In the end, there was only so much that Roman Celentano could do.
Celentano, Indiana’s esteemed and dependable goalkeeper, was left to deal with two fortunate Marshall bounces with three minutes remaining in Monday’s first overtime period. He stopped the first, blocking a rebounded shot attempt from the middle of the box by Vitor Dias. But Dias’ ball caromed to the left of the IU keeper and away from Indiana’s defenders, bouncing off the post before landing on the left foot of Jamil Roberts, who neatly finished it past a diving Celentano for the winning goal.
On a night when the Thundering Herd put Celentano to work and very much looked like the better team, they finally broke through in the extra frame to polish off their first College Cup championship, 1-0, over third-seeded IU on Monday in Cary, N.C.
As Roberts and his teammates sprinted to the corner to celebrate the milestone moment for Marshall’s program, Celentano paused on one knee. For so many matches over the course of this odd spring season, Celentano almost single-handedly lifted IU to victory. In the final match of the 2020-21 campaign, Celentano was as good as he’s been all season, stopping seven of Marshall’s eight shots on goal. He just wasn’t very lucky.
And so it went for the Hoosiers, who have now lost in the College Cup final twice in the past four seasons, deferring their quest for a ninth national title for another year. Although Marshall dictated the course of play for the bulk of the second half, IU had several opportunities to land the first goal during a fairly wide-open first 45 minutes. There were a couple headers from Daniel Munie that missed the mark — including one that doinked off the post — and a few more clear chances where the Hoosiers simply couldn’t finish. There was also a free kick opportunity for Victor Bezerra that fizzled when teammate Joey Maher was correctly called offside early in the second half
IU took eight shots, though only one landed on goal. Marshall, meanwhile, fired 16 total shots, and also totaled seven corners to Indiana’s two.
The Hoosiers end their season with a 12-2-2 record. Monday was their 16th appearance in the NCAA Tournament title match, where the program is now 8-8 all-time.