Friday, December 7, 2012
Georgetown, Indiana into soccer final
HOOVER, Ala. -- Georgetown goalkeeper Tomas Gomez blocked Helge Leikvang's shot in the final round of a shootout, lifting the Hoyas over Maryland 4-3 on penalty kicks Friday night following a 4-4 tie in the NCAA soccer semifinals.
Georgetown (20-3-2) beat Maryland (20-2-2) for the first time in 29 tries and will face Indiana in Sunday's final. The seven-time champion Hoosiers beat Creighton 1-0 in the second semifinal.
Maryland scored twice in a 3½-minute span late in the second half to tie it at 4.
Maryland held a 3-2 lead through the first three rounds of the penalty kicks, but the Hoyas rallied for a 4-3 lead and won when Gomez dove to his left to stop Leikvang's shot.
"I just had a hunch to go there, and it worked out," Gomez said.
Steve Neumann scored three goals for the Hoyas, including two in a 1:31 span to give Georgetown a 2-1 halftime lead. It was the first hat trick in the College Cup since 1993.
"You always dream about having games like that on big stages like this," Neumann said. "It's an unbelievable feeling and something I'll cherish the rest of my life."
Neumann made it 4-2 with 30 minutes left in regulation, but Maryland tied it on goals by Patrick Mullins and Christiano Francois.
"You're never going to feel secure with a two-goal lead against a team like Maryland," Georgetown coach Brian Wiese said. "There were several times in the second half when Maryland could have chucked it, and they never did. They showed tremendous resilience."
Maryland outshot Georgetown 18-12, including five shots in the final 12 minutes of regulation after tying it.
"I don't think we ever for a moment thought that we weren't going to come back and win," said Maryland's Patrick Mullins, who had a goal and two assists. "We just knew somebody was going to find a way to get us that one goal. We had some decent chances at the end."
The eight goals tied for the second-most in College Cup history. It also marked the first time a team has scored four goals in a College Cup game since 2006.
The Terrapins had given up a total of only four goals in their past four games combined.
"Our defending let us down," Maryland coach Sasho Cirovski said. "It's very difficult to cope with the reality that we're not advancing and playing on Sunday. We just came up a little empty."
Indiana 1, Creighton 0
Femi Hollinger-Janzen scored midway through the first half, and Indiana held off Creighton 1-0 to advance to the NCAA soccer final.
The seven-time champion Hoosiers (15-5-3) will play Georgetown in the title game Sunday.
The Hoosiers have allowed only two goals in four NCAA tournament games.
"There's no doubt that strong team defense is the formula for having successful tournament runs and winning championships," Indiana coach Todd Yeagley said. "In the final 10 minutes, when Creighton was sending a lot of players forward, that's when you saw the resiliency in this team. And then that save by Luis was fantastic."
Hollinger-Janzen gathered a deflected crossing pass on the right wing and booted an 8-yard shot that bounced in off goalkeeper Jeff Gal for his fourth goal of the season. That was one of only three shots on goal for Indiana in the game.
"They had their one chance, and that's all they needed," Gal said. "In the end that's what it took for us to lose this game."
Hollinger-Janzen had another goal disallowed when it was ruled that the shot occurred just after the end of the first half.
Indiana's pressure defense frustrated Creighton (17-4-3) throughout the game. The Bluejays finished with only two shots on goal -- both in the final 3 minutes.
"It was hard for us to move because they pressured so much," Creighton midfielder Jose Gomez said. "It was hard to find a rhythm."
The Bluejays' best scoring chance was taken by Brendan Hines-Ike, who blasted a shot from 25 yards out that goalkeeper Luis Soffner deflected with a leaping hand save.
"Luckily that was really the only thing I had to do all night," said Soffner, who has given up 18 goals in 23 games this season.
It was the first loss for Creighton in 15 games. The Bluejays had gone 12-0-2 after opening 5-3-1.
Indiana won its last title in 2004.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.