Syracuse men’s soccer opponent preview: What to know about No. 3 Notre Dame

first_img Published on September 21, 2016 at 11:14 pm Contact Matt: [email protected] | @matt_schneidman Facebook Twitter Google+ Related Stories Syracuse captures ACC title with 1-0 victory over Notre Damecenter_img No. 2 Syracuse (8-0, 2-0 Atlantic Coast) faces its toughest test yet when the Orange travels to South Bend, Indiana for a Friday matchup with No. 3 Notre Dame (6-1, 1-1) at 7 p.m. The Fighting Irish was last week’s No. 1 team but a 1-0 loss to Louisville spurred a two-spot drop.SU came back to comfortably beat winless Cornell, 3-1, on Tuesday while UND has the beginning of the week off before it hosts Syracuse. Here’s everything you need to know about the game.All-time series: Notre Dame leads, 12-3-2Last time they played: Syracuse took down then-No. 9 Notre Dame, 1-0, on Nov. 15 of last year to win its first ACC title and first conference championship since 1985. Ben Polk, now of the MLS’s Portland Timbers, scored the game’s lone goal from 10-15 yards out after a failed clearance by the Fighting Irish. Only three players registered shots for the Orange — Polk, Juuso Pasanen and Chris Nanco — but Syracuse squeaked out its second win against a top 10 team in as many games.The Notre Dame report: After beating Cornell, Syracuse head coach Ian McIntyre called UND’s Bobby Clark the best head coach in the country. Clark has guided the Fighting Irish to another stellar start, which included a 2-1 double-overtime win over defending national champions Stanford on Sept. 2. Notre Dame is led in scoring by senior Brandon Aubrey’s six goals and junior Jon Gallagher’s five, the two highest totals in the ACC.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textGoalkeeper Chris Hubbard ranks second in the conference in saves (24), tied for third in shutouts (four) and tied for second in goals against average (.41). The Fighting Irish has only allowed three goals in seven games this season compared to Syracuse’s four in eight games.Courtesy of the ACCHow Syracuse beats Notre Dame: Don’t fall behind early because UND won’t be as easy to come back against as Cornell was Tuesday night. Gallagher and Aubrey will cause havoc in the attacking third and Syracuse’s stout back three will have its hands full. Miles Robinson, Kamal Miller and Louis Cross will need to turn in all-conference performances if the Orange wants to keep the lethal tandem off the score sheet.On the other end, it won’t hurt if Nanco can find the net. After Tuesday’s win, a teammate joked with Nanco, saying “You cost me seven assists tonight.” The senior almost always finds chances — he leads the team in shots by nine and is the only player with double-digit shots on goal (16) — but occasionally struggles to convert.Stats to know:1 – Syracuse is the only team left in the ACC that hasn’t lost or tied a game this season5 – The Orange has five players with three or more goals while the Fighting Irish only boasts two in Aubrey and Gallagher0.41 – SU goalie Hendrik Hilpert and Hubbard share identical goals against averagesPlayer to watch: Brandon Aubrey, defender, No. 10Aubrey is listed as a defender but still leads the conference in goals, so he serves a role similar to SU’s Robinson in advancing into the attacking third from the back. At 6-foot-3, Aubrey will likely factor in all of Notre Dame’s set pieces and Robinson — Syracuse’s best defender in the air — will have his hands full.“I think it’s a little unusual he’s scored so many goals so far,” UND head coach Bobby Clark said of Aubrey. “But I’ll take it.”Seventy-five percent of Aubrey’s shots on goal have found the back of the net, including his three penalty kicks, which poses a challenge to SU’s defense unlike one it has gone up against this season. Clark said Aubrey played forward during his club soccer career and also at Notre Dame before switching primarily to the back line. Commentslast_img

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