Men’s soccer fans couldn’t have asked for a better College Cup final matchup. No. 2 Indiana versus No. 3 Stanford. The eight-time national champion Hoosiers against the two-time defending national champion Cardinal. All-conference players on both sides.
Indiana won its last national championship in 2012, while Stanford looks to be the first school since Virginia (1991-1994) to win at least three consecutive national championships.
With both Stanford and IU playing exceptional defense throughout the season and into the tournament, something will have to give when the two powerhourses meet on Sunday. Here’s how they both got there.
In Friday’s first semifinal, Stanford topped Akron 2-0 behind a stellar defense effort to advance to its third consecutive national championship game. Stanford goalkeeper Nico Corti stopped all five shots on goal as the Zips couldn’t find any passing lanes for the majority of the match. Foster Langsdorf scored on a header in the 26th minute and Sam Werner extended the Cardinal lead to 2-0 in the 79th minute on a shot that bounced off the top crossbar and in.
Defense was once again key in the second semifinal as the Hoosiers’ top-ranked defense continued to impress in a 1-0 victory over North Carolina. Andrew Gutman scored the only goal when he went back-post in the 50th minute. IU goalkeeper Trey Muse stopped the Tar Heels’ only two shots on goal and tied the NCAA freshman record with his 18th shutout on the season.
The College Cup final will kick off Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. ET.
Dec. 8 (Semifinals)
Dec. 10 (Finals)
Stanford vs. Indiana, 1 p.m., ET.
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