Indiana Daily Student

A familiar situation

Hoosiers seek 6th national title

If IU wins the national championship this weekend with its current record of 16-6, it would be the first team to win the title with more than five losses. Only Duke (18-5-1) in 1986 and Clemson (18-5-1) in 1987 had worse records and won the NCAA championship.\nBut before coach Jerry Yeagley can start worrying about breaking records, his Hoosiers have to get out of their semifinal game against Creighton at 5 p.m. Friday in Charlotte, N.C. Only if they win can they start worrying about the championship game against either Connecticut or Southern Meth-odist University Sunday afternoon.\n"We haven't thought about them," sophomore forward Pat Noonan said. "We'll take care of Creighton and then worry about the other teams."\nThe Hoosiers have good reason to worry about Creighton (21-3).\nIU and the Bluejays last met Sept. 15 when Creighton trounced the Hoosiers, the worst loss in the history of IU's 28-year program. Creighton took advantage of a slow, tired IU defense to score four goals on seven shots.\nBrian Mullan and Mike Tranchilla each had two goals and two assists for the Bluejays. IU's only goal came off a header by senior forward Matt Fundenberger in the 79th minute.\n"They were snickering as they emptied their bench at the end of the game and put all their subs in," Yeagley said. "But they're class. They're good people, and our guys brought up that we were embarrassed. (Creighton) knows they whooped us, and they were happy about it. Psychologically, I think it's motivation for us."\nNot only is the game an opportunity for redemption for those who played in the loss in Indianapolis, some Hoosiers who missed that action will play in Friday's match.\nJunior Colin Rogers was an unused reserve goalkeeper in mid-September. Since then, he's started 11 games and is expected to start for injured senior T.J. Hannig. Hannig allowed all four of Creighton's goals -- the most of his career -- in the earlier game. \nJunior Josh Rife, who played only the first half against the Bluejays, is expected to start at sweeper, despite injuring his hamstring last week. Sophomore midfielder Phil Presser also left the game in the first half after he was tackled by an opponent, and junior midfielder Tyler Hawley saw limited time because of an ankle injury. Senior midfielder Justin Tauber was also injured.\nAnd then there are those who played and still feel the sting of the loss.\n"John Swann's been waiting for this game more than anything," Yeagley said. "He blames himself personally for two or three of their goals. And the other thing is Josh Rife. He only played half the game. He didn't play the other half where they scored three goals. We were not settled on our sweeper at that point, so basically they scored three of their four without Josh in the lineup."\nSwann is expected to mark Mullan, and freshman marking back David Prall will defend against Tranchilla.\n"Tranchilla's real good on the ball," Prall said. "He likes to fake the pass and just take the shot inside the (goal box). He cuts you back and forth. Mullan likes to try to sneak behind you. He's more deceptive."\nSophomore midfielder Marcus Chorvat returns after sitting out the IU-North Carolina match because of a red card he received in the Hoosiers' second-round win at Washington. He might play as a wide midfielder or as a center midfielder, depending on whether the coaches choose to move Tauber into the defensive third to mark one of Creighton's three potent forwards.\nMullan and Tranchilla have combined for 35 goals this season, and Keith Sawarynski has tallied seven goals and three assists.\n"Mullan and Tranchilla are their keys," Yeagley said. "They're special players. They can beat two or three people individually. They're a very balanced team and they're cool at finishing.\n"They're a good counterattack team, and you have to be very careful. That's what happened with us the first time. We got carried away with the attack, pressing forward, and we didn't have the correct shape and balance when we lost the ball. They're very good of taking advantage of even numbers. You're going to have to have better than even numbers. You can't just allow them one clear marking Tranchilla and one marking Mulnar without extra cover."\nThe winner of the IU-Creighton contest will meet either Southern Methodist (20-4) or Connecticut (21-3). The Mustangs and Huskies will tangle in game two Friday.\nEgyptian national team player Mohamed Fahim leads SMU and the NCAA with 25 goals. In his last two games, he has scored five goals. Huskies senior midfielder Brent Rahim and junior back Chris Gbandi are National Player of the Year finalists.\n"Connecticut, I think, is the more senior laden," Yeagley said. "I feel they're the more experienced. And SMU, it's their first time in the final four. I think they lost seven or eight times in the quarterfinals, and they've finally