Dec. 8, 2004
The Indiana Hoosiers are just two games away from completing their quest for back-to-back national championships after a win on Sunday against Tulsa in the quarterfinal round. Indiana will battle No. 3 seeded Maryland in the first semifinal match of the College Cup on Friday, December 10 at 5 p.m. PT. Neither team has allowed a goal in their three NCAA matches. The Terrapins advanced to their third straight College Cup Final Four with a 1-0 victory over St. John's in the national quarterfinals. The Hoosiers defeated the Golden Hurricane, 4-0, at Armstrong Stadium to improve its record to 17-4-1 and brings the all-time home NCAA mark to 45-3 in Bloomington. The two teams played to a scoreless first half before junior midfielder Jordan Chirico notched a tally at the 46:07 mark. Sophomore Jacob Peterson then found the back of the net twice for the Hooisers, while senior Greg Badger closed out Indiana's scoring in the 67th minute. Indiana entered the NCAA Championship as the No. 2 seed and was awarded a first-round bye. The Hoosiers faced Conference opponent Michigan in their first match and defeated the Wolverines, 1-0, and claimed a 1-0 victory over Boston College in the third round.
A record six Big Ten teams earned berths to the 2004 NCAA Men's Soccer Championship as Michigan, Michigan State, Northwestern, Ohio State and Penn State joined Indiana in the postseason. It marked the first time in League history that six squads were selected, as the previous record of four was set in 2001 when Indiana, Michigan State, Penn State and Ohio State all competed in the NCAA Championship. Big Ten Champion Michigan State was the only Conference team to lose in the first round of this year's championship, as the Spartans lost to Tulsa, 3-1. Northwestern, making its first-ever appearance in the championship, defeated Western Illinois, 4-1, in the first round but was knocked out of the tournament with a 3-2 loss against Creighton in second round action. Penn State, the No. 10 seed, earned a first-round bye and awaited the winner of the Michigan State vs. Tulsa match. The Nittany Lions suffered a heart-breaking end to their season as the two teams battled to a 1-1 tie through two overtime periods before Tulsa advanced, 4-3, on penalty kicks. Michigan defeated Akron, 2-1, its first game, but fell to Conference foe, Indiana in the second round, 1-0. Ohio State defeated Memphis, 1-0, in Columbus to earn its first NCAA championship win in school history. The team then upset ninth-ranked and fifth-seeded Notre Dame, 2-1, to qualify for the third round for the first time in program history. The Buckeyes dropped a 3-0 decision to Duke in the Round of 16 and concluded their 2004 campaign with a 12-7-2 overall mark, which tied the school record for wins in a season.
Indiana, Michigan State and Wisconsin are the only Big Ten teams to have won NCAA Championship titles. The defending NCAA champion Hoosiers have won six titles, Michigan State claimed two back-to-back titles in 1967 and 1968 and the Badgers won their only men's soccer title in 1995.
The 46th annual NCAA Division I Men's College Cup will be played December 10 and 12 at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. No. 9 seeded UC Santa Barbara will take on Duke in the second semifinal match at 7:30 p.m. PT. The Hoosiers' semifinal match will air on Saturday, December 11 at 9 a.m. PT on ESPN2, while the other semifinal match can be seen at 8 p.m. PT also on ESPN2. The championship match will be broadcast live on ESPN2 on Sunday, December 12 at 1 p.m. PT.