Oct. 29, 2002
Notre Dame, Ind. -
THE VIRGINIA TECH AND LOYOLA GAMES - Notre Dame closes out the regular season with two home games this weekend as the Irish play host to BIG EAST foe Virgina Tech in a crucial league test and then faces Loyola (Chicago) in a non-conference matchup. The Hokies will be making their first-ever visit to Alumni Field on Fri., Nov. 1 for a 7:30 p.m. EST matchup. Notre Dame's contest with the Ramblers on Sun., Nov. 3 at 2:00 p.m. will mark the first meeting between the two school since the 1994 campaign. Coach Bobby Clark's squad is coming off a two-game East coast road swing as Notre Dame finished with a 1-1 record. The Irish have won five of their last six contests and have outscored their opponents 14-4 in those matches. Notre Dame is ranked 19th in the in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Poll this week and stands 16th in the Soccer America ranking.
SCOUTING THE IRISH - Notre Dame will look to wrap up home field berth for the quarterfinals of the BIG EAST Championship on Friday night. Coach Clark's squad currently stands third in the standing with 16 points and one game remaining. The Irish enter the final two games of the regular with a 9-4-3 overall record and 5-3-1 mark in league play. Notre Dame is coming off of a 3-2 loss at Georgetown, the most goals allowed by the Irish this season. Clark's team has given up just 16 goals in 16 games for a 0.94 team goals against average. Six of Notre Dame's 16 games have been decided in overtime (the Irish are 2-1-3 in those contests), while eight matches have been decided by a single goal. Notre Dame has scored 33 goals this season (2.06 goals per game). The Irish defense have held their opponents to one goal or less on 13 occasions. Notre Dame has defeated four ranked opponents and three top 10 foes - both firsts in the 25-plus years in the history of the program. Senior Erich Braun (Frankfurt, Germany) and junior Chad Riley (Houston, Texas) lead the team in scoring with 17 points each. Braun has a team-leading eight goals and has registered three two goal outings - versus Southwest Missouri State, Seton Hall and Providence. In addition, he tallied the final Irish score in Notre Dame's 3-1 victory over Connecticut, which snapped a six-game streak in which he didn't register a goal or an assist. Riley has scored three goals and leads the team with nine assists. Justin Detter (White Lake, Mich.) is second on the team with six goals and stands third in the scoring column with 16 points. Greg Martin (Plano, Texas) ranks third in goals scored with five and is fourth in the scoring column with 10 points. Rafael Garcia (Palmdale, Calif.) has eights points as he has scored two goals and dished off four assists. Luke Boughen (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) and Devon Prescod (Marietta, Ga.) have three goals each (6 points), while Jack Stewart (Torrance, Calif.) and Justin Ratcliffe (Miami, Fla.) round out the scoring with one goal each. rounding out the goal scoring with one goal. Kevin Goldthwaite (Sacramento, Calif.) is second on the team with six assists, while Kevin Richards (Warwick, Bermuda) has been credited with three assists this season. Goalkeeper Chris Sawyer (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) has played in just one game (Connecticut) in Notre Dame last six games after suffering a hamstring injury in the second half of the Pittsburgh game on Oct. 4. He has played 1002:36 of a possible 1349:08 and has allowed 11 goals this season and made 33 saves. He owns a a .750 save percentage and 0.99 goals against average. Senior Greg Tait (Fayetteville, N.Y.) has started five of the last six games and has registered four complete-game shutouts. He has played 526:32 and has a 0.85 goals against aveaged and .815 save percentage.
SCOUTING THE HOKIES - Virginia Tech is riding a five-game win streak heading into its final two games of the season. The Hokies, 10-5-1 overall and 5-3-0 in BIG EAST play, close out the season by hosting playing at Connecticut (Oct. 30) and at Notre Dame on Nov. 1. Six of Virginia Tech's games have been decided in overtime with the Hokies owning a 3-2-1 mark in those contests. Sophomore Ken Jonmaire leads the tam in scoring with eight goals and six assists (22 points).
