Apr 26, 2014, 3:32 PM EDT
Guillermo Martinez watched as the ball nestled into the back corner of the net and waved his index finger in the air, urging on the deafening roar of the sellout crowd at Alumni Stadium. The star striker had just tied the contest at two on a freak goal, and it seemed as if his squad had finally gotten the spark it needed.
But as he did multiple times during Notre Dame’s run to the national championship last season, Patrick Hodan responded with a late, game-winning tally. In the 85th minute, Hodan gathered a pass from Evan Panken at the top of the box and sent a winding shot just inside the left post to give Notre Dame a 3-2 win over Mexico’s U-20 national team on Friday night.
Notre Dame’s annual tilt with Mexico’s U-20’s is typically the team’s marquee spring game, and this year’s edition of the matchup was no different. A sellout crowd of 3,007 was announced at the stadium, but actual ticket sales hovered over 4,000.
The first half was largely dominated by Notre Dame. The Irish got on the board first with a goal off of a set piece. Hodan sent a beautiful free kick into the box and freshman defender Matt Habrowski sent it past Mexico’s goalie with a strong header.
Mexico equalized minutes into the second half when forward Alejandro Diaz knocked a loose ball past Irish goalkeeper Patrick Wall from point blank range. The visitors continued to heavily control the pace and tempo in the second half until Notre Dame’s Vince Cicciarelli muscled his way through three defenders and scored in the 72nd minute.
Not even two minutes later, a deflected Notre Dame clearance sent the ball right to feet of Martinez, who found himself behind the defense and calmly beat Wall. Both teams traded failed opportunities until Hodan put the Irish ahead for good.
The game was a physical one; Mexico committed a whopping 17 fouls to 8 for Notre Dame, and the two squads engaged in a short shoving match in stoppage time.
The match concluded Notre Dame’s spring schedule. The Irish will not return to game action until late August, when they typically play three exhibition matches before beginning the regular season.
About Irish United
- W. Tennis. Irish Wrap Up Competition At Midwest Regionals
- W. Soccer. Pitch Points: Irish Have The Right Road Formula
- M. Tennis. Irish Doubles Squad Completes Upset Weekend To Claim USTA/ITA Midwest Regional Crown
- W. Soccer. Elizabeth Tucker from University of Notre Dame Named 2014 NCAA Woman of the Year
- M. Tennis. Irish Upset Irish, Earn Bid Into Doubles Championship At Midwest Regionals
- W. Golf. Irish Women's Golf Places 10th In Strong Mercedes-Benz Championship Field
- W. Tennis. Top Doubles Tandem Advances To Monday's USTA/ITA Midwest Regional Championship Match
- W. Rowing. Top 10 For Irish Championship Four Highlights Head Of The Charles Results
- W. Volleyball. Irish Rally From Down 2-0; Best BC In Five-Set Thriller
- Football. Brian Kelly Florida State Review Teleconference Transcript
Fighting Irish on YouTube
- RT @NDMonogram: Great new @NDfidm video on @NCAA Woman of Year Elizabeth Tucker (’14, @NDSoccer): bit.ly/1wgbhMa @CoachWaldrum 15 hours ago
- RT @FightingIrish: Last night @NDSoccer's Liz Tucker won #NCAAWOTY. Hear @CoachWaldrum talk about Liz and see her accept the award- http://… 15 hours ago
- ND Soccer volunteered this morning at the SAAC Habitat for Humanity Build! @NotreDameSWD http://t.co/JzMensEjHe 18 hours ago
- Vote Patrick Hodan as #SAotWHodan! Hodan scored both game winners vs Northwestern & Duke last week! und.com/ot/socialpoll-… 16 hours ago
- RT @NCAA: "Nothing I did the past 4 years I came up with my own. I learned it by watching all the wonderful women in my life." http://t.co/… 16 hours ago
- Fighting Irish Erupt For 4-1 Win At Duke #NDvsDuke ntrda.me/1wjzFeY 22 hours ago