October 26, 1998
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The Notre Dame men's soccer team (8-5-3, 4-4-2) concludes its regular season on Friday night, October 30 when the Irish play host to the West Virginia Mountaineers at 7:30 p.m. on Alumni Field. The outcome of the game will determine seeding for the 1998 BIG EAST Men's Soccer Championship which begins the following weekend (Nov. 7 & 8) with quarterfinal matchup at campus sites of the tournament's four highest seeds in the eight-team field.
THE WEEK IN REVIEW - Providence: Notre Dame lost for the first time in four games to Providence as the Friars beat the visiting Irish 2-1. Andy Bussman scored the game-winning goal with only 11 minutes to play in the contest. Notre Dame jumped out to an early 1-0 lead when freshman Shane Walton (San Diego, Calif.) scored his 10th goal of the season on an assist from Dustin Pridmore (Dallas, Tex.) 15:28 into the contest. Providence tied the game with less than nine minutes to play before the half when Michael Eisenhut scored on a penalty kick. Heading into the contest, Notre Dame had won all three meetings between the two schools and had not allowed a goal in the series, outscoring the Friars 5-0. Providence outshot the Irish 15-8 in the contest. Boston College: Notre Dame earned its fourth shutout of the season as the Irish defeated the Eagles 3-0 . Junior midfielder Andrew Aris (Auckland, New Zealand) scored a pair of goals for Notre Dame in the win. Boston College outshot the Irish 10-5 in the contest and owned an 8-3 advantage in corner kicks. The Eagles controlled the game until the 36th minute when Aris headed in ball off assists from Matt Johnson (Livermore, Calif.) and Ryan Cox (Broadview Hts, Ohio). Aris' second goal came off an assist from Walton and Johnson tallied his first score of the year off an assist from Pridmore. The shutout was the 25th of goalkeeper Greg Velho's (Longwood, Fla.) career.
HEAD COACH MIKE BERTICELLI - Notre Dame head coach Mike Berticelli is in his ninth season along the Irish sidelines and 23rd as a collegiate coach. He has led Notre Dame to three of the school's four NCAA tournament appearances (1993, 1994 and 1996). In 1996, his Irish squad won the school's first-ever NCAA tournament game when it defeated second-seeded UNC Greensboro in the first round. Berticelli has a 95-70-16 (.569) mark at Notre Dame and is 282-125-39 (.676) overall. In three of the last five seasons, Irish teams have won conference tournament titles. Under Berticelli, the Irish claimed the 1996 BIG EAST tournament crown in just its second year as a member of the league with consecutive wins over ranked opponents Connecticut and Rutgers. During the 1993 and 1994 campaigns, the Irish won back-to-back MCC tournament crowns and earned berths in the NCAA tournament. Prior to coming to Notre Dame, he spent six seasons (1984-89) at Old Dominion where his teams compiled a 76-27-16 record for a .706 winning percentage. Berticelli coached for four years at UNC-Greensboro (1980-83) with his teams compiling a 70-9-5 record (.863) and winning two Division III national crowns in 1982 and 1983. His first head coaching stint was at Thomas College where he coached from (1976-79) with his teams posting a 41-19-2 mark during that four-year span. The Irish have won 10-plus games in six of his eight seasons at the Notre Dame helm.
SERIES RECORD VERSUS UPCOMING OPPONENT -
West Virginia: Notre Dame leads the series 2-1. The Irish have earned shutouts over the Mountaineers in each of the last two meetings. Coach Mike Berticelli's squad posted a 3-0 shutout in Morgantown, W.Va., last season and beat West Virginia 1-0 at Alumni Field in 1996 in the Mountaineers first-ever visit to Notre Dame. West Virginia won the inaugural meeting in the series 2-1 in Morgantown during the 1995 campaign.
ARIS GETS SECOND MULTIPLE GOAL GAME - Junior midfielder Andrew Aris, who had the first multiple-goal game of his career against Seton Hall on October 18, tallied a pair of goals in the 3-0 win at Boston College. It marked the second time in three contests that he had a pair of goals in a game. He is now third in the Irish scoring column with five goal sand three assists (15 points). The five goals mark a single-season best for Aris who has 11 career goals and 12 career assists (34 points).
JOHNSON GETS SECOND CAREER GOAL - Matt Johnson's goal in the 3-0 win at Boston College was his second career goal. He also dished off an assist in the contest and now has a goal and three assists on the season. The two-time Irish captain has two goals and 10 assists during his Irish career.
PRIDMORE DISHES GETS FIRST TWO ASSISTS OF HIS CAREER - Sophomore Dustin Pridmore, who has started nine of the 13 games he has played this season, dished off the first two assists of his career against Providence and Boston College. Pridmore assisted on Shane Walton's 10th goal of the sesaon in the 2-1 loss at Providence and had the lone assist on Matt Johnson's goal in the 3-0 victory at Boston College.
