December 7, 2012
By Kathryn L. Knapp
FIGHTING ON TO THE FINAL
16 seed Indiana tops Creighton, 1-0
HOOVER, Ala. – One goal – by Femi Hollinger-Janzen in the 27th minute – was all the Indiana Hoosiers needed to defeat Creighton 1-0 Friday at Regions Park Stadium and advance to their first NCAA College Cup Final since 2004.
Indiana entered the NCAA tournament as a No.16 seed, while Creighton was a 12 seed.
“I was pleased with our performance,” Indiana head coach Todd Yeagley said. “There is a fight and belief in this team that is special. They are really united. I’m very proud for the players to play on Sunday.”
Indiana’s Nikita Kotlov sent the ball on target in the seventh minute. But Creighton’s Jeff Gal grabbed it for the save. Creighton turned up the heat in the 24th minute with Jose Gomez sending two shots on target in a minute.
In the 27th minute, the Hoosiers broke through. An Indiana push in the first half left the ball stagnant in the box. Hollinger-Janzen snuck ran toward the ball and buried the ball into the far corner for a 1-0 Indiana lead.
Just before the end of the first half Hollinger-Janzen struck again, sending the ball into the net. But the referee whistled off the goal saying time had already expired. When the shot was taken the clock on the scoreboard had one second remaining. The Indiana coaches argued with the referee and officials. But at the end of the discussion the no-goal stood.
The Hoosiers maintained composure in the second half. As time was winding down, the Bluejays began pushing forward. Creighton’s Timo Pittner sent the ball soaring into the box, where IU goalkeeper Louis Soffner grabbed it for the save. Minutes later Soffner stopped another Creighton push.
Pittner sped toward goal in the 70th minute, flanked by three Hoosiers. The play was called offside. Pittner created more havoc for the Hoosiers, sending a high ball over the post in the 74thminute.
Kotlov rocketed an attempt at goal with nine minutes left in the match. It bounced off the right post and out for the Hoosiers’ best attempt of the second half.
A foul on Hollinger-Janzen led to a freekick for Indiana. The ball bounced off the wall of Bluejays and back into play. Creighton raced up the field on the counterattack, but was soon silenced by Indiana’s defense.
With just under three minutes remaining, Brendan Hines-Ike rocketed an attempt at goal. Soffner knocked it out for the save. Soffner’s grabbed another Hines-Ike shot in the 90th minute, for the last save of the match.
“I’m very proud of our team and the way we played our season,” Creighton head coach Elmar Bolowich said. “Today, especially in the second half our players gave everything they had to turn it around and get the result. It wasn’t meant to be today. A lot had to do with Indiana and how strong they were.”
Indiana advances to its 14th College Cup final and will face Georgetown Sunday at 2:00 p.m. ET.