Thundering Herd wins its first-ever College Cup 1-0 over Indiana in OT
Published 1:28 am Tuesday, May 18, 2021
CARY, N.C. (AP) — Jamil Roberts scored in the 98th minute and Marshall beat Indiana to win its first-ever College Cup championship 1-0 in overtime Monday night.
Marshall’s fans rushed the field following Roberts’ game-winner. The Thundering Herd became the first unseeded team to win a national title since Santa Clara in 2006.
“Not bad for a little school from West Virginia with a bunch of internationals, eh?” Roberts said.
Indiana was making its 16th overall trip to the championship game. The Hoosiers were trying for their ninth title and first since 2012.
Roberts, a native of England who was drafted by Sporting Kansas City earlier this year, also scored the lone goal — on Marshall’s only shot — in the team’s semifinal victory over North Carolina on Friday. He finishes the season with five goals.
“There’s a moment to be enjoyed right now. I don’t want to think to far ahead into the future, and I don’t want to think about the past four years. I just want to live in this incredible moment,” Roberts said.
Marshall had eliminated top-seeded Clemson on penalties and then downed Georgetown in the quarterfinals.
Herbert Endeley scored in the 79th minute and Indiana advanced to the championship with a 1-0 semifinal victory over Pittsburgh on Friday night.
“We did everything we could to win that game. It’s the hardest I’ve ever seen this team work,” Indiana defender A.J. Palazzolo said. “We just couldn’t find the moment to get that goal. But we had belief. They just had a little lucky goal there at the end. But they’re a great side.”
The Thundering Herd peppered Indiana goalkeeper Roman Celentano, who made seven saves, including his dive to deflect Vinicius Fernandes’ shot to the corner in the 23rd minute. Celentano had 10 shutouts going into the final.
Victor Bezzera’s free kick was stopped by Marshall goalkeeper Oliver Semmle in the 49the minute, but Indiana was offside. Semmle finished with one save.
Roberts’ breakthrough goal came amid a scramble in front of the net. Celentano stopped a Marshall shot, but the ball came down and hit the post, and Roberts popped it into the net.
“Luckily I’m in the right place at the right time, and that’s what we train for,” Roberts said. “I make that run 20-30 times in the game but it takes that one time for the ball to drop, and as coach always says, ‘We love tap-ins.’ It was the best way to finish this incredible season.”
Coach Chris Grassie said: “It was just one of those moments when time kind of stopped.”
The men’s College Cup has gone to overtime 17 times, and seven times it has gone to penalties.
Indiana has been to the College Cup 21 times, more than any other program in the tournament’s history.
Earlier Monday, Santa Clara won the women’s College Cup title on penalties after a 1-1 draw with top-seeded Florida State.
Both the men’s and women’s NCAA Tournaments, delayed from the fall because of the coronavirus pandemic, were held entirely in North Carolina to cut down on travel and avoid the different local restrictions nationwide.