Chicago Fire Homegrown prospect Harrison Shipp and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish defeated the University of Maryland Terripins on Sunday to win the NCAA Men's Soccer title. This was Notre Dame's first trip to the College Cup in school history, and so far they a one-for-one.
The game was a pretty even affair for both sides according to the box score. Off the box score, the Terps might feel they were a little hard done by a few bad calls from referee Hilario Grajeda. The most notable missed call was from a blatant handball in the 35th minute from Notre Dame forward Patrick Hodan prevented a Maryland goal and would have warranted a red card.
Immediately following the handball, a number of Maryland players began to protest, and the Notre Dame defense even stopped play for a moment. Recognizing that a call was not being made, Maryland star, Patrick Mullins, collected the ball at point blank range and fire a shot into the back of the goal for the game's opening score.
Notre Dame tied the game up just five minutes later. A flick on from Notre Dame defender Nick Besler created a goal scoring opportunity for forward Leon Brown, who had to turn and shoot the ball from a difficult angle.
Notre Dame would get the go ahead goal in the 60th minute from defender Andrew O'Malley on a set piece. Irish midfielder Evan Panken was clumsily fouled just outside the Maryland penalty box. On the free kick, Harrison Shipp floated a beautiful ball right in front of the goal that O'Malley was able to redirect past Maryland keeper Zach Steffen .
Harrison Shipp finished the game with three shots (two on goal) and an assist. Shipp finished the College Cup with three assists and was named Most Outstanding Offensive Player of the tournament.
Dave Zeitlan has a good article on Shipp up at MLSsoccer.com. In the article, Shipp had this to say about Notre Dame's push to their first NCAA title:
"It’s pretty awesome, to be honest," Shipp said. "We experienced a lot of pain our first three years. We realized that if we wanted to make that next jump, it was all 30 guys on the team, not just the 11 that played or the 21 that dressed. I think we showed that over the past five games."
For Fire fans. it's now just a matter of waiting to see what path Harrison chooses to take after college.