First, read my match report full of quotes from Notre Dame’s 2-1 victory over Maryland in the College Cup final at PPL Park.
Next, watch the NCAA’s video package. Pay particular attention to Patrick Hodan‘s goal-line clearance before Patrick Mullins‘s 35th-minute goal. Clear red card. Except to Hilario Grajeda, MLS’s referee of the year and the man in the middle at MLS Cup last weekend. According to the NCAA’s official box score, Hodan “kicked off line.”
Three cheers for Bobby Clark, who, at long last, has won an NCAA championship. The trophy was also a longtime coming for the Fighting Irish, who had been on the verge of a major breakthrough for years. Notre Dame becomes the fourth Division I school to win titles in both men’s and women’s soccer, joining North Carolina, UCLA and Santa Clara.
Barring early departures to the pro level, Maryland will return almost all key players. Mullins was the only senior starter. The lineup Sunday featured four freshmen, two sophomores and four juniors. One of the most dangerous players, 2012 freshman standout Christiano Francois, sat out the season for academic reasons.
On a side note, Terps Coach Sasho Cirovski‘s daughter Karli was named first-team All-Met by The Washington Post’s prep staff. Her mother is Shannon (Higgins) Cirovski, who had 55 U.S. national team caps between 1987 and 1991. Also on the list: Lauren Harkes, daughter of former U.S. captain John Harkes and former University of Virginia star Cindi (Kunihiro) Harkes. On the boys’ side: Tyler Gabarra, son of former Washington Freedom coach Jim Gabarra and ex-U.S. star Carin (Jennings) Gabarra (117 caps, 53 goals), the women’s coach at Navy.