Blue and Gold Illustrated

February 2014 Issue

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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Page 27 of 111

CHAMPS AT LAST!! Notre Dame men's soccer defeated Maryland 2-1 for its first national championship certainly in the final 16, could all win it on a given day. Not a lot separates it." he ball sailed off Irish senior Notre Dame made the cut in the Harrison Shipp's right foot and NCAA Tournament in nine of the last into a crowd of Maryland de- 10 seasons, but never advanced farfenders. Fellow captain Andrew ther than the quarterfinal round before O'Malley emerged a head above the this December. Clark reached the Colcompetition, and so did the Irish. lege Cup weekend (soccer's final four) O'Malley redirected Shipp's feed twice at a previous stop in Stanford, past Maryland goalbut lost in the semifikeeper Zack Steffen nals both times. "I THINK WE COULD'VE in the 60th minute of Notre Dame (17-1WON IT ALMOST ANY YEAR the national champi6) and Clark didn't FROM 2004 ONWARDS." onship game in Chesoverhaul their apHEAD COACH BOBBY CLARK ter, Pa., to give the proach to finally reach Irish a 2-1 lead and their program's the summit this season. The tweaks first title. The captains' connection pro- they made, if they made them at all, vided a fitting career finale for Notre were small. The coach, known to his Dame's senior class, a group that at players as "Boss," credited a new fitlong last pushed the Irish and head ness program that helped the team stay coach Bobby Clark over the hump. fresh and healthy throughout the sea"I think we could've won it almost son, a strong sense of team chemistry any year from 2004 onwards," said developed by the senior class and a Clark, the Division I National Coach little bit of luck. of the Year who has coached the Irish "We didn't do a lot different, but I since 2001. "It's very difficult to ma- think it was a very determined group," neuver through the rounds. I think he said. any one of the teams in the final 32, The determination started in Janu- T BY DAN MURPHY

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