Cold winter friday nights under the lights are, in my mind, reserved for football. But on this bitter cold friday night I found myself in just about every piece of winter clothing I own to shoot the NCAA College Cup Semifinals. With the temps in the low 20s and the wind blowing off of the Delaware River, PPL Park would have made a better skating rink than a soccer field. Few fans dared to brave the cold but the teams seemed unfazed.
First up was New Mexico vs Notre Dame. The Irish stepped out to an early lead on a goal from Patrick Hodan. After scoring, Hodan tried to quiet the 50 fans that decided to leave the warmth of their cars.
Patrick Hodan found his second goal of the game after a shot rung the crossbar,and rebounded directly to him. Hodan blurred the ball past the New Mexico goalkeeper, Michael Lisch.
New Mexico couldn’t answer the two goal deficit and the Irish would advance to the final.
The Maryland Terrapins and the Virginia Cavaliers squared off next to determine who would face the Irish and, much like the first game, the Terp’s hopped out to an early lead with two goal performance from Patrick Mullins who scored in 11th and 75th minutes. But in the 77th minute things got interesting. The Cavs were awarded a penalty kick that was converted by Todd Wharton.
With time winding down, Virginia drove to the goal and had a great opportunity to tie the game but Terps goalkeeper, Zack Steffen, would have no parts of it, making a diving one handed stop to preserve the Maryland win.
That wraps up my soccer for the weekend as Notre Dame and Maryland were set to do battle in the final on Sunday. Im off to shoot #10 Villanova on Sunday vs Big Five rival La Salle.