SCOUTING THE RAMBLERS - The Ramblers head into the game with a 3-13-0 record. Loyola is scheduled to play Northwestern on Oct. 30 before playing at Notre Dame on Nov. 3. After beginning season by winning its first three games, the Ramblers have lost 13 straight and have suffered eight one-goal losses. It's last victory was a 1-0 win at Northern Illinois on Sept. 6. Joe Nierzwicki leads the team in scoring with five goals and four assists.
RECAPPING VILLANOVA GAME - Notre Dame scored all five of their goals in just over 15 minutes of the first half in posting its second straight 5-0 win over Villanova and third in the last four years. The Irish got scores from five different goal scorers. The Wildcats managed just three shots and two corner kicks int eh game, while Notre Dame has 15 shots and five corners. Chad Riley opened up the scoring midway through the first half at the 22:20 mark. Justin Detter knocked in Notre Dame's second goal at 29:31 off an assist from Kevin Goldthwaite. Erich Braun notched his team-leading ninth goal of the season off an assist from Goldthwaite in the 31st minute of the contest. Devon Prescod and Justin Ratcliffe scored the final two goals of the game at the 36:00 and 37:31 marks, respectively. Greg Tait finished with three saves in recording his fourth shutout of the season.
RECAPPING GEORGETOWN GAME - Notre Dame had its five-game win streak snapped in dropping a 3-2 decision on the road. Jeff Curtin scored the game-winning goal, his second of the contest, off of a penalty kick with 24 seconds remaining in regulation. The Irish jumped out to an early 1-0 lead when Justin Detter took a pass from teammate Erich Braun and beat Georgetown goalkeeper Tim Hogan at the 15:39 mark. Georgetown evened the contest at the 28:36 mark. The score remained tied until 18:03 of the second half when Curtin scored the first of his two goals. Notre Dame, which outshot Georgetown 24-15 in the game, tied the game for the second time with less than five minutes remaining on Greg Martin's fifth goal of the season at the 84:56 mark. The Irish were called for a handball whch resulted in the penalty kick. Greg Tait stopped four shots in goal.
HEAD COACH BOBBY CLARK - Bobby Clark is in his second season at Notre Dame after being named the fifth head coach in the program's history on January 19, 2001. In his 16th season as a collegiate coach, Clark has an overall record of 174-74-28 for an overall winning percentage of .681 and is 21-11-3 (.643) at Notre Dame. Heading into the 2002 campaign, he ranked 16th all-time among active Division I coaches in terms of winning percentage. Last season, he guided the Irish to a 12-7 mark and their first NCAA tournament appearance since 1996. Prior to coming to Notre Dame, he spent five seasons guiding the Stanford Cardinal to a 71-21-12 mark and .740 winning percentage from 1996-2000. Clark also was head coach at Dartmouth from 1985-93 where he led the Big Green to an 82-242-13 record (.646). Seven of Clark's teams have advanced to NCAA tournament play with his '98 Stanford squad finishing as the NCAA runnerup that season. In between his coaching stints at Dartmouth and Stanford, he was head coach of the New Zealand National Team (1994-95).
CLARK HAS LED THREE DIFFERENT TEAMS INTO NCAAs - As a head coach, Bobby Clark is certainly NCAA tournament tested. With Notre Dame's appearance in the 2001 championship, he has now guided three different schools to the NCAA postseason. At Dartmouth, he led the Big Green to two appearances in nine years, while his Cardinal teams at Stanford earned four berths in the five seasons he spent on Palo Alto, Calif., campus. Clark is the first Notre Dame coach to lead the Irish to the NCAAs in his first season.
SERIES RECORD VS. VIRGINIA TECH - Friday's game will be just the second meeting between the two teams as the Hokies visit Notre Dame for the first time. Last year, Note Dame earned a 2-0 win in Blacksburg.
SERIES RECORD VS. LOYOLA - Sunday's matchup will markthe 18 meeting between the two school, but the first match since 1994 when Notre Dame dropped a 2-0 decision. Notre Dame has won two of the last three meetings and owns a 12-3-2 advantage in the series.
