Creighton faces Indiana in the College Cup on Friday. The winner of that game faces the winner of Maryland-Georgetown. Here’s a capsule preview of the final four teams.
NCAA tournament seed: 2nd
National ranking: No. 2
Coach: Sasho Cirovski (20 years at Maryland)
College Cup appearance: 12th (first since 2008)
NCAA championships: Three (1968, 2005, 2008)
Tournament trail: Defeated Brown 2-1; defeated Coastal Carolina 5-1; defeated Louisville 3-1
Current unbeaten streak: 6-0-0 since Nov. 1
Leading scorers: F Patrick Mullins 16 goals-8 assists-40 points; M/F Schillo Tshuma 8-2-18; M John Stertzer 7-6-20
Goalkeepers: Keith Cardona (16-1-2 record; 1.02 goals-against average, 37 saves, 6 shutouts); Jordan Tatum (4-0-0 record; 0.50 GAA, 4 saves, 2 shutouts)
Season recap: The Terps rolled to an unbeaten 14-0-2 start, including a 13-game winning streak, before suffering their only loss at Wake Forest in the Nov. 1 regular-season finale. Maryland hasn’t recorded a shutout since Oct. 19, but the Terrapins also haven’t allowed more than one goal in a game while winning six straight postseason matches (three of them en route to the ACC tournament title) by a combined score of 16-6. The talented Terps, who lead the NCAA with an average of 2.61 goals per match, are favored to win it all this weekend at the College Cup.
Need to know: Star forward Mullins was named ACC offensive player of the year after leading the league in goals and points. He also earned MVP honors during the ACC tournament.
NCAA tournament seed: 3rd
National ranking: No. 6
Coach: Brian Wiese (seven years at Georgetown)
College Cup appearance: First in program history
Tournament trail: Defeated Charlotte 1-0; tied Syracuse 1-1, 2 OT (won shootout 4-2); defeated San Diego 3-1
Current unbeaten streak: 2-0-1 since Nov. 11
Leading scorers: F Brandon Allen 15 goals-2 assists-32 points; F/M Steve Neumann 7-13-27; F/M Andy Riemer 9-1-19
Goalkeepers: Tomas Gomez (15-1-2 record; 0.74 goals-against average, 62 saves, 7 shutouts); Keon Parsa (4-2-0 record; 0.98 GAA, 31 saves, 3 shutouts)
Season recap: The Hoyas’ best season in program history continues this weekend with their first trip to the NCAA final four. Georgetown’s 19 wins broke the school’s old record for single-season victories set in 1994. The Hoyas piled up a seven-game late-season win streak to advance to the Big East championship match, but they missed out on a league tournament title after falling 3-2 in double overtime to Notre Dame. Since Oct. 6, Georgetown is 9-1-1.
Need to know: The Hoyas have never recorded a victory in 28 all-time meetings against Maryland, most recently falling 2-1 to the Terps in 2010.
NCAA tournament seed: 16th
National ranking: unranked
Coach: Todd Yeagley (three years at Indiana)
College Cup appearance: 18th (first since 2004)
NCAA championships: Seven (1982, 1983, 1988, 1998, 1999, 2003, 2004)
Tournament trail: Defeated Xavier 4-1; defeated Notre Dame 2-1, 2 OT; defeated North Carolina 1-0
Current unbeaten streak: 3-0-0 since Nov. 7
Leading scorers: F Eriq Zavaleta 18 goals-3 assists-39 points; M Nikita Kotlov 8-4-20; M A.J. Corrado 1-12-14
Goalkeeper: Luis Soffner (14-5-3 record; 0.78 goals-against average, 76 saves, 10 shutouts)
Season recap: Traditional NCAA power Indiana battled its way back to college soccer’s biggest stage after a seven-year absence. For sure, it’s been an up-and-down ride for Yeagley and his club. The Hoosiers were 1-3-1 in their five games leading up to the NCAAs, including a 2-1 loss to Michigan State in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten tournament. In what’s been a magical postseason run, however, Indiana upended both Notre Dame and North Carolina on the road the past two weeks to reach the College Cup.
Need to know: Indiana’s seven national titles rank second in college soccer history. St. Louis, which won 10 titles between 1959 and 1973, holds the record.
NCAA tournament seed: 12th
National ranking: No. 8
Coach: Elmar Bolowich (two years at Creighton)
College Cup appearance: fifth (second consecutive)
Tournament trail: Defeated Washington 4-2; tied Akron 1-1, 2 OT (won shootout 5-4); defeated Connecticut 1-0
Current unbeaten streak: 12-0-2 since Sept. 25
Leading scorers: M Timo Pitter 10 goals-4 assists-24 points; M Jose Gomez 6-9-21; M Jose Ribas 2-8-12; M/F Christian Blandon 4-1-9; F Sean Kim 4-0-8
Goalkeepers: Jeff Gal (13-0-1 record; 0.62 goals-against average, 55 saves, 7 shutouts); Alex Bolowich (4-3-2 record; 1.03 GAA, 38 saves, 4 shutouts)
Season recap: After opening the schedule with a mercurial 5-3-2 record, the Bluejays put the pieces together and will ride a 14-match unbeaten streak into their second straight appearance in the College Cup. In the third round of the NCAAs, Creighton toppled No. 1 Akron on penalty kicks — flipping the script after having suffered heartbreaking PK losses in the 2010 and 2011 NCAA tournaments. Last weekend, CU secured a return trip to the final four when Blandon scored with only 90 seconds remaining in regulation during a 1-0 stunner at fourth-seeded Connecticut, snapping the Huskies’ 38-match home unbeaten streak.
Need to know: Bolowich — who came to CU after guiding North Carolina for 22 years — is one of six coaches to make five consecutive College Cup appearances. But he’s the only coach to accomplish that feat with two different programs.
– Chad Purcell