#3 Notre Dame vs. #5 Maryland Men's Soccer 2013 College Cup Final

Notre Dame Men's College Soccer

#3 Notre Dame vs. #5 Maryland Men's Soccer 2013 College Cup Final


#3 Notre Dame vs. #5 Maryland

The long road that started back in August comes to an end on Sunday in Philadelphia when Notre Dame or Maryland will be crowned the 2013 men’s soccer national champions. The Fighting Irish are looking virtually unstoppable. Harrison Shipp is making the most of his opportunities and Patrick Hodan has scored in all four NCAA Tournament games. It was Hodan who netted both goals for the Irish in their 2-0 win over New Mexico in the College Cup semifinals. Notre Dame has scored an impressive 12 goals in their four tournament games en route to the national championship. It was their defense that got them into the tournament, but now the offense is on a roll too. The Terrapins defense has been susceptible throughout the year, but they have done pretty well throughout the tournament. But Maryland is all about Patrick Mullins and their high scoring offense. Mullins scored a beautiful first half goal in the semifinals against rival Virginia and added another in the second half to send Maryland to the final.

It is fitting that the two teams who tied atop the ACC standings are playing in the national championship. Being ACC foes, the Irish and the Terps faced off back in early October, which resulted in a 1-1 tie. Mullins was superb in that contest, blasting a goal in 72nd minute to tie the game after a goal by Irish striker Vince Cicciarelli. On paper this should be a high scoring affair, but these teams are somewhat familiar with each other and know how to contain the superstars. However, Notre Dame is a much better team than they were back in October. Shipp and Cicciarelli have gotten more comfortable with each other up top as the season has gone on and Hodan seems good for a goal every game these days. Maryland’s defense has not looked the same either though. This was a team that allowed a dozen goals in their first five games of the season. That seems so long ago now. In their current winning streak that was extended to 11 games following their semifinal win over Virginia, Maryland has allowed a mere five goals. The defense as a whole has improved, but keeper Zack Steffen has made some spectacular saves. This game could come down to the stars for both teams and what they can do with limited opportunities. While Mullins is certainly capable of making things happen, as we saw on Friday night multiple times, Notre Dame has more hot weapons right now. 


Men’s Soccer Tournament Central