IU soccer falls in College Cup semifinal, 2-0

By Josh Eastern
Special to the H-T

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — Indiana’s final goal of the 2018 season will remain incomplete.

All season long, there was talk of accomplishing three goals for the Hoosiers. They won the Big Ten regular-season championship, won the Big Ten Tournament championship, yet couldn’t accomplish the biggest goal of all with the national championship.

Maryland won its 10th straight game when scoring first and beat Indiana for the first time in three attempts this season to advance to the College Cup final with a 2-0 win over Indiana on Friday night.

“I thought our performance, in the second half, in particular, was what we see so much in our Indiana team,” IU coach Todd Yeagley said. “As we grew into the game, I felt so confident at halftime… tonight, the ball wasn’t bouncing. We couldn’t find that bounce that we needed.”

All it took was one bad bounce for Maryland (12-6-4) to strike first. The goal could have come moments before, but it was freshman center back Jack Maher who slid in at the last moment to knock it out for a Maryland corner kick. When the ball was swung in, it bounced around and then sent on frame by Terrapins midfielder Matt Di Rosa.

Indiana’s Cory Thomas was blocking goalkeeper Trey Muse’s view as the ball moved toward the Indiana goal. It appeared to glance off the leg of Thomas and over the hand of Muse to give Maryland a 1-0 lead in the 37th minute.

There wasn’t much to split the two sides after 45 minutes of play. The Terrapins led 6-4 in shots and corners were level at two. Indiana (20-3-1) had its moments going forward, but Maryland center back Donovan Pines was there to thwart nearly every attempt Indiana had on goal.

Once the second half started, Indiana had its chances. Rennicks, along with Spencer Glass, gave the Hoosiers opportunities in and around the box. Yet they still couldn’t find that breakthrough. It was evident that IU brought the game to the Terrapins in the second half.

The absence of Frankie Moore was also noticeable. He had been battling a hamstring injury that held him out of the starting lineup last week vs. Notre Dame. Friday he made the start, but played just shy of 26 first-half minutes.

Indiana continued to give itself good chances, but the struggle to connect the final pass was a recurring event. There was a sense among the Indiana fans at Harder Stadium that it was coming. But after all of those opportunities went unfinished, it felt as if the Hoosiers would never find that breakthrough.

“We created a lot of good chances,” Gutman said. “We weren’t that sharp on the chances we did create. Their defense was really good.”

The presence of Pines in the middle of the Maryland backline was a major factor, but the final blow wasn’t because of the defensive play of Pines. Maryland’s center back scored the dagger for the Terrapins in the 79th minute off a set piece, leaving Indiana and its eight seniors two games shy of the third and final goal.

“It’s really hard to go all the way and win the championship,” Yeagley said. “I’m just proud. Proud of the seniors.”

3 comments

  1. Great season—-sad ending. Very difficult to beat team like Maryland 3 games in a row. The first game between Akron vs. MSU made Akron look unbeatable. Would love to have seen us gotten the chance to play Akron. They beat Wake Forest earlier in tournament. Great season nonetheless.

    1. It’s a shame we were not playing our best 2018 IT soccer when it really mattered most because we honestly got a pretty sweet setup for the college cup with the strongest opponents getting knocked out. We should have been picking our chops to get 2 big ten opponents and Akron instead of Kentucky and Stanford or Wake Forest..but sometimes you psych yourself out on interior opponents. I was at the news matches in Bloomington and I saw the decline in play starting in the 2nd half of the Air Force game. Frankie M injury shouldn’t have hurt us as badly as it did but it be hadn’t come in the game in the 2nd half of the Notre Dame game we might not have reached the cup. As it was we kind regressed back to the IU of old that couldn’t finish and like Gutman said it’s like we were playing scared? That’s too bad for a team so capable of total dominance to the degree of Stanford..we should have been going for back to back this year and Stanford should have been stopped at 2 in a row. We are now less than 50% in winning the title when reaching the cup with 9 of 20..should be 11 of 20! Oh well it really comes down to FINISHING and it’s easier said than done. Maybe next year with a younger team and lesser expectations we can win to finally win put 10th when we finish 3rd in the big ten and are 12-6 going into the NCAA

  2. Congratulations on a terrific year! IU was the best team in men’s college soccer, no question! But soccer is a cruel game. One great instinctive shot and a big tower of strength in the back line (Pine is 6’5 and good) kept IU off the tying score. IU just could not pull off that moment of magic that had marked our other games. We will lose a ton of talent next season. But IU will have a ton of talent with talented, experienced reserves and great new comers. Let’s go for 3 straight College Cups! Great season Coach Yeagley, staff and team. Gutman could be a great pro and national player! Good luck to all!

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