The No. 2 ranked Indiana men’s soccer team takes on No. 10 ranked Marshall tonight in the NCAA College Cup National Championship match at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN2. The Hoosiers are in search of their 9th National Championship trophy.
Indiana already has the most impressive post-season resume of any program in college soccer. The Hoosiers have the most NCAA Tournament victories with 95, which is 25 more than second-place UCLA. Similarly, Indiana has a staggering .726 winning percentage in NCAA Tournament games. Tonight will mark Indiana’s 16th appearance in the NCAA National Championship match, more than any other program.
The Hoosiers (12-1-2) reached the National Championship with a 1-0 victory over Pittsburgh in the semi-finals. Sophomore Herbert Endeley split defenders and netted an impressive top shelf strike in the 79th minute of action to put IU ahead. The Minnesota United academy player tormented Pitt the entire match with his pace and high motor. Big Ten Goalkeeper of the Year Roman Celentano, widely regarded as one of the best keepers in all of college soccer, also came up with a couple massive saves to prevent the Panthers from getting on the board.
The National Championship could be a massive night for IU’s dynamic forward Victor Bezerra. The Chicago Fire academy product was recently named as one of the finalists for the prestigious Missouri Athletic Club Hermann Trophy, which honors the top college soccer player in the nation. Bezerra, already named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, tallied 12 goals, 3 assists, and 28 total points this season. This was the highest single-season goal total for a Hoosier since 2012 and is the third highest single-season goal total in program history. Tonight could be the icing on the cake to one of the best individual offensive seasons in Indiana soccer history.
Marshall (12-2-3) took down North Carolina 1-0 to reach their first National Championship match in program history. The Thundering Herd are led by C-USA Player of the Year Vitor Dias, who scored 6 goals along with tallying 6 assists on the season. Junior goalkeeper Oliver Semmle only allowed 7 goals all season and accumulated 9 shutouts across his 16 starts in route to being named to the C-USA Golden Glove Award winner.
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Photo: Indiana University Athletics