The Notre Dame men's soccer team beat Maryland 2-1 Sunday at PPL Park in Chester, Pa. to lift the College Cup as the country's best college soccer team.
It's the first national championship for the Fighting Irish, and it didn't come easily. Maryland's star forward Patrick Mullins opened the scoring in the 35th minute on a goal that appeared to hit the hand of both defender Patrick Hodan and Mullins himself during a frenzied sequence before it ended up in the back of the net. Five minutes later Notre Dame found an equalizer through Leon Brown, who finished a headed pass from Nick Besler off a throw-in.
The comeback was completed in the 60th minute when Andrew O'Malley put in the game-winner. Maryland wasn't without its chances, however. There was another appeal for handball in the 67th minute, but referee Hilario Grajeda, who officiated the MLS Cup and was named the league's referee of the year, again declined to blow the whistle.
Notre Dame's Harrison Shipp, who assisted the winner, was named the tournament's most outstanding player. The midfielder is a homegrown Chicago Fire product, meaning the club can sign him directly instead of Shipp entering the draft. Mullins, who won the 2012 Hermann Trophy as the best college player, and Notre Dame defender Grant Van de Casteele are headed to MLS's rookie combine in January.
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