December 9, 2012
By Kathryn L. Knapp
Hoosiers top Hoyas in College Cup final
HOOVER, Ala. – Nikita Kotlov came through in the clutch for Indiana University on Sunday at Regions Park stadium, poking the ball into an empty net in the 64th minute to give the Hoosiers a 1-0 win over Georgetown and their eighth NCAA national championship.
|Nikita Kotlov's 64th minute goal lifted Indiana to their eighth national championship.
Photo courtesy Indiana Sports Information
“It was a really hard-fought final,” Indiana head coach Todd Yeagley said. “I couldn’t be more proud of these players, in particular the seniors for what they’ve done for this program.”
Both teams played a solid first half, with Georgetown recording three shots and Indiana four. IU netminder Luis Soffner came up with clutch saves on Georgetown’s Tyler Rudy and Brandon Allen to keep the match scoreless, and Tomas Gomez stoned AJ Corrado one-on-one for the Hoyas.
Second half, the teams came out with a new intensity. Kotlov kept Gomez on his toes, sending an attempt on target in the 52nd minute. One minute later, Eriq Zavaleta headed an attempt high.
Georgetown pushed soon after. Offensive substitute Brandon Allen gave the Hoyas some new speed. Steve Neumann sent the ball into the box, where IU’s defenders blocked it. But before Georgetown could get a handle on things, IU took over.
Patrick Doody crossed the ball into the box in the 64th minute. Zavaleta headed the attempt toward goal. Kotlov snuck into the box and chipped it past Gomez for the 1-0 advantage.
“Patrick played a good ball to the back post,” Zavaleta said. “The ball drifted. The keeper was hesitant. I saw Nikita running into the box. My goal was to just get the ball down and let him make a play.”
Neither team sat back after the goal. The Hoosiers kept the intensity up, including a four-shot spree from the 72nd minute to the 76th. Femi Hollinger-Janzen rocketed a shot just wide left in the 86th minute. The Hoyas Tommy Muller headed an attempt on target in the 89th minute. The ball bounced off the side post. IU goalkeeper Luis Soffner grabbed it, keeping his net clean.
“The guys have done great not to let the ball come near me,” Soffner said. “Sometimes you need a little bit of luck. If it takes a little bit of luck to help us win a championship, we’ll take it.”
Despite Sunday’s loss, the Hoyas put together the best season in program history, a fact that coach Brian Wiese said his players would eventually come to appreciate. “Indiana played incredibly up tempo,” Georgetown head coach Brian Wiese said. “They pressed us really, really well. They won the midfield. They were sharper to the ball. They played a great game today and were deserved winners. We have the second place trophy, which today is one of the sourest things you could look at. But I know given some time it will be something that we can really treasure as an accomplishment for the program.”