Notre Dame take national title on Andrew O'Malley header

Published Monday, December 16, 2013 1:34 PM by Shane Barrow
Notre Dame take national title on Andrew O'Malley header

The luck of the Irish were certainly on Notre Dame's side on Sunday in Pennsylvania as they slipped past Maryland 2-1 to win the 2013 College Cup. It was the first soccer national title for Notre Dame.

Led by goals from Andrew O'Malley and Leon Brown, and another big game from College Cup co-Most Outstanding Player Harrison Shipp, Notre Dame won its first men's soccer title with a 2-1 victory over Maryland on Sunday at PPL Park. The Fighting Irish finished the season 17-1-6.

"We're all smiling big smiles," said 68 yr old coach Bobby Clark, who won his first title in 27 years coaching at Dartmouth, Stanford and Notre Dame.

There were a couple of very big non-calls from the referee on handballs in the Irish penalty area. The first was in the first half when Patrick Hodan stopped a shot going into the net with an outsretched arm. The correct call would have been a penalty kick and a red card to Hodan forcing Notre Dame to play a man down for almost an hour since it was an intentional hand ball stopping a goal.

It somehow went uncalled and Maryland's Patrick Mullins scored shortly thereafter giving the Terps the lead. Notre Dame would answer right back though as Leon Brown scored to send the match to halftime all tied.

It would be a set piece that would decide the match as the undersized Maryland squad got punished as Andrew O'Malley rose up and headed home the winner. There was one more moment of drama though.

A Maryland corner kick in the final minutes was sent in low to the near post where a Notre Dame player misjudged the flight when trying to cut it off. He flicked out his arm and for the second time in the match the referee missed an obvious hand ball that would have resulted in a penalty kick. Maryland protested the non-call to no avail. Notre Dame would hold on from there and close out the 2-1 victory.