Dawson McCartney and Michael Pellegrino were born three years apart but they’ve crossed paths quite a bit in their soccer journey from South Jersey Elite Barons to the Philadelphia Union Academy and beyond.
Now as Notre Dame teammates the South Jersey natives find themselves one win away from playing for a national championship.
The Irish take on Clemson in a battle of ACC teams in the first game of the College Cup tonight at 6 p.m. in Cary, N.C. Georgetown takes on Washington in the second game at 8:30 p.m.
McCartney, from Voorhees, N.J. and Pellegrino, from Wenonah, N.J. both came up with the Barons and rose the ranks in the Union Academy to competing for Bethlehem Steel FC in the USL prior to college.
McCartney was a standout at Dartmouth out of high school and joined the Irish program as a grad student in January while Pellegrino is in his third season in South Bend. Pellegrino logged more than 1,000 minutes in each of his first two seasons but has been limited this season to just only 12 in the NCAA tournament and 529 over the course of the season.
McCartney, meanwhile, has enjoyed his most productive college season as a fifth-year player. He’s tied for second on the team in goals with 7 (career high) and tied for first on the team in assists (5). He had both goals in the ACC Championship win over Duke. His assist tally is his most in a season since he dished out eight as a freshman at Dartmouth. Notre Dame head coach Chad Riley was coaching the Big Green then before taking over at Notre Dame following Bobby Clark’s retirement.
Notre Dame is seeking the program’s second national title after winning the College Cup at Subaru Park in Chester in 2013.
How to Watch
Where: College Cup, WakeMed Soccer Park, Cary, N.C.
When: Notre Dame vs Clemson, 6 p.m., Georgetown vs Washington, 8:30 p.m.