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Thursday, June 13, 2024
The Observer

Men’s soccer team to play Detroit Mercy

The Notre Dame men’s soccer team has started out 2-0-1 this season after tying the formerly second ranked Hoosiers on Aug. 24. The team then went on to beat Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and Northern Illinois University. On Tuesday, the Fighting Irish will host Detroit Mercy. 

This season has been a struggle so far for the Titans, who have dropped the ball in their first three games. They lost 5-1 against Saint Mary’s (Moraga, California), 2-1 against San Francisco, and 6-0 against Marquette. Their two goal scorers so far, Alex Diac and Saeid Jannoun, are both upperclassmen who scored for the first time in their collegiate career this season. The top four scorers from last year have all moved on from the program and are no longer on the roster for this season. 

Two different goalkeepers have played for the Titans this season, sophomore Quinn Tews and junior Robby Spradin III. Both are new to the team this season. Spradin III finished the game against Marquette for Detroit Mercy but the Irish offense will likely initially start against Tews, who has started all three games so far. The goalies average a save percentage of 0.48 compared to opponents goalies who averaged 0.846. For comparison, senior goalkeeper for the Irish, Brian Dowd has been saving 87.5% of shots this season so far and has only allowed one goal. 

Junior Matthew Roou has been leading the Irish on the offensive side of the ball. He has scored four goals on 12 attempts and has one assist. Sophomore KK Baffour, senior Paddy Burns and junior Eno Nto each have one goal on their stats sheet. 

The Irish have historically performed very well against the Titans, with an all time record of 11-2-0. Even though the two teams have not played since 1995, Notre Dame should have enough film from Detroit Mercy’s earlier games this season to be well prepared. 

The Irish should look to capitalize against a team that is struggling on both sides of the ball. It may seem early to start thinking about the NCAA Tournament but, the Irish have already turned heads after their play against Indiana (who dropped to 10th in the NCAA rankings). If they keep the pressure up, they’ll be ready for their next ranked opponent, currently No. 9 Akron, in two weeks. A good performance and result for the Irish could see them ranked very early on in the season. Of the teams currently ranked, Notre Dame has a record that is better than or equal to nine of them. 

But for now, Notre Dame will host Detroit Mercy at Alumni Stadium at 7 p.m. Tuesday Night. 

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