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
- M. Ice Hockey. #9 Irish Open Hockey Season With Exhibition Versus USNTDP
- M. Lacrosse. Notre Dame Men's Lacrosse Hosts Annual Steak & Hot Dog Game on Saturday at Noon
- Football. Notre Dame-Syracuse 2016: Five Things to Watch
- M. Soccer. #1/2 Irish Take On Pitt In Friday Keystone State Clash
- W. Tennis. Inside Irish: Wildcat Invitational
- M. Swimming. Fighting Irish Swimming & Diving Open Up Season With Rare Outdoor Meet at Michigan State
- W. Swimming. Fighting Irish Swimming & Diving Open Up Season With Rare Outdoor Meet at Michigan State
- Fencing. Irish To Host 2017 NCAA Championships
- W. Volleyball. Irish Look to Remain Unbeaten in ACC Play Against Duke and Wake Forest
- Cross Country. Keys To The Race: Joe Piane Notre Dame Invitational
Fighting Irish on YouTube
- Congratulations to Monica Gerardo('99) on being promoted to Asst AD for Student Welfare & Development for @wcpoets!! wcpoets.com/general/2016-1… 23 hours ago
- RT @ObserverSports: Jennifer Westendorf is making her impact felt as a freshman for @NDSoccer this season | ndsmcobserver.com/2016/09/westen… https:… 2 days ago
- Get to know Senior Captain @kaleigholmsted with this edition of Ten Questions! ntrda.me/2d3IyJ7 https://t.co/dfOq8nw7ix 4 days ago
- Gameday cartwheel ✅ @Ryankrutz is ready to go. https://t.co/92TqOIER9p 3 hours ago
- GAMEDAY! Irish take on Pitt tonight at 7:00pm! https://t.co/37RR6rvSK4 6 hours ago
- We're on the road at Pitt! ☘️🚌 STORY: und.com/sports/m-socce… https://t.co/W9AuVe7wvE 17 hours ago