The NCAA men's soccer College Cup semifinals saw quite a few players with MLS potential take to the field at PPL Park on Friday.
When the night was over, two players stood out above all the rest: Notre Dame playmaker Harrison Shipp and Maryland striker Patrick Mullins. Shipp delivered two assists in the Fighting Irish's 2-0 win over New Mexico. Mullin scored two wonderful goals in the Terrapins' 2-1 win over arch-rival Virginia.
Click here for Notre Dame-New Mexico highlights. Click here for Maryland-Virginia highlights. They're a nuisance to embed, or else I'd do so.
Here are some excerpts from my live-tweeting of the two games:
This weather would make Sepp Blatter a college soccer fan.
Game on. New Mexico attacks towards @TheRiverEnd
. The clock counts down.
1-0 Notre Dame seven minutes in. New Mexico has conceded for the first time in the NCAA tournament.
Harrison Shipp (top MLS prospect, could be Chicago homegrown) assists to Patrick Hodan. Very well worked.
A blast of a ship horn over the PA to signal halftime at PPL Park. Notre Dame 1, New Mexico 0.
61' 2-0 Notre Dame. Hodan heads in a rebound of a Cicciarelli shot that came off the crossbar.
Harrison Shipp gets a hockey assist for setting up Cicciarelli. I can't type straight with gloves on.
Uh oh RT @amobisays
: I passed it to the guy who passed it to the guy who passed it to the guy who switched the field who passed it the guy
80' New Mexico GK Michael Lisch comes way off his line to deny what would have been Notre Dame's third goal.
Notre Dame advances to the national championship game with a 2-0 win over New Mexico.
Notre Dame coach Bobby Clark praises Harrison Shipp's pedigree: "He's not going to be over-awed by anybody he comes up against."
Harrison Shipp is set to graduate from Notre Dame in 3 1/2 years with a degree in finance and a 3.9 GPA. That's pretty impressive too.
Irish GK Patrick Wall spent the summer in Houston training in the morning with the Dynamo and the afternoon at an internship with NASA.
Virginia kicks off and attacks from left to right. Zack Steffen stands in front of @TheRiverEnd
. He might want to get used to it.
Maryland students singing "Come on Maryland, score a goal." But unlike the @SonsofBen
, they say "freaking."
Ha. Yes indeed. RT @davisjsn
Suprising, considering the rep of the student section at Terp basketball games.
11' Patrick Mullins with a brilliant long-range chip on a counter attack. 1-0 Maryland.
Mikias Eticha splits Virginia's back line with a through ball. Mullins brings it down and absolutely nails the finish.
That might have been the best goal I've seen at PPL Park this year. I said might. It's been a little while.
Halftime: Patrick Mullins 1, Virginia 0.
49' Darius Madison sprints through the Maryland back line and shoots through Zack Steffen's legs but it deflects on to the left post and out
More shots by Virginia in the first 10 minutes of the second half than the entire first half.
76' Mullins does it again. This time Endoh floats a ball over the UVA back line, Mullins lets it take a bounce and slams it in from 12 yds.
PELANTY (yep, in college soccer too)
76' Darius Madison plays a ball over the Maryland line from 18, Salandy-Defour is barged over by two Terps defenders.
77' Todd Wharton steps up and sends Zack Steffen the wrong way. Maryland 2, Virginia 1. Game on?
I know Darius Madison wouldn't mind turning pro now if the Union offered but it looks like he could use just a little bit more seasoning.
88' Save of the night by Zack Steffen. Brian James gets teed up 15 yards out and Steffen dives to his right to punch it away at full stretch
Final: Maryland 2, Virginia 1.
Virginia had a corner kick in the last 20 seconds but had to rush it because the clock counts down.
Maryland-Notre Dame for the national championship on Sunday. 3 p.m. kickoff at PPL Park.
4,172 is tonight's attendance at PPL Park. Should be a healthy crowd Sunday if the roads are clear.
Sasho Cirovski praises Zack Steffen for "a save that very few keepers can make."
Asked Steffen about the save and what it meant to play so well in this building. He smiled and answered the first part but not the second.
Ah, now Steffen opens up about it. "It's special," he admits, and talks about his many family and friends in attendance tonight.
Sasho: "I think it's the two best teams in the country playing for the title on Sunday,"
Sasho concludes: "This is not my most dominant team I've ever had at Maryland, but this is one of the most fun teams I've ever coached."
Darius Madison on playing at PPL Park: "Overall it was a great experience. I just wish we could have won."
Madison asked what his off season plans are. Doesn't say much (and surely can't here), but sounds like he'll stay in Charlottesville.
Gelnovatch on what Darius Madison needs to learn to reach the next level: "Tactical discipline and discipline off the field."
Gelnovatch isn't sure when Maryland and Virginia will next meet, but "you're almost bound to bump into each other in the NCAA tournament."