NOTRE DAME, Ind.* – As another fall camp begins the University of Notre
Dame men’s soccer team is ready to usher in the 2017 season, the 41st
varsity campaign in program history. On the eve of the start of fall
training, Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark officially announced 
on Wednesday that goalkeeper Chris Hubbard and forward Jon Gallagher
will join defender Matt Habrowski as tri-captains for the
 No. 10 Irish (12-7-2 in 2016) this season.

“The guys get it right every time, if (the coaching staff) was asked to
picks captains we would have come up with the same three players,” Clark
said. “It is a great combination to have someone seeing things from the
soccer side like Jon, someone who is great within the locker room like
Chris, and then Matt who brings the experience of being in the role last
year. They all get on well together, and as our link with the team that is
important. My door is always open but it’s great to have that link through
the captains. It’s not about the head coach, or any particular player, it’s
about the team.

“Having talked to the captains fairly regularly over the summer, I know
they are all very excited to make this a special year,” Clark added.
Habrowski returns as a Notre Dame tri-captain for the second straight
season, after serving alongside Evan Panken and Michael Shipp in
2016. Habrowski has appeared in 48 games (47 starts) for the Irish dating
back to 2014, and has scored two goals and added one assist for his five
career points. He has been a part of the Irish back line for 19 team
shutouts during his career.

“I’m very excited to return as a captain this year, it’s an honor to be
selected again,” Habrowski said. “I am looking forward to applying what I
learned last year to help guide this year’s team to success. Last fall, and
even the spring, taught me so much about how to serve others and the
importance of cultivating an atmosphere where every player is confident,
engaged, and actively participating in accomplishing team goals and
building a positive team culture.

“Having a year under my belt has better prepared me to deal with issues on
and off the field when they arise, taught me how to effectively
communicate, and most importantly instilled in me the importance of being a
servant leader and putting the team first,” Habrowski added. “I’m excited
to get the season underway and eventually prepare the next generation of
leaders on the soccer team to lead the team to great heights.”

“Matt was one of the captains last year, and it’s great when you have
somebody with that experience returning because I am sure there was a
learning curve for him last year,” Clark said. “Matt is a smart lad and has
that experience from last year, and while he may take the reins he has a
great supporting cast. He is a good speaker and can communicate well to the
group, but is also astute and is a good planner.”

Hubbard enters his third season as Notre Dame’s starting goalkeeper in his
final year of eligibility as a graduate student. Hubbard has started the
last 43 games in goal for Notre Dame dating back to the opening contest of
2015, and has posted a 23-11-8 mark with a 0.80 goals-against average and
17 clean sheets. A 2015 All-Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Academic Team
and ACC Championship All-Tournament Team selection, Hubbard has been named
to the ACC Academic Honor Roll each of the last two years.

“To be named captain is truly an honor,” Hubbard said. “It’s something I
have always dreamed of since I started playing soccer. I really take a lot
of pride in the work I have done to get to this point. The thing I truly
appreciate most about being named captain is that I have the support and
trust of my teammates to get the job done. I think I speak for everyone in
the locker room when I say that I am very excited for the upcoming season.

“Matt, Jon and I have been talking all summer and the more we discuss ideas
for the upcoming season, the more excited I get,” Hubbard said. “Our
successful spring campaign really left the guys with a lot of optimism
going into our summer workouts. With the amount of experience we have
coming back and a strong incoming class, it’s shaping up to be a great
year. I believe we have all the pieces to make this a very memorable and
successful season.”

“Chris has been our starting goalkeeper for three years and is a great
player, he is just so steady,” Clark said. “Chris is one of the people that
everyone on a team universally likes, he has a good personality and gets on
well with people. It’s great to have somebody that can do that.”

Gallagher looks to build upon a standout junior season that saw the Notre
Dame striker earn ACC Offensive Player of the Year and College Soccer News
All-America Second-Team accolades. Gallagher led all Irish players with 14
goals, seven assists and 35 points in 21 starts in 2016, finding a total of
five game-winning goals. Gallagher, included on the 2017 MAC Hermann Trophy
Watch List, enters his senior year a mere one point outside of the 20
leading scorers in Notre Dame history, tallying 26 goals and 13 assists (65
points) over his first 64 career games.

“I’ve learned from the people ahead of me, like the guys who were the
captains (Nick Besler, Andrew O’Malley and Luke Mishu  when I was
a freshman,” Gallagher said. “Coming in as a freshman you’re not going to
have that big of a role but you still want to add something to the group. I
haven’t changed that much on the field, I like to be loud and get the best
out of my teammates, but for me personally it’s how I can lead by example.
Whether it’s on or off the field, taking care of myself, working hard in
training, hopefully that rubs off on the younger guys and they carry that
culture for the years down the road.

Notre Dame officially opens the 2017 regular season on Aug. 25 against San
Diego as part of the Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament at Alumni Stadium.