OVERTIME IRISH - Notre Dame has played six overtime games this season. Coach Mike Berticelli's squad is 2-1-3 in overtime games in '98. The Irish played in a school-record five consecutive overtimes games earlier this season. The single-season record for overtime games in a season by a Notre Dame squad is seven set during the 1985 campaign.
IRISH PERFECT IN PENALTY KICKS - Notre Dame is a perfect two-for-two in penalty kicks this season. Andrew Aris had one over the weekend in the win over Seton Hall. Ryan Cox had the first one for the Irish this season in a 3-1 loss at Santa Clara.
WALTON'S HEROICS - Freshman Shane Walton has four game-winning goals this season and one game-tying goal. He leads the team in scoring with 10 goals and six assists (26 points). Walton has scored a goal in nine of 16 contests in 1998 and has been named the BIG EAST Rookie of the Week three times. He has had one multiple-goal game and two multiple-point contests this season. Walton's 10 goals and 26 points are the most by an Irish rookie since Jean Joseph (1991-95) who had 11 goals and 28 points in his freshman season in 1991. The last rookie to lead the Irish in both goals scored and overall scoring was Bill Lanza who had eight goals and four assists (20 points) during his freshman in 1992.
HOME SWEET HOME - Notre Dame is 4-1-2 at home this season. The 1998 campaign marks the ninth season for the Irish playing at Alumni Field. Since 1990, Notre Dame has won 72.0 percent of its games there, compiling a 57-20-7 record. Alumni Field has not been a friendly place for Irish opponents the past three-plus seasons, although Coach Mike Berticelli's squad somewhat struggled at home in 1997 winning just six of 10 games. The four losses represented the most for a Notre Dame team at Alumni Field in eight years. Four of the six wins, however, were shutouts. The previous season, 1996, the Irish had a 7-1-2 mark at home after posting an 8-3 record during the 1995 campaign. Notre Dame won a school-record 11 wins in 1994 en route to an 11-3-1 mark. Berticelli's team recorded eight shutouts in 1996, six of which were at home.
CLOSE CALLS - Seven of Notre Dame's 16 games this season have been decided by a single goal. The Irish are 4-3 in those games in 1998. Notre Dame beat Northwestern (1-0), Villanova (2-1 in overtime), IUPUI (1-0 in overtime) and Saint Mary's (3-1) and lost road games to Rutgers (1-0 in overtime), Georgetown (2-1) and Providence (2-1).
VELHO GETS CAREER SHUTOUT 25 - Greg Velho recorded his 25th career shutout in Notre Dame's 3-0 win at Boston College. Velho has played in 74 games during his career and made 70 starts while registering a 38-25-7 record.
VELHO HAS BEEN STRONG IN GOAL - Greg Velho has 75 saves overall this season (4.7 per game) and 53 in 10 BIG EAST games (5.3 per game). He tied his career best with 12 saves in Notre Dame's 1-1 tie with St. John's on September 26. Velho established the personal high against UNC Charlotte in the second round of the '96 tournament. This season, he has a 1.05 overall goals against average and .806 save percentage.
IRISH IN REGULAR SEASON FINALES - Friday night's regular-season finale with West Virginia holds much significance in determining Notre Dame's seed in the 1998 BIG EAST Men's Soccer Championship. The Irish are 15-5-1 in regular season finale for an 83.3 winning percentage. Notre Dame last lost a regular season finale versus Boston College in 1996 (1-0 on the road). That's the same year the Irish went on to win the 1996 BIG EAST tournament title.
WALTON AND COX ARE A SCORING COMBINATION - The combination of Shane Walton and Ryan Cox (Broadview Hts, Ohio) has appeared prominently on the Irish scoresheet this season. Together, the duo has been involved in nine of the 27 goals scored by the team this season. They are both one-two in the Irish scoring column with 42 of the team's 85 points. Walton and Cox have combined for 14 goals and 14 of Notre Dame's 31 assists.
IRONMAN - Matt Johnson (Livermore, Calif.) has played in all 79 games throughout his career and has made starting appearances in 78 of those contests. The only start he has missed was against Georgetown during the 1995 season. Johnson has a goal and three assists (five points) this season.
IRONMAN II - Since midway through the 1996 campaign, four-year starter Greg Velho has played every minute of every contest spanning Notre Dame's last 48 outings. He has played 4,551 consecutive minutes in goal. With a shoulder injury to Gerick Short (Mobile, Ala.) this season, he is the only goalkeeper in the Irish lineup. Velho has not been replaced in the lineup since the Irish beat Western Illinois 6-0 on October 11, 1996.
BIG EAST WELL REPRESENTED IN POLLS - Four BIG EAST teams are ranked in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Poll. Connecticut, the top-ranked team the last three weeks, fell to fourth following its loss to Seton Hall. St. John's moved up from 10th to ninth, while Seton Hall jumped 12 spots from 25th to 13. Rutgers rounds out the BIG EAST's representation in this week's poll at 23rd.
