CARY, NC – Jamil Roberts scored a goal in the 98th minute, and Marshall Men’s Football beat Indiana 1-0 in extra time to win their first College Cup championship Monday night.
Marshall’s fans stormed onto the field after Roberts’ game winner. The Thundering Herd was the first seedless team to win a national title since Santa Clara in 2006.
“Not bad for a little West Virginia school with a couple of internationals, right?” Said Roberts.
Indiana made its 16th overall trip to the championship game. The Hoosiers attempted their ninth title and the first since 2012.
Roberts, a native of England drafted from Sporting Kansas City earlier this year, also scored the only goal in the team’s semi-final win over North Carolina on Friday – Marshall’s only shot. He ended the season with five goals.
“There’s a moment now that you can enjoy. I don’t want to think too far into the future and I don’t want to think about the past four years. I just want to live in this incredible moment,” said Roberts.
Marshall had eliminated Clemson on penalties and defeated Georgetown in the quarterfinals.
Herbert Endeley scored in the 79th minute and Indiana advanced into the championship on Friday night with a 1-0 semi-final win over Pittsburgh.
“We did everything we could to win this game. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever seen doing this teamwork,” said Indiana defender A.J. Said Palazzolo after losing to Marshall. “We just couldn’t find the moment to achieve that goal. But we had faith. They only had one small lucky goal in the end. But they are a great team.”
The thundering herd pounded Indiana goalkeeper Roman Celentano, who scored seven saves, including his swoop, to deflect Vinicius Fernandes’ shot for a corner in the 23rd minute. Celentano had 10 shutouts in the final.
Victor Bezerra’s free-kick was stopped in the 49th minute by Marshall goalkeeper Oliver Semmle, but Indiana was offside. Semmle ended with a save.
Roberts’ breakthrough goal came in the middle of a battle in front of the net. Celentano stopped a Marshall shot, but the ball came down and hit the post, and Roberts tossed it into the net.
“Fortunately, I’m in the right place at the right time and that’s what we’re training for,” said Roberts. “I do this 20 to 30 times in the game, but it takes one time for the ball to fall and as the coach always says, ‘We love tap-ins.’ It was the best way to end this incredible season. “
Coach Chris Grassie said: “It was just one of those times when time stood still.”
The men’s College Cup went into overtime 17 times and penalties seven times.
Indiana made it to the College Cup 21 times, more than any other program in the tournament’s history.
Early monday Santa Clara won the women’s college cup title on penalties after a 1-1 draw with Florida State.
Both the men’s and women’s NCAA tournaments, postponed from fall due to the coronavirus pandemic, were held entirely in North Carolina to reduce travel costs and avoid the various statewide restrictions.