CHESTER, PA — December 15, 2013 – In the wake of his side’s 2-1 win in the College Cup final over Maryland for their first ever national title, Notre Dame Head Coach Bobby Clark spoke of his belief that this side is one of the best he has ever worked with.
The Fighting Irish were victorious thanks to goals from Leon Brown and Andrew O’Malley, and Clark was full of praise for his team after a season filled with success despite some difficult games.
“This is right up there with any championship I’ve ever won,” Clark told reporters after the game. “This has been a dream of a team to coach. I’ve had such a good group of kids to coach this year, it wasn’t hard work at all.
“Some previous years, there’s been some toils and troubles and injuries so you need to work really hard. To win a championship, a lot of things have to come together.”
Andrew O’Malley scored the winning goal for Notre Dame, and he mentioned that it was the team’s refusal to buckle when things do not go their way, especially when they went behind in the first half.
“One of the mantras we have as a team is to respond to what happens in the game,” he said.
“Not everything’s going to go your way during a game, so you try to make sure that you’re mentally strong enough to come back from something like that. I think we came in and responded really well with a goal.”
Clark added that his team has a great deal of satisfaction after their win, especially after an intense weekend and a tough game against a very strong Maryland side.
“I think we’re all smiling big smiles, we’re all very happy with the result,” Clark said. “It was a very hard-fought game, we always knew that any team coached by Sasho Cirovski is going to be up for a fight.
“It wasn’t the prettiest game. I think it’s hard to play two games at that intensity in two or three days, so the team has put in a really good shift. In the last 10 minutes, they were certainly working very hard. It was a very good win against a very good team, and it finishes the season off very nicely.”
Chris Teale is a contributing writer for College Soccer News covering the College Cup at PPL Park in Chester, Pa. He can be reached at Chris.firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @chris_teale