1998 Schedule/Results (8-5-3, 4-4-2)
AUGUST 21 Fri. OHIO STATE (Exhibition) L, 1-2 28 Fri. DEPAUL (Exhibition) W, 3-1 SEPTEMBER 1 Tue. VALPARAISO W, 6-1 5 Sat. at Syracuse* W, 3-1 8 Tue. (15/NR) NORTHWESTERN W, 1-0 13 Sun. (15/NR) PITTSBURGH* T, 2-2 (OT) 18 Fri. (16/NR) at Rutgers* L, 0-1 (OT) 20 Sun. (16/NR) at Villanova* W, 2-1 (OT) 26 Sat. (18/NR) ST. JOHN'S* (7/7) T, 2-2 (OT) 29 Tue. (17/NR) at Western Michigan T, 1-1 (OT)
OCTOBER 3 Sat. (17/NR) at Georgetown* L, 1-2 6 Tue. (T22/NR) IUPUI W, 1-0 (OT) 9 Fri. (T22/NR) at Santa Clara (20/17) L, 1-3 11 Sun. (T22/NR) at St. Mary's (Calif.) W, 2-1 16 Fri. CONNECTICUT* (1/5) L, 0-2 18 Sun. SETON HALL* (13/NR) W, 2-0 21 Wed. at Providence* L, 1-2 24 Sat. at Boston College* W, 3-0 30 Fri. WEST VIRGINIA* 7:30 p.m.
NOVEMBER 7 Sat. BIG EAST Tournament TBA 8 Sun. Quarterfinals (Campus Sites) 13 Fri. BIG EAST Tournament Semifinals/ 15 Sun. Finals (Piscataway, N.J.)
*BIG EAST match ( ) - indicates rankings at time of game in NSCAA and Soccer America polls. All times are local
1998 BIG EAST STANDINGS
BIG EAST Overall Record Record 1. Connecticut (18) 9-1-0 15-1-0 2. St. John's (15) 7-2-1 9-3-3 3. Rutgers (14) 7-2-0 10-5-2 4. Seton Hall (12) 5-3-2 10-3-3 5. Georgetown (10) 5-4-0 11-4-0 Providence (10) 5-4-0 7-8-0 NOTRE DAME (10) 4-4-2 8-5-3 8. West Virginia (9) 4-5-1 10-5-1 9. Syracuse (7) 3-6-1 5-9-1 10. Boston College (5) 2-6-1 5-8-2 11. Pittsburgh (4) 1-7-2 5-7-3 12. Villanova (2) 1-9-0 3-11-0NSCAA
( ) - points
(Week of October 26) LW 1. Indiana (15-1-0) 2 2. Clemson (15-1-0) 4 3. Washington (13-2-0) 5 4. Connecticut (15-1-0) 1 5. Virginia (10-2-2) 7 6. Creighton (11-2-1) 6 7. Duke (14-2-0) 3 8. UCLA (11-2-0) 9 9. St. John's (9-3-3) 10 10. South Carolina (11-3-1) 13 11. Saint Louis (12-3-1) 11 12. Penn State (11-3-2) 22 13. Seton Hall (10-3-3) 25 14. Akron (13-2-1) 18 15. Stanford (11-4-0) 8 16. Maryland (10-5-0) NR 17. Brown (10-2-1) NR 18. Southern Meth. (11-3-1) 20 19. Butler (13-3-0) 12 20. Santa Clara (9-3-2) NR 21. Virginia Common. (10-3-2) NR 22. Dartmouth (9-2-1) 16 23. Rutgers (10-5-2) 15 24 UNC Greensboro (13-2-2) NR 25. Cal State Full.(10-4-1) 19SOCCER AMERICA
(Week of October 26) LW 1. Indiana (15-1-0) 1 2. Clemson (15-1-0) 3 3. UCLA (11-2-0) 5 4. South Carolina (11-3-0) 7 5. Virginia (10-2-2) 11 6. Duke (14-2-0) 2 7. Creighton (11-2-1) 8 8. Connecticut (15-1-0) 4 9. Washington (13-2-0) 9 10. St. John's (9-3-3) 14 11. Stanford (11-4-0) 6 12. Saint Louis (12-3-1) 10 13. Darthmouth (9-2-1) 12 14 Furman (13-3-2) 13 15. Cal State Full. (10-4-1) 15 16. Santa Clara (9-3-2) 17 17. Southern Meth. (11-3-1) 20 18. Seton Hall (10-3-3) NR 19. Virginia Common.(10-3-2) NR 20. Maryland (10-5-0) NRNSCAA GREAT LAKES REGIONAL POLL
(October 25) 1. Indiana (50) 15-1-0 2. Akron (44) 13-2-0 3. Butler (38) 13-3-0 4. Cincinnati (37) 10-4-2 5. NOTRE DAME 8-5-3 6. Oakland (24) 10-4-0 7. Western Kentucky (15) 10-6-0 8. Dayton (11) 10-7-0 9. Wright State (8) 9-6-1 Xavier (8) 10-7-0 10. Marshall (7) 10-7-2
Others receiving votes: Kentucky