Men's Soccer 2013 College Cup Final Four Game Breakdowns

Men's Soccer 2013 College Cup Final Four Game Breakdowns


#3 Notre Dame vs. #7 New Mexico

In their three games in the NCAA Tournament, Notre Dame has scored ten goals. Meanwhile, New Mexico has yet to allow a goal. The Fighting Irish’s Harrison Shipp netted two goals in the tournament opener against Wisconsin. He added one against Wake Forest in a 4-2 drubbing in the Third Round. In the quarterfinals against Michigan State, it was Patrick Hodan who netted what proved to be the game winner. The sophomore midfielder also scored against the Badgers and the Demon Deacons. New Mexico has had to sweat it out a bit more than Notre Dame. The Lobos victory in the second round against George Mason came on a late goal by James Rogers. They pretty much dominated Penn State in the third round en route to a 2-0 win and were able to hold on in the quarterfinals against California to come away with a 1-0 victory.

On paper this game will be Notre Dame’s offense versus New Mexico’s defense. Lobo keeper Michael Lisch has not been tested much yet throughout the NCAA Tournament, but he is a top notch goalie. Shipp going up against All-Everything Lobo defender Kyle Venter will be a very interesting matchup. The Lobos back four is strong, but Shipp and Hodan will get some opportunities. The Irish offense and the New Mexico defense should get a lot of attention, but the Lobos are capable of scoring a couple goals in this game. Rogers, Niko Hansen, Michael Calderon and Ben McKendry lead the potent UNM offense. All four have been very involved and the team as a whole has totaled 50 shots in their three NCAA Tournament games. 


#5 Maryland vs. #8 Virginia

ACC foes Maryland and Virginia have already met twice this season. Their first meeting, back on October 11th, ended in a 3-3 tie. About a month ago in the ACC Tournament, the game was drastically different. All that separated the two rivals was an own goal in the 88th minute that went in Maryland’s favor. That was just one of two losses the Cavaliers have suffered since the middle of October. However, the Terrapins have an even more impressive streak. The ACC regular season and tournament champions have now won ten games in a row following their 2-1 victory over California in the quarterfinals.

Stopping Maryland’s superstar striker Patrick Mullins will be priority number one for Virginia. In the ACC Tournament, Mullins mustered just one shot against UVA. In the earlier 3-3 draw, Mullins had four shots on target and two goals. If Virginia is going to beat the Terps, the defense is going to have to slow down Mullins and the rest of the potent Maryland offense. Keeper Calle Brown has been playing very well since he stepped into a starting role, but his lack of experience could haunt the Cavaliers sooner or later. But as good as Maryland’s offense has been this year, UVA is not far behind. They have scored seven goals in their three NCAA games and six different players have found the back of the net. Coach George Gelnovatch’s squad can strike from all over the pitch and they will stretch Maryland’s defense once again. However, in a huge game like this one between two familiar foes, expect a low scoring contest that is more similar to the last time these two met, not the 3-3 thriller.


See all Men’s Soccer Breakdowns