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Maryland men's soccer vs. Notre Dame preview: Terps look to get 1 step closer to College Cup

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The Terps have a chance to upset the seventh-seeded Irish on the road.

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Maryland men's soccer will go on the road this Sunday to face a familiar foe. The 10th-seeded Terps played seven-seed Notre Dame to a scoreless double-overtime draw in the teams' season opener back in August, and will get another crack at the Fighting Irish this weekend in the third round of the NCAA Tournament. The game will kick off at 2 p.m. EST in South Bend on Sunday, with the winner moving on to the quarterfinals against either UC Santa Barbara or Clemson.

You can stream the game on WatchESPN.

After an inconsistent regular season, the Terrapins have turned it on lately. Maryland took home the Big Ten Tournament championship with a 2-0 victory over Ohio State, then beat Virginia 1-0 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament after receiving a first-round bye.

Notre Dame ended the season in a similar spot to Maryland, finishing with one less loss and one more draw than the Terps did. Like, Maryland, Notre Dame also advanced to its conference tournament championship, but lost 1-0 to Syracuse in the final.  The Irish advanced in their only tournament game so far by dusting Tulsa 3-0 in penalty kicks after tying the Golden Hurricanes 1-1 in overtime.

The teams last met in the tournament in 2013, when Notre Dame bested Maryland 2-1 in the College Cup final.

Take a look at the full tournament bracket here.

Notre Dame (11-4-6, 4-2-2 ACC)

2014 record: 12-5-4

Head Coach: Bobby Clark (193-78-50 at Notre Dame, 346-141-75 overall)

All-time record vs. Maryland: 2-2-2

Players to watch:

Jon Gallagher, forward, sophomore, 5'9/161, No. 8. After making the All-ACC Freshman team a season ago, Gallagher has taken over as Notre Dame's primary scoring option, leading the team with 9 goals this year.

Chris Hubbard, goalkeeper, junior, 6'4/205, No. 13. Hubbard hadn't seen a minute of game action before this season, but has a lower goals against average this year than Patrick Wall did last year for the Irish.

Max Lachowecki, defense, graduate, 5'10/155, No. 6. Lachowecki is in his fourth consecutive season starting on Notre Dame's back line, and heads an experienced group on defense that includes three upperclassmen and one sophomore. While Notre Dame didn't place anyone on the All-ACC first team, Lachowecki was one of two Irish named to the second team.

Strength:

First-half defense. Notre Dame has a solid defense in both halves this season, but really begins games with a death grip on opposing offenses. The Irish have only allowed 4 goals in the first half all year, as opposed to 13 in the second half. The Terps have thrived lately in part thanks to early goals, so it will be interesting to see which side gives in.

Weakness:

Not much. While Notre Dame doesn't have too many advantages that stick out, the Irish really don't have any glaring shortcomings. They score enough goals, don't allow too many, don't commit too many fouls, and are generally a complete team.