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Notre Dame opens new soccer stadium
by Paul Kennedy, September 1st, 2009 8AM



MEN'S NEWS ... The men's season kicks off Tuesday, and the marquee matchup pits No. 10 Notre Dame against No. 21 Michigan in the Irish's first game at the new Alumni Stadium, which features a natural grass field, lights, locker rooms, restrooms and concession areas. The lead benefactors for the $5.7 million facility are former Irish soccer players Tom Crotty and Rob Snyder.

Both teams are loaded with young talent. Notre Dame sophomore Aaron Maund and freshman Dillon Powers will leave following the game against New Mexico on Sept. 14 to join the U.S. under-20 national team for the Under-20 World Cup in Egypt. Michigan has one of the deepest freshman classes in the country with Latif Alashe, Hamoody Saad and Kofi Opare among the standouts.

The Irish were perfect in preseason action, while Michigan was 1-0-2 in exhibition play.

Tuesday's Top 25 Action:
No. 1 North Carolina vs. UNC Asheville
No. 5 Wake Forest vs. William & Mary
No. 6 Creighton vs. Loyola (Ill.)
No. 10 Notre Dame vs. No. 21 Michigan
Wisconsin-Green Bay vs. No. 11 Northwestern
Santa Clara vs. No. 16 UC Irvine
No. 17 Loyola (Md.) vs. Villanova
Massachusetts vs. No. 24 Boston Univ.
No. 18 South Florida vs. UCF
No. 20 Cal Poly vs. UNLV
No. 22 Tulsa vs. Missouri State

Complete Top 25 Schedule

* Virginia got some much-needed good news when sophomore Chris Agorsor was cleared to begin practicing with the Cavaliers.

Agorsor, considered the top freshman recruit in 2008, was lost with a knee injury (torn anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments) suffered in the seventh game of the season. He was held out until a question about his eligibility was cleared up with the NCAA. Agorsor, who missed Virginia's three exhibition losses, won't travel with the Cavs for their opening games this weekend at Portland.

Virginia is also awaiting word on the eligibility of German newcomer Ole Hengelbrock, a 21-year-old defender from VfL Osnabrueck, the same club where former Cav star Yannick Reyering played.

* With 10 returning starters, UNC Wilmington had high hopes for the 2009 season, but they suffered a major blow when Devan Carroll, the 2008 CAA Player of the Year, was suspended from the team and the university because of a violation of team rules. "Unfortunately, Devan put himself into a situation that has resulted in him no longer being a part of our soccer program this season," said Coach Aidan Heaney.

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