Nov. 19, 2016
by Tony Jones
2016 NOTRE DAME MEN'S SOCCER – Match 20
#15 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (11-6-2, #13 Seed) vs. #17 Loyola Ramblers (14-3-1)
DATE: Nov. 20, 2016
TIME: 6 p.m. (ET)
LOCATION: Notre Dame, Ind. (Alumni Stadium -- cap. 3,500)
LIVE STATS: Gametracker
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Championship returns to the campus of the University of Notre Dame this weekend, as a pair of former Midwestern Collegiate Conference (MCC) foes square off in the second round of the national tournament. No. 13 seed Notre Dame and Loyola are set to take the pitch on Sunday at 6 p.m. (ET) inside Alumni Stadium, with live coverage available on ESPN3.
Notre Dame (11-6-2) earned its fifth straight national seed in the NCAA tournament by claiming the 13th seed in the 2016 field on Nov. 14. The Irish have been named one of the top 16 national seeds on 11 occasions under head coach Bobby Clark.
Loyola (14-3-1), who advanced to the second round of the NCAA Championship with a 2-0 win over UIC on Nov. 17 in Chicago, is set to make its first appearance at Alumni Stadium. The Ramblers have not traveled to Notre Dame since the 2004 season, when the Irish notched a 4-0 shutout of Loyola on Oct. 3 of that year.
Admission for Sunday's NCAA second round game will be free for any Notre Dame student who presents a valid student ID at the Alumni Stadium gate. For additional ticket information, call the Murnane Family Ticket Office at (574) 631-7356, visit UND.com/BuyTickets, or stop by the Notre Dame ticket office inside Purcell Pavilion.
Gallagher Top ACC Offensive Player
Junior forward Jon Gallagher was officially recognized as the 2016 Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Offensive Player of the Year as part of the conference awards announcement on Nov 8.
Gallagher was the third Notre Dame player in the program’s four seasons of conference membership to be honored as the top ACC offensive performer, joining past MAC Hermann Trophy candidates Harrison Shipp (2013) and Patrick Hodan (2014).
Gallagher led four overall Notre Dame honorees included in the 2016 ACC season awards cycle, joining senior center back Brandon Aubrey on the all-ACC first team. Fifth-year senior midfielder/tri-captain Evan Panken was tabbed to the all-ACC third team, while midfielder Tommy McCabe earned a spot on the ACC All-Freshman team.
Notre Dame Pair With Strong Hermann Résumés
Forward Jon Gallagher and defender Brandon Aubrey remain among potential contenders for the Missouri Athletic Club (MAC) Hermann Trophy, the national player of the year honor in men’s soccer.
Gallagher, who leads the ACC in both goals (12) and points (31), remains among the top 10 players in scoring in Division I soccer. Aubrey, who has chipped in nine goals and 19 points from his central defense post, has remained among the top offensive defenders in the nation throughout his senior campaign. Aubrey has also been a key component in eight Notre Dame team shutouts this season.
New Millennium NCAA Success
Notre Dame had claimed one win in its history during NCAA Championship play over its first four trips to the national tournament, punctuated by a 1-0 shutout of No. 2 UNC Greensboro on Nov. 24, 1996.
Since entering the new millennium the Irish have cemented themselves as mainstays in the NCAA Championship. Dating back to 2001, Notre Dame has won 16 games in 15 trips to the national tournament, notching two wins in 2005, 2006, and 2007, and a program record five wins during its national championship season in 2013.
Notre Dame was among the final eight teams remaining in the field in both 2006 and 2007 before reaching the NCAA College Cup for the first time during its stellar 2013 championship run.
Irish Are Regulars For National Seeds
Notre Dame is set to make its 19th all-time appearance in the NCAA Championship during the 2016 edition of the national tournament, and its 11th as one of the event’s 16 national seeds. The Irish were the seventh seed in 2015, the top overall seed in both 2012 and 2014, and won the 2013 NCAA Championship as the third seed, in its last three tournament berths.
All 11 national seeds in the NCAA Championship for Notre Dame have been achieved under head coach Bobby Clark. The Irish have been seeded (with a first round bye) in 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.
Home NCAA Tourney Success
Since hosting its first NCAA Championship game at old Alumni Field in 2002, Notre Dame has compiled an 11-6-2 (.632) NCAA tournament record in home contests. The Irish have served as a round host in the NCAA Championship in each of their last 14 tournament appearances.
Notre Dame hosted a total of three matches at Alumni Stadium during the 2013 NCAA Championship, defeating Wisconsin (3-0), No. 14 Wake Forest (4-2), and No. 11 Michigan State (2-1) to reach that season’s College Cup in Chester, Pennsylvania.
Loyola enters Sunday’s match with a 14-3-1 record, advancing to the second round of the NCAA Championship by virtue of a 2-0 shutout of UIC on Nov. 17. A pair of second half goals by the Ramblers gave Loyola its eighth result in its past 10 starts.
Notre Dame owns a 14-3-2 (.789) edge in series history, with Sunday’s match being the first meeting between the teams since Oct. 3, 2004 (4-0 ND win).
Alec Lasinski leads all Loyola players with seven goals and 18 points, chipping in a team-high 43 shot attempts. Brody Kraussel has added three goals and a team-high 10 assists (13 points), while Elliot Collier has scored five goals and contributed two assists (10 points) in 14 match appearances.
Andrew Chekadanov has earned every decision for Loyola this season, putting together a 0.55 goals-against average and a .706 save percentage in 18 starts. Chekadanov has been responsible for 12 shutouts in the Loyola goal thus far in 2016.
Head coach Neil Jones is 38-24-13 (.593) in his fourth season at Loyola, and is in the midst of the program’s second 10-win season since 2008. Jones arrived at Loyola after three seasons as the associate head coach at Northwestern, during which the Wildcats claimed back-to-back Big Ten Championship titles and NCAA tournament berths.
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.