After a long season of packed weekends of college soccer games and various articles discussing draft prospects, we finally have an end to the NCAA season. College soccer’s best came out in Hoover, Alabama and fought for the national title, with the Indiana Hoosiers coming out victorious over the Georgetown Hoyas.
Friday’s first semifinal match between the Hoyas and the Maryland Terps can only be described as epic. The two teams put on a show and really promoted the best of college soccer to those who watched in their 4-4 battle. It’s a stretch to call them cross-town rivals, as Maryland held a 28-0 record against the Hoyas prior to the match. The two teams also hadn’t played each other in years due to a rivalry between the athletic directors of both programs. Georgetown came out strong against the Terps, maintaining strong possession and keeping the Maryland defense on their toes. While it looked as if the Hoyas would get the first goal, Maryland’s offense did not fall asleep and put one through on the counter attack.
However, Georgetown came back with fury. Star forward Steve Neumann scored two phenomenal goals within 3 minutes to put the Hoyas up 2-1 before the half. The second half continued to be the Steve Neumann show as he put up another goal and got an assist on freshman Brandon Allen’s goal. The Terps, however, were not done – down 4-2, they were able to battle back and equalize to force the game to overtime. Since neither team could score in either extra time period, the game was sent to penalty kicks. The Hoyas previously advanced on penalties against Syracuse in the third round of the tournament. However, they held a poor record in penalty kicks in the regular season. The Terps, contrastingly, did not go through penalty kicks all season – captain John Stertzer successfully took their three previous penalty chances in games. Ultimately, Georgetown goalkeeper Tomas Gomez made a brilliant save on a necessary kick from Maryland to put the Hoyas through to the final.
The second semifinal didn’t live up to the excitement of the first with Indiana winning on a first half goal from freshman midfielder Femi Hollinger-Janzen. The Hoosiers defense stood up strong to Creighton’s offensive threat and midfielder Jose Gomez, who was rendered invisible for much of the match. There was some controversy in the match when Hollinger-Janzen scored again as the buzzer sounded at the end of the first half, due to the ref disallowing the goal. Lucky for them, the disallowed goal didn’t matter in the end and they were able to secure a win.
Questions were raised as to whether Sunday’s final would live up to the excitement of the first semifinal, or be a bit underwhelming like the second one. It turned out to be more like the second. Georgetown, unfortunately, did not come out as strong as they had in their semi due to heavy legs and an inability to control the ball. Possession was a strong component of their success on Friday, and it seemed to escape them on Sunday. Indiana capitalized on this, and was able to take hold of the game and grind out a 1-0 win with the goal by Nikita Kotlov. The hero of the game was Indiana’s goalkeeper Luis Soffner, who came up with multiple brilliant saves to maintain Indiana’s lead. Georgetown’s Steve Neumann was named Offensive MVP of the College Cup, while Luis Soffner picked up the defensive title.
With the college season over, preparations for the Combine and Draft and combine begin. The league has released the initial list of college seniors invited to the MLS Combine. More will probably be added, in addition to the Generation Adidas names and international players.
What were your thoughts on the College Cup? Anyone you’re excited to see go pro? Who would you like to see Chivas USA draft? Let us know!