With two very questionable hand-ball calls not going Maryland’s way, the Terrapins fell short of a national championship as they fell to Notre Dame 2-1 in the College Cup final on Sunday afternoon. The win was the first national championship in program history for the Fighting Irish.
Maryland pressured Notre Dame early on, but wasn’t able to get any decent scoring chances. Terps goalkeeper Zach Steffen made a spectacular save in the corner of the net. Steffen was sensational for Maryland throughout the NCAA tournament and kept them in a handful of games.
The Terps were able to get on the board first. Off a corner kick from midfielder Tsubasa Endoh, the original shot was saved, but forward Patrick Mullins stayed composed and kicked it home from his left foot to give Maryland a 1-0 lead with in the 30th minute. Notre Dame midfielder Patrick Hodan stopped the first shot with his arm, which should have been called a hand-ball and would’ve resulted in a red card. The Terps would’ve gotten a free kick and arguably had a very strong chance of scoring the goal anyway.
In the 40th minute, Notre Dame threw the ball in and forward Leon Brown converted a sliding kick that got past Steffen to tie the game. It was Brown’s fifth goal of the season and was a back-breaker considering that the game was closing in on halftime.
With 30:04 left in the second half, Irish forward Harrison Shipp had a free kick headed home by defender Andrew O’Malley to give the Irish a 2-1 lead.
Maryland was never able to recover, despite keeping the pressure on Notre Dame for the remainder of the game. The Terps had their opportunities as they had 10 corner kicks to Notre Dame’s mere four. Maryland had five in the second half, including two crucial ones in the closing minutes.
Notre Dame also had a third hand-ball, which was actually called and resulted in a Maryland free kick. Unfortunately for the Terps, Mullins drove the ball wide and that was the last chance that Maryland had to score.
The Terps also outshot the Irish 12-10, proving the point that they had their chances despite some questionable calls.