ROLLING ALONG - Before its loss to Georgetown, Notre Dame had won five straight, its longest win streak of the season. The Irish have won five of their last six. Notre Dame closed out the 2001 regular season by winning nine of its last 10 contests.
HOME COOKIN' FOR THE IRISH UNDER CLARK - Notre Dame suffered its first home loss of 2002 when the Irish dropped a 1-0 decision to Pittsburgh in overtime on October 4. It was just the second loss at home for the Irish during Bobby Clark's tenure. The setback was the first for the Irish since dropping a 3-0 decision to Rutgers on September 22, 2001. Notre Dame has a 12-2-1 record at Alumni Field under Clark.
FOUR WINS OVER RANKED OPPONENTS - The 3-1 win over Connecticut gave the the Irish their fourth win over a ranked opponent this season - a first in the 26-year history of the program. The victory also was the third by Notre Dame versus a top-10 opponent - also a first by an Irish team. Prior to this season, the most wins by an Irish team over a ranked opponent was three in 1996. During that season, Notre Dame defeated No. 14 Connecticut (2-1), No. 12 Rutgers (1-0) and No. 2 UNC Greensboro (1-0) in conecutive outings. The Irish's other three ranked wins this season have been at home to No. 6 Seton Hall (4-0) and No. 7 Furman (2-1) and on the road at No. 15 Boston College (1-0) in overtime. In its 25-plus seasons of varsity competition, Notre Dame has 10 wins over teams that have been ranked in the top 10 of either the NSCAA or Soccer America polls.
THE CAPTAINS - Seniors Erich Braun and Justin Ratcliffe and junior Greg Martin are serving as captains for the 2002 men's soccer team. Braun and Ratcliffe will be serving as captains for the first time in their career, while Martin has been selected as one of the Irish leaders for the second consecutive year. In 2001, Martin was the first sophomore in the 25-year history of the program to serve as a captain and becomes just the 10th player ever to serve as a two-time captain.
PLAYING OVERTIME - Through the first 16 games of the season, Notre Dame has played six overtime contests. The Irish are 2-1-3 in those contests with four of them going to double overtime. Notre Dame's two overtime wins were against Boston College and Furman. In the victory against the Paladins, they tallied the game-winner with 2:31 left in the second overtime session. Last season, Notre Dame played just three overtimes in 19 outings and were 1-2 in those contests. Under head coach Bobby Clark, Notre Dame is 3-3-3 in overtime games.
BRAUN MOVING UP THE CHARTS - With his eight goals this season, Erich Braun is tied for ninth on the Irish goal-scoring chart with 33 career goals. His 79 points (33 goals, 13 assists) places him 10th on the all-time scoring list.
MARTIN MAGIC - Greg Martin's two goals against Connecticut on Sunday marked the first two-goal outing of his career. He scored Notre Dame's first two goals as he helped the Irish erase a 1-0 halftime deficit. His second score came at the 53:41 mark of the contest, which proved to be the game-winning goal. He has scored four goals on the season and leads the team with two game-winners. Martin also had the decisive goal in Notre Dame's 2-1 overtime win against Furman. He scored his first goal of the season in the season opener against Southwest Missouri State - a 3-2 Irish victory. Last season, Martin played in 13 games and earned starts in nine of those contests. Heading into the 2002 campaign, he had scored one goal and dished off one assist.
THREE CHEERS FOR CHAD - Chad Riley's three assists against Providence marked a single-game career-best for the junior who has led the Irish in that category during his two-plus seasons. He leads the team with eight assists this season, exceeding his previous single-season best of six during both the 2000 and '01 campaigns. In 52 career games, Riley has dished off 21 assists. His team-leading nine are the most by an Irish player since Bill Lanza's 11 assists during the 1995 campaign.
BIG EAST PLAY BRINGS OUT THE BEST IN SAWYER - Chris Sawyer has a knack for playing well in BIG EAST games. In the six BIG EAST games he has played, Saywer has surrendered just three goals in 495:07 minutes of action. In 14 career league games, he has registered five complete-game shutouts.
BOUGHEN HAS CAREER DAY AGAINST FRIARS - Sophomore Luke Boughen registered the first two goals of his collegiate career against Providence just 1:12 apart from each other. It also marked his first career points in an Irish uniform. Boughen scored his first goal at the 51:19 mark and then followed with his second score at 52:31. He also had the game-winning goal in Notre Dame's 1-0 overtime win at Boston College.
RAFAEL IS COMING UP BIG - One Irish player who has stepped up his level of play this season has been senior forward Rafael Garcia. He has two goals and three assists on the season and stands fourth in the scoring column with seven points. Garcia registered goals in both the Creighton and Seton Hall contests and is credited with assists in the Southwest Missouri State and Furman matches. Garcia has started all 16 games. Heading into the 2002 campaign, he had made 13 starts in 38 games and had scored two goals and dished off two assists.
DETTER DOING IT - Justin Detter is Notre Dame's third-leading goal scorer this season with six goals (second best and and four assists (16 points). Detter has already equalled his single-season best for goals scored and has 14 career goals and 10 assists (38 points). He has scored a goal in each of Irish's last two contests.
IRISH MAINSTAYS - Four Irish veterans have started 90.0 percent or better in Notre Dame games during their careers: Erich Braun (Sr.) - 66 of 68 (.971); Justin Ratcliffe (Sr.) - 65 of 71 (.915); Justin Detter (Jr.) - 51 of 52 (.981); and Chad Riley (Jr.) - 49 of 52 (.942).
QUICK FLICKS - Notre Dame has wasted little time in getting on the scoreboard in six games this season. Erich Braun tallied the season's first goal 17 seconds into the contest in the season opener against Southwest Missouri State, while Rafael Garcia put in the Irish's lone goal versus Creighton at the 7:12 mark. Against Seton Hall, Garcia scored Notre Dame's initial goal 23:28 into the contest and Braun gave the Irish a 1-0 lead at the 11:04 mark of the match against Providence. In the win over Villanova, Chad Riley knocked in the first Irish goal 22:20 into the game, while Justin Detter tallied the game's first score against Georgetown 15:30 into the game.
GETTING HIS STARTS - Freshman Dale Rellas (Plano, Texas) has been in the starting lineup all 16 of Notre Dame's games in 2002. He was the only Irish rookie to see action against Southwest Missouri State in the season opener. Rellas came up with a critical back save in the Connecticut which prevented the Huskies from going up 2-0 in the contest.
PLAYING THE BEST - The '02 men's soccer schedule features nine teams that advanced to NCAA tournament play a year ago. Those teams featured on the 18-game slate include: Akron, Boston College, Connecticut, Creighton, Furman, Michigan State, Rutgers, St. John's and Seton Hall.
25 AND COUNTING - The 2001 campaign marked the 25th season of varsity competition for the Notre Dame men's soccer program. Since its inaugural season in 1977, Irish teams have compiled a 336-169-45 record for a .652 winning percentage. Notre Dame has won 20-plus games on three occasions and 15 or more contests 11 times. In the program's history, only five teams have had a losing season.
ALL IN THE FAMILY - Freshman defender John Stephens (Woodbridge, Ill.) is no stranger to athletics at Notre Dame. His grandfather, Colonel John Stephens, served as Notre Dame's longtime associate athletics director until the mid-80's. His father, John, is a graduate of Notre Dame and received a law degree from the University.
HOME SWEET HOME - Notre Dame will play nine of its 18 regular season contests at the friendly confines of Alumni Field during the 2002 season. The Irish finished 7-1 last year at home (its only loss was to Rutgers). The Irish own an 80-29-8 mark all-time for a .718 winning percentage. The '02 campaign will mark the 12th for Notre Dame at Alumni Field.
LEADER OF THE PACK - For the first time in the history of the BIG EAST Conference, six teams represented the league in the 2001 NCAA Men's Soccer Championship. The BIG EAST led all conferences with six selections. In addition to Notre Dame, Boston College, Connecticut, Rutgers, St. John's and Seton Hall earned spots in the 48-team field.
BIG EAST FORMAT - With the addition of Virginia Tech at the start of the 2001 campaign, the BIG EAST created a change in its regular-season format with a 10-game conference format instituted. Notre Dame will not play West Virginia and Syracuse this season.
DIADORA CHALLENGE ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM - Notre Dame had four players named to the all-tournament team at the Diadora Challenge - Erich Braun, Greg Martin, Jack Stewart (Torrance, Calif.) and Luke Boughen (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.). In addition, Braun was selected as the tournament's MVP as the Irish also won the tournament crown.
MIKE BERTICELLI CLASSIC ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM - Three Notre Dame players - Justin Ratcliffe (Miami, Fla.), Devon Prescod (Marietta, Ga.) and Kevin Goldthwaite - were named to the all-tournament team. Bradley had four players selected, including goalkeeper Chris Dunsheath who also earned MVP honors. Furman and Cornell each placed two players on the squad.
LIGHTNING STRIKES TWICE - Notre Dame has had two games this season delayed by lightening - Creighton and Bradley. Against Creighton, there was a 30-minute lightening delay, while the Bradley contest was delayed 20 minutes in the 16th minute of the contest.
SCOTTISH CORNER KICKS - The Notre Dame men's soccer team reported back to campus on July 21 to begin an intense 10 days of workouts in preparation for their 14-day trip to Scotland. The squad left for the native homeland of head coach Bobby Clark on Aug. 2 and returned back to Indiana on Aug. 16. The Irish made their headquarters on the University of Aberdeen and Edinburgh University campuses. Junior midfielder Greg Martin recorded the events of the trip in a diary which appeared on Notre Dame's website (www.und.com) during the trip. Former Notre Dame men's soccer player Thomas Crotty (1977-79) who contributed $50,000 - the entire amount needed for the cost of the trip. The Irish finished 4-0-1 while playing five games in 11 days. Game #1 (August 4) - Notre Dame 6, Formatine United 1 Notre Dame opened its Scotland Tour with a 6-1 victory over Formatine United. Erich Braun scored two first-half goals, and Paul Rodriguez added another as the Irish built a 3-1 halftime advantage. Devon Prescod gave the Irish a 4-1 lead early into the second, while Rafael Garcia and Justin Ratcliffe also added scores. Chris Sawyer started and played the entire first half, while Greg Tait played the entire second half.
Game #2 (August 6) - Notre Dame 8, Banks of Dee 1 Notre Dame was impressive in its second game as the Irish registered an 8-1 win victory over the Banks of Dee. The Irish claimed a 3-0 halftime advantage on goals by Kevin Goldthwaite, Rafael Garcia and Erich Braun. Second-half scores from Chad Riley, Justin Ratcliffe and Devon Prescod pushed the Irish lead to 6-0. After the Banks of Dee scored its lone goal of the contest, Justin Detter and Prescod added the contest's final two scores.
Game #3 (August 8) - Notre Dame 1, Ross County 0 Notre Dame improved to 3-0 with a 1-0 win in Dingwall over the Ross County under-21 squad. The game-winning Irish score came from Filippo Chillemi 10 minutes into the second half. The opposition nearly tied the game with three minutes remaining in the contest on a questionable call that resulted in a penalty kick, but Greg Tait's save preserved the win.
Game #4 (August 12) - Notre Dame 2, Aberdeen FC Under-21 0 Notre Dame posted its most noteworthy victory of its two-week summer tour and improved to 4-0 with a 2-0 shutout over the Aberdeen under-21 squad. Erich Braun scored his fourth goal of the trip early in the second half with Filippo Chillemi adding the second goal midway through the half. Devon Prescod set up both goals in the game. Goalkeeper Chris Sawyer played the entire 90 minutes of the contest. The victory marked the first time in four games that one of Clark's teams had produced a win over that squad. Previously, he had brought to Scotland two of his Dartmouth and one of his Stanford teams.
Game #5 (August 14) - Notre Dame 1, Dundee United 1
Playing its fifth game in 11 days, Notre Dame tied Dundee United 1-1 in its fifth and final game of its Scotland tour. Erich Braun netted the contest's lone goal off an assist from Devon Prescod. Dundee United tallied the equalizer with three minutes left in the contest.