Chester, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Andrew O'Malley's goal on the hour mark proved to be the difference as Notre Dame claimed its first-ever Division-I soccer championship on Sunday with a 2-1 victory over Maryland at PPL Park.
Both clubs had several chances to score in a wide-open match, but Maryland, which was gunning for its third title in eight seasons, opened the scoring in the 35th minute.
Patrick Mullins collected a loose ball in the penalty area following a corner kick and ripped it past Notre Dame goalkeeper Patrick Wall for his 19th goal of the season.
But the Irish got the goal back just five minutes later when Leon Brown smashed it under Maryland goalkeeper Zack Steffan on the turn to put the sides back on level terms.
The winning goal came in the 60th minute with some set-piece magic from Notre Dame when senior midfielder Harrison Shipp whipped a beautiful free kick into the area where fellow senior O'Malley got a glancing header away, sending the ball flying past Steffan for the winning goal.
Maryland had one final quality set-piece opportunity with time winding down, but Mullins' free kick from outside the box sailed well wide of the net as Notre Dame held on for the victory.