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Men’s Soccer: Irish travel to Virginia Tech

By Aaron Sant-Miller | Friday, October 11, 2013

 

For the third time in less than a week, the No. 2 Irish will challenge another ACC opponent as they travel to Thompson Field in Blacksburg, Va., to take on Virginia Tech.

“I think the players feel very good and are excited for the game,” Irish coach Bobby Clark said. “We do have a tough schedule, though, and we play again on Tuesday [against Northwestern]. Regardless, they’re athletes and this happens every year.”

Currently, the Irish (6-0-4, 3-0-3 ACC) are in the busiest portion of their schedule. The team’s game tonight will be their fourth game in the month of October.

“I don’t think there will be any mental fatigue. We work very hard on that,” Clark said. “Still, there is a lot of training to be done. It’s not always easy, but we work hard as a team, and we talk to the lads about keeping their heads above water. As soccer players, there won’t be a problem; they’ll be ready to go.”

According to Clark, Virginia Tech (3-3-4, 1-1-4) is a bit of an unknown for Notre Dame. The Hokies have five international players on their roster, including two freshman from Germany and another rookie from Israel. 

“I don’t know a lot about their international players, especially the two German freshmen,” Clark said. “I would imagine if they brought them over from Europe, they must be good players. We know a bit about their players from watching game video, but we won’t really know what they have until we play them.”

Nonetheless, the Irish have a good general sense of the team they are going up against Clark said.

“[Virginia Tech] plays very hard as a team,” Clark said. “We know how they play and we know about their formations. We never focus too much on the opposition anyway; we always focus more on what we have to do as a team.”

According to Clark, the aspiration is not just to be the best overall team in the nation, but for the Irish to be the best in every phase of the game.

“We try to be the best passing team in the country,” Clark said. “We try to be the best transition team in the country. We try to be the best finishing team in the country. We try to be the best in the country at stopping our opponent’s attack. Do we succeed? Not always, but we work for it.”

The team will look to do just that tonight against Virginia Tech. The match is slated for 7 p.m. at Thompson Field in Blacksburg, Va.

Contact Aaron Sant-Miller at asantmil@nd.edu