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. Robinson, Broda Advance To Doubles Final At ITA Regional
- M. Tennis. Irish Doubles Pairs Fall In ITA Midwest Regional Championship Semifinals
- W. Volleyball. Irish Push Win Streak to Three With Sweep of Hokies
- W. Rowing. Rowing Wraps Up Head of the Charles
- W. Soccer. Late Goal Lifts #14 Irish To 1-0 Victory Over Wake Forest
- W. Tennis. Irish Keep Rolling At ITA, IU Regionals
- W. Soccer. What To Watch For: Wake Forest
- M. Ice Hockey. #3/4 Irish Fall in Overtime to Penn State
- M. Tennis. Irish Play Into Quarterfinal Rounds At ITA Regional
- Swimming & Diving. No.14 Fighting Irish Stay Undefeated in Season Beating No.22 Georgia Tech in First Dual ACC Meet
Fighting Irish on YouTube
- What a win! @MeganMcCashland's late goal lifts the Irish 1-0 over Wake! RECAP ➡️ ntrda.me/2dzvzjJ https://t.co/1p1uVja2k4 10 hours ago
- FINAL! The late goal lifts the Irish over Wake to move to 11-2-3 and 6-1-2 in the ACC! https://t.co/YGXIgcOS7x 11 hours ago
- GOAL! @MeganMcCashland nets her second goal of the season to give the Irish the late 1-0 lead! https://t.co/mE12rEdBWx 11 hours ago