South Bend, Ind. Vince Cicciarelli gave No. 2 Notre Dame the lead in the 59th minute, yet Patrick Mullins netted the equalizer in the 72nd minute for No. 5 Maryland and the Irish and Terrapins finished deadlocked, 1-1, in Atlantic Coast Conference men’s soccer action on Tuesday evening at Alumni Stadium.
Notre Dame (6-0-4, 3-0-3) controlled much of the match and held a 6-3 advantage in shots on goal. The overall shot total was 23-9 in favor of the Fighting Irish. Both sides had three corner kicks.
“I felt very happy with our performance because I think we dominated long periods of the game,” Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark said. “Having said that, I always felt like Maryland was dangerous. It was a seesaw game and it could have gone either way.
“I enjoy playing Maryland because they are a well-prepared team and a very good team.”
The best two chances for either team in the opening half came off the feet of Irish players. In the 23rd minute, Patrick Hodan rocketed a shot towards the upper left corner of the goal and Maryland goalkeeper Zack Steffen deflected the ball out of bounds. Steffen punched away a close-range shot from Harrison Shipp later in the half. The Irish outshot the Terrapins 8-1 in the first half.
Maryland (5-2-4, 4-0-2) collected its first shot on goal of the match early in the second half when Mullins had his attempt saved by Notre Dame goalkeeper Patrick Wall, who had two saves on the night. Steffen finished with five stops for the Terrapins.
Cicciarelli appeared as though he was going to put the Irish on the board in the 55th minute. The junior forward had the ball and was streaking towards the goal when he was nearly pulled down by a Terrapin defender but no foul was whistled and his shot sailed high.
However, he would not be denied later when central defender Grant Van De Casteele made a run and played the ball ahead to Cicciarelli and he sent his shot past Steffen and into the lower right corner of the goal for his second tally of the season.
“It was awesome to score because it was such a big game,” Cicciarelli said. “It feels great to help my team, but all the credit goes to Grant (Van De Casteele) on that one. He made a spectacular run and I just read the pressure from the center back and he lost me and Grant played a perfect ball.”
Mullins, the 2012 M.A.C. Hermann Trophy winner, sent a header off the near post in the 67th minute. His next attempt found the back of the net. The sequence began with a pass from Mikias Eticha and Mullins blasted his shot from 15 yards away into the left side of the goal.
“Patrick Mullins didn’t have very many shots tonight, but the shot he scored on was beautiful,” Clark said. “You could see why he was the Hermann Award winner last year. It was a very good goal.”
Shipp threatened in the 82nd minute when he placed a shot on frame from nine yards out, yet Steffen was there for the stop. The senior forward, who entered tonight’s match with a career-best seven-game point streak, nearly ended the match in the first overtime period, but his shot went just wide of the far post.
In the second overtime, Notre Dame midfielder Connor Klekota also had a shot go just wide of the left post. Mullins had two late shots for the Terrapins. The first one was wide of the far post, while the second was high.
The tie kept Notre Dame in third place in the ACC standings (12 points), while Maryland still is tied with Wake Forest for first place (14 points each).
Notre Dame will return to the pitch Friday at Virginia Tech. The match is slated for 7 p.m. (ET) at Thompson Field in Blacksburg, Va.