Hoosiers Win National Championship Over St. John's, 2-1
Dec. 14, 2003
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Indiana men's soccer team claimed its sixth national title by beating St. John's, 2-1, in front of a crowd of 5,300 at Crew Stadium in Columbus on a snowy Sunday afternoon.
With today's title, Indiana now ranks second all-time for NCAA Championships in Division I college soccer. Head Coach Jerry Yeagley also became the first coach to win six national championships at one school, a mark that ties the record with Bob Guelker, who won five championships at Saint Louis (1959,1960, 1962, 1963 and 1965) and one title at SIU-Edwardsville (1979).
Indiana, the NCAA Tournament's No. 8 seed, finished the 2003 season with a 17-3-5 record. Sixth-seeded St. John's closed its campaign at 17-6-3.
"We played a great St. John's team, who deserved to be here," said Yeagley. " Our players played hard all year. Our team played for each other this weekend and I am very proud of them. People stepped up this weekend, people who usually don't play stepped up, as well. Our group never felt that they couldn't win."
The Hoosiers capitalized on their first shot attempt in the 15th minute to take a 1-0 lead. Red Storm defender Mike Leidner fouled Hoosier freshman Jacob Peterson roughly eight yards outside the 18-yard box. Junior All-American Ned Grabavoy took the ensuing free kick and knocked it into the lower left corner of the net. Grabavoy, who had returned from playing with the United States U-20 team in the United Arab Emirates at midnight on Saturday, scored his 11th goal of the season.
Indiana scored again to take a 2-0 lead with 25:46 to play in the first half. Peterson flew down the field and took the ball on a breakaway. With a defender running along his side, the rookie quickly launched a right-footed shot from the top of the 18-yard box and drilled it to the lower left portion of the net. The goal was Peterson's seventh of the year and his third of the postseason.
St. John's had numerous good looks at the goal in the opening half, but Indiana was able to close down the opportunities. Junior goalkeeper Jay Nolly collected six saves in the first half.
Though there were light flurries throughout the contest, snow began to fall even harder in the final 20 minutes of the game.
The Red Storm got on the board in the 78th minute when Ashley Kozicki got his right foot on the ball and took a close shot from the right wing into the upper right corner of the net. Chris Corcoran and Tim O'Neill were awarded assists.
Nolly came up big for IU in the final six minutes of the game. He saved a shot at with just over five minutes remaining. Sebastian Alvarado-Ralph took a shot inside the box, forcing Nolly slightly out of the goal to stop the ball.
Nolly, who was named the College Cup's Most Outstanding Defensive Player, finished the game with a season-high 10 saves.
"Towards the end of the game the snow was blowing in my eyes and St. John's was putting pressure on us," said Nolly. " I was getting nervous but our team stick together like we have all year and we were able to pull out the win."
Today's game was head coach Jerry Yeagley's final game. Division I's all-time winningest coach finished his career with a 544-101-45 overall record.
Following Sunday's celebration, the NCAA announced the All-Tournament team with seven Hoosiers making the list. Along with Nolly as the Defensive MOP, Jacob Peterson was named Most Outstanding Offensive Player. Defender Jed Zayner, defender Drew Shinabarger, midfielder Josh Tudela, midfielder Danny O'Rourke and forward Ned Grabavoy made the list.
2003 NCAA Men's Division 1 College Cup All-Tournament Team
GK Jay Nolly (Indiana)
Indiana Postgame Notes
*Yeagley and the Hoosiers are now 6-6 in NCAA Championship games.
*Head coach Jerry Yeagley coached his final game at Indiana before retiring Sunday. The legendary coach closed his career as the NCAA Division I wins leader with a 544-101-45 record.
*Yeagley became the first coach to win six national championships at one school, a mark that ranks second all-time in NCAA men's soccer behind the 10 titles won by Saint Louis.
*Seniors Vijay Dias and Drew Shinabarger played in the final game of their careers at Indiana. The pair finished their careers with a 66-18-8 record.
*Junior Ned Grabavoy and sophomore Drew Moore appeared in the Indiana lineup for the first time since the Hoosiers' game with Penn State in the Big Ten Championship on Nov. 16. The duo left the following to week to join the United States U-20 national team at the World Youth Championships in the United Arab Emirates.
*Ned Grabavoy's goal in the 11th minute marked the first of his career in NCAA play. It was his 11th goal of the season.
*Jacob Peterson scored his third goal of the NCAA tournament today (his seventh of the season). The rookie finished with seven points in NCAA play, a mark that puts him tied for eighth in the Indiana record books. Pat Yates, who tallied the game winner in double overtime against Santa Clara in the semifinals, also scored seven points during the tournament to tie for eighth in the record books as well.
*Entering today's match, St. John's owned a 2-1-0 advantage in the all-time series with Indiana. With IU's 2-1 win Sunday, the overall series now is tied at 2-2-0.
*The 2003 Indiana team started with the worst record in school history at 2-3-4 after nine games. IU went on a nine-game unbeaten streak to finish the regular season and won 15 of its last 16 games.
*Indiana's all-time NCAA tournament record is 68-22. The Hoosiers 68 NCAA tournament wins are the most of any school in Division I history.
General College Cup Notes