CHESTER, Pa. – Confetti rained down, the Notre Dame fight song “Victory March” blasted over loudspeakers and everyone on the Fighting Irish team ran to one side of the field to celebrate.
For the first time in the school’s proud athletic history, Notre Dame was on top of the men’s college soccer world.
Led by goals from Andrew O’Malley and Leon Brown, and another big match from College Cup co-Most Outstanding Player Harrison Shipp, Notre Dame beat Maryland 2-1 on Sunday at PPL Park.
The Fighting Irish finished the season 17-1-6.
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“We’re all smiling big smiles,” said 68-year-old coach Bobby Clark, who won his first title in 27 years of coaching at Dartmouth, Stanford and Notre Dame.
Patrick Mullins, the nation’s leading scorer, scored for Maryland (17-4-5) and shared Most Outstanding Player honors with Shipp. The Terrapins were trying to win their fourth national title and third under coach Sasho Cirovski.
“They are worthy winners and I’m genuinely happy for Bobby for all he’s done for college soccer,” Cirovski said. “I hope he enjoys this one.
“At Maryland, we shoot for the stars every year. We aim high. And when you aim that high and when you don’t reach it, you still end up at the moon, which is higher than most people.”
Shipp, a finalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy as the nation’s best player, set up O’Malley’s winning goal with a perfectly placed free kick in the 60th minute. O’Malley leapt for Shipp’s kick and directed a header past goalkeeper Zack Steffen’s outstretched arms.
Coming into Sunday’s match, O’Malley, a senior defender, had scored twice in his collegiate career.
“The goal itself was really put on a silver platter for me,” he said. “It would have been tough for me to screw it up, I suppose.”
O’Malley, from nearby West Chester, said it was extra special to score the championship-deciding goal in front of many of his family and friends, who made the short commute to watch him.
“I kind of jokingly said after the game — but I’m a little bit serious —that people think I’m good now,” O’Malley said. “So, hopefully, I’ll just ride that.”
Court limits work at stadium in Brazil
SAO PAULO – A labor court halted construction in part of the World Cup stadium where a man fell 115 feet to his death while working on a roofing structure in the jungle city of Manaus, further delaying the venue that will host the U.S.-versus-Portugal and three other matches in June.
The decision was announced after public prosecutors requested the immediate interruption of work in all areas where laborers need to be high above the ground. Work will only restart after constructors show all safety measures are in place at the Arena Amazonia. The Manaus court said constructors will be fined if they don’t abide by the decision.