Unrated Marshall heads to College Cup final against Indiana
Jamil Roberts has delayed his professional career, hoping for a chance at a national championship with his teammates Marshall. The senior …
Jamil Roberts has delayed his professional career, hoping for a chance at a national championship with his teammates Marshall.
The senior winger had the opportunity: Marshall will face Indiana in the NCAA College Cup Championship on Monday night. The Thundering Herd are in contention to become the first unranked team to win the title since Santa Clara in 2006.
The Santa Clara women are in the other College Cup final against Florida State. The games are played at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, North Carolina.
The men’s and women’s NCAA tournaments, delayed from the fall due to the coronavirus pandemic, were held entirely in North Carolina to reduce travel and avoid various local restrictions nationwide.
Earlier this year, Roberts was selected by Sporting Kansas City in the third round of the Major League Soccer SuperDraft.
“We all decided from a football point of view that it was better for me to stay here. I made it clear to them that we have a team capable of winning a national championship, ”said Roberts. “They were more than happy to let me stay, to have games under my belt. Ultimately, I’ll be in much better shape when I join them after winning a national championship with Marshall University.
Roberts scored the only goal – on Marshall’s lone shot – in the team’s semi-final victory over North Carolina on Friday. It was his fourth goal of the season. Goalkeeper Oliver Semmle made five saves.
Marshall (12-2-3) eliminated seeded Clemson on penalties, then beat Georgetown in the quarterfinals. Roberts, from Langport, England, said the key was trust.
“No disrespect to the opposition we’ve seen so far, but we don’t look at these jerseys and don’t fear them. It’s just another game, ”he said. “We know we have the best players, and as long as we implement the game plan given to us by our coaches, we will have no problem. It’s all about trust, and we trust each other 100%, and as long as you execute the plan, there’s no need to be nervous. “
The Thundering Herd will face a considerable challenge in Indiana, which is making its 16th trip overall for the Championship game.
The Hoosiers (12-1-2) last won a national title in 2012. They went to the title game in 2017 but fell to Stanford in double overtime.
Overall, Indiana has won eight championships and made it to the College Cup 21 times – the biggest program in tournament history.
Herbert Endeley scored in the 79th minute and Indiana advanced with a 1-0 semi-final victory over Pittsburgh on Friday night.
On the women’s side, seeded Florida State qualified for a penalty shootout after a goalless draw with Virginia. After first-year goaltender Cristina Roque refused two shots on goal in Virginia, her teammates rushed her in, shouting “MVP!”
Florida State (13-0-2) won national titles in 2014 and 2018. The Seminoles secured a berth in the NCAA tournament last fall, when they won the ACC tournament title.
Santa Clara, the No.11 seed, earned a 3-1 victory over second-seeded North Carolina.
Santa Clara’s Izzy D’Aquila scored in the 20th minute. It was the first goal the Tar Heels had conceded since the fall – a streak of 694 minutes. Kelsey Turnbow and Skylar Smith also scored for the Broncos.
Santa Clara (10-0-1) made his first trip to the tournament since 2004. The Broncos won the College Cup title in 2001 with a 1-0 victory over North Carolina.
This season has been particularly difficult for the Broncos due to the coronavirus restrictions in Santa Clara. Their team only played seven regular season games this spring after the Pac-12 postponed the fall season.
“The adversity that we have overcome, especially in Santa Clara County, is absolutely incredible. What I can say about our team is that we are resilient and we fought so hard to get to this position, and we have improved in every game during this tournament, ”said Turnbow. “So we are reaching a peak at the right time and we are behaving very well. We are confident and we believe in each other so much, and I think that contributes to the performance on the pitch.
Like Roberts at Marshall, Turnbow turned over a professional career. She was the 18th overall pick in the National Women’s Soccer League draft by the Chicago Red Stars.
Turnbow said in the draft that she will join the Red Stars in 2022 after completing her masters degree.
“We know Florida State is a great team, but we’re also very confident in the way we’re playing. We are very excited about this opportunity, ”said Turnbow. “We are sometimes seen as underdogs, but it just gives us more fire to play and leave everything out there on the pitch.
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