The Week in Notre Dame Athletics: Men’s Soccer Wins it All

Andrew O'Malley (12) and the Irish celebrate the championship-clinching goal. - Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

The Irish earned wins this past week in men’s soccer (NATIONAL CHAMPIONS!), men’s basketball, and women’s basketball.

All other Olympic sports were idle this week as Notre Dame plunges into finals and then the winter break. Only men's and women's basketball will compete over the next 2 weeks. TWINDA will take next week off and return on December 31st. Irish winter sports will resume in January.

Without further ado, we bring you the results of the last week's Irish match-ups.

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Let's start with this:


The men's soccer team (17-1-6) claimed the national championship on Sunday, defeating no. 5 Maryland (17-3-5), 2-1, and walking away from their first trip to the College Cup with trophy in hand. Our coverage of the match, with links to stats and fuller stories, is right here. We've also got a photo gallery from the game right here.

Last Friday, the Irish faced no. 7 New Mexico in the semi-final match and claimed a 2-0 win. Both goals came from midfielder Patrick Hodan, first off a pass from senior forward and captain Harrison Shipp and then on a header off a shot bounced off the cross bar by Vince Cicciarelli. The Lobos, who hadn't surrendered a goal in the NCAA tournament up to this game, struggled with the strong Irish performance.


Sunday, the Irish netted 2 goals vs. Maryland to claim the come-from-behind win and the College Cup trophy. After key Irish striker Vince Cicciarelli broke his collar bone in an early-game collision with an aggressive Terp defender, Maryland's Patrick Mullins scored on a wild and controversial play that involved 2 uncalled hand balls (1 that stopped a goal, 1 that facilitated the goal). The Observer broke down the hand ball controversy here.

Notre Dame answered with a pretty score off a set piece: "[Nick] Besler flicked . . . a long Luke Mishu throw-in right to the foot of [Leon] Brown, who slid a tough-angle shot past [MD goalie Zack] Steffen" (from the AP's recap at UND.com). The game-winner came off a Harrison Shipp free kick perfectly delivered and headed into the back of the net by senior defenseman and captain Andrew O'Malley, who was playing in the championship just miles from his hometown.


It was a joyous homecoming for the Irish on Sunday night:


The win clinched coach Bobby Clark's and the Notre Dame men's soccer program's 1st championship. It was the school's 1st since 2011 and 28th overall.

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Men's basketball (8-3) went 1-1 over the past week, falling to North Dakota State, 73-69, but winning out over Indiana, 79-72. JoeSchu covered the NDSU loss for us right here. Analysis of the big win over Indiana from alstein can be found right here.

Here are highlights from the NDSU loss:


And from the win over IU:


This week's ICON from NDFIDM focused on the road win over IU:


Up next for the Irish is Ohio State - they'll face the Buckeyes at Madison Square Garden on Saturday (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2). They then break until facing Canisius at home on Sunday, Dec. 29th (5:00 p.m. ET, ESPNU).

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No. 4 women's basketball (9-0) earned a dominant win over Michigan, 86-64, on Saturday.

The Irish face Central Michigan at home on Sunday (2:00 p.m. ET, WatchND). They then head to Corvalis to play Oregon State the following Sunday (Dec. 29, 5:00 p.m. ET, WatchND).

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We'll bring you updates in two weeks on Notre Dame's Olympic sports. For now, go Irish, beat everybody, and a very merry Christmas to all!


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