u Clark leads team to national
By BRYAN KRONK
All it takes is a look at the 2002 promotional poster for the Notre Dame men's soccer team to realize the goal of this year's squad.
That goal, in a word: Emerging.
Notre Dame showed that it is well on its way to its goal, as it jumped six spots in the latest NSCAA/Adidas Coaches' Poll released Monday, to bring the Irish to a No. 5 national ranking, which ties the Irish with its previous high ranking, attained by the 1995 squad in early September.
The leap in the polls for the Irish is a result of its 4-0 drubbing of Big East rival No. 6 Seton Hall Saturday.
Notre Dame currently stands second in the rankings among Big East opponents, with St. John's standing at No. 3 above the Irish. Also in the top 10 is rival Connecticut at No. 7, and Rutgers (No. 14), Boston College (No. 19) and Pittsburgh (No. 20) comprise the rest of the Big East's contingent in the top 25.
The Irish also climb to No. 1 in the NSCAA/Adidas Great Lakes regional ranking, swiping the top spot away from local rival Indiana University.
The Irish currently stand at 2-0-1 on the season, and already have a 1-0-1 record against ranked opponents, with a 1-1 tie against No. 19 Creighton Sept. 1.
The Irish squad, under second-year coach Bobby Clark, has marked a huge comeback for Notre Dame men's soccer. After several sub-.500 seasons, the Irish returned to postseason play both in the Big East and the NCAA, and finished the season 12-7.
The Irish also jumped eight spots in Monday's Soccer America poll, climbing from No. 22 to No. 14.
All Sports Stories for Tuesday, September 10, 2002