Hoover, Ala. -- In its first College Cup appearance in school history, Georgetown was edged 1-0 in the NCAA Championship men’s soccer title game by Indiana on Dec. 9 at Regions Park in Hoover, Ala.
After battling through a scoreless first half that saw the Hoyas (19-4-3) and the Hoosiers (15-5-3) combine for seven shots, Indiana scored the only goal of the game in the 64th minute. Patrick Doody started the play with a cross from wide left to Eriq Zavaleta, who headed it to Nikita Kotlov. Kotlov netted the game-winning shot from three yards out.
The Hoyas, who were the third seed in the championship, had several shots to knot the game, the closest coming with just over a minute remaining when a header by Ian Christianson hit the post and bounced out. Indiana was the No. 16 seed.
“Congratulations are in order to Indiana,” said Georgetown head coach Brian Wiese. “They played a great game today and deserved it more than us. It’s a real honor and privilege to represent Georgetown University. I saw how this team galvanized and how this community came together inspired them. We still have the second-place trophy. Today it is one of the sourest things you can look at. But in time, we will treasure it as an important part of the program’s history.”
On Friday, Georgetown advanced past No. 2 seed Maryland on penalty kicks after a 4-4 double-overtime draw in the semifinals. Against the Terrapins, junior Steve Neumann recorded his first career hat trick in a grueling match.
Neumann was named the Championship Most Valuable Offensive Player and was selected to the NCAA College Cup All-Tournament team, joined by Christianson, Tomas Gomez and Tommy Muller.
The NCAA journey began when Georgetown hosted Cinderella-story San Diego in the quarterfinal round on Dec. 1, posting a 3-1 victory. The Hoyas advanced to the quarterfinals on penalty kicks, battling to a double-overtime 1-1 draw against Syracuse on Nov. 25 at home in the third round. GU won the penalty kicks round 4-2 to reach the quarterfinals. The Hoyas third seed in the NCAA Championship gave them a bye to the second round, where they defeated Charlotte 1-0. Georgetown earned a share of the BIG EAST Blue Division regular-season title and reached the BIG EAST Championship game, falling to Notre Dame by one goal in double-overtime.
The BIG EAST has had a record-breaking year in the NCAA tournament, with eight teams being selected to compete. Three of the top four seeds were from the BIG EAST, as No. 1 Notre Dame and No. 4 Connecticut also earned top billing. The league also had five of the top 10 seeds, with No. 7 Marquette and No. 10 Louisville. There were five BIG EAST teams in the round of 16 and three in the Elite Eight.