University of Notre Dame compiled the nation's highest overall graduation rate for Division I-A student-athletes to take top honors in the 2003 USA Today/NCAA Academic Achievement Awards announced today.
Ninety-two percent of the Fighting Irish student-athletes who enrolled in 1996 earned a degree from the University, three percentage points higher than second-place Tulsa University. Duke and Wisconsin finished third at 88 percent, followed by Northwestern, 87; Boston College, 86; Stanford, 84; Western Michigan, 83; Michigan, 82; and Syracuse, Rice and Utah State, 81.
In addition to the overall rate, Academic Achievement Awards are presented to the institutions with the best student-athlete graduation rates in comparison to the overall student body and to those that show the most improvement from the previous year.
Now in their third year, the awards include a $20,000 prize for the top institutions in each category. They are based on federally compiled figures submitted by NCAA member institutions.
The NCAA bases graduation rates on the raw percentage of student-athletes who entered an institution and graduated within six years. Students who leave or transfer, regardless of academic standing, are considered non graduates. Notre Dame's graduation rate for student-athletes who complete all four years of athletic eligibility is 99 percent.
See Irish men's soccer action on CSTV's "Notre Dame Primetime":
College Sports Television (CSTV) has launched "Notre Dame Primetime" on Sunday evenings. Those with Direct TV can catch the show, hosted by former Irish football player Derrick Mayes. "Notre Dame Primetime" recaps all of Notre Dame's athletic action over the past week, features interviews with student-athletes and highlights from all of the Irish athletic teams.
"Notre Dame Primetime" is on each Sunday evening at 8:30 p.m. (EDT). Local Irish sports fans can catch a rebroadcast of "Notre Dame Primetime" at 7:00 p.m. Monday evenings on WHME-TV 46 (cable channel 11).
CSTV is currently available nationwide to more than 15 million cable and satellite homes. To find out where CSTV is available in your area, log on to www.CSTV.com, or call your local cable or satellite operator.
Keep up with the Irish via the Notre Dame hotline:
The Notre Dame athletic department hotline has realigned its menu offerings for the 2003 fall sports season.
The hotline provides schedule and results information for varsity sports and serves as a supplement to the live coverage and game recaps already provided on the official athletic website at www.und.com.
Here's how the hotline is aligned (as of Aug. 28):
*Dial (574) 631-3000
*Select any of the following subgroups:
(1) Upcoming schedule and recent results of ALL varsity sports currently in action (select cells 3-9 for the most updated results for specific sports).
(2) Football schedules for the 2003, '04, '05, '06 and '07 seasons.
(3) Basketball information (then press 1 for men's basketball and 2 for women's basketball)
(4) Soccer information (then press 1 for men's soccer and 2 for women's soccer).
(5) Women's volleyball (press 1) and men's ice hockey (press 2) information.
(6) Men's and women's cross country information.
(7) Men's and women's swimming and diving information (then press 1 for men's swimming and 2 for women's swimming).
(8) Tennis information (then press 1 for men's tennis and 2 for women's tennis) and men's and women's fencing information (press 3).
(9) Women's golf (press 1), men's golf (press 2) and women's rowing (press 3) information.
Other national polls:
There are several polls supported by various magazines and websites that rank the Irish. Here is a look at the Soccer Times and College Soccer News polls.
Soccer Times: 1. UCLA, 2. Maryland, 3. North Carolina, 4. Old Dominion, 5. Saint Louis, 6. St. John's, 7. Washington, 8. Santa Clara, 9. Wake Forest, 10. NOTRE DAME, 11. UCSB, 12. Tulsa, 13. Florida Int'l, 14. Rutgers, 15. Coastal Carolina, 16. SMU, 17. Akron, 18. Fairleigh Dickinson, 19. Loyola Marymount, 20. CS Northridge, 21. Dayton, 22. UAB, 23. San Diego, 24. Hartwick College, 25. Virginia Tech.
College Soccer News: 1. UCLA, 2. Maryland, 3. Old Dominon, 4. North Carolina, 5. St. John's, 6. Saint Louis, 7. UCSB, 8. Washington, 9. Rutgers, 10. Florida Int'l, 11. NOTRE DAME, 12. Hartwick College, 13. Santa Clara, 14. Coastal Carolina, 15. Wake Forest, 16. Dayton, 17. Fairleigh Dickinson, 18. Akron, 19. Tulsa, 20. San Diego, 21. Loyola Marymount, 22. Connecticut, 23. Indiana, 24. Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 25. CS Northridge, 26. Virginia Tech, 27. VCU, 28. William & Mary, 29. Lehigh, 30. Brown.
Notre Dame in the BIG EAST statistical rankings (as of Oct. 13):
Shots: 3rd (15.25/g)
Point: 7th (4.00/g)
Goals: 9th (1.25/g)
Assists: 5th (1.50/g)
Goals-Against Average: 4th (0.92)
Saves: 13th (2.17/g, 26)
Shutouts: 2nd (6)
Shots: Detter, 1st (45)
Points: Detter, Prescod, 10th (11)
Goals: Prescod, 6th (5)
Assists: Riley, 2nd (7)
Game-Winning Goals: Prescod, 5th (3)
Goals Against Average: Sawyer, 5th (0.92)
Shutouts: Sawyer, 1st (6)