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NCAA TOURNAMENT FINAL FOUR REVIEW

The semi-final between Creighton and Indiana was a tight affair. Creighton won in a third sudden death overtime period with Mike Tranchilla scoring. Indiana were aiming for their third successive title and led 1-0 early from a Pat Noonan goal but a Brian Mullan goal after half-time equalised and set up the tense conclusion. In the other semi-final UConn outplayed Southern Methodist with a 2-0 win. Goals came from Darin Lewis and Cesar Cuellar. UConn's defence made its 14th shutout of the season stopping the nation's top scoring team averaging 3.3 goals per game.

In the final UConn defeated Creighton 2-0. Chris Gbandi, the Hermann Trophy winner, scored the first goal after a 23 year direct free kick. His defensive performance before and after this was enough for him to be named "Outstanding Defensive Player" of the NCAA College Cup. The "Outstanding Offensive Player" Darin Lewis scored a late goal to secure the contest. It was UConn's second triumph after 1981, and was also an improvement on 1999 when  when they were defeated at the national semi final stage. This was the first match all season Creighton had failed to score in as UConn made its 15th shutout of the season.

The details of the final are shown below:

CREIGHTON

Starting line-up: Gabb, Hammett, Wagenfuhr, Henning, Peercy, Reddington, Wieland, Mintah, Sawarynski, Mullan, Tranchilla

Subs used: Piercy, Fox, Jewett

Cautions: Piercy (54), Henning (84)

 

CONNECTICUT

Starting line-ups:  Hancock, Thornton, Vargas, Zieky, Gbandi, Ndiaye, Pecorelli, Fernandes, Rahim, Lewis, Cuellar

Subs used: Forko, Castellanos, Mark, Rivera

Cautions: Vargas (30), Forko (31), Gbandi (88)

 

Attendance: 11,421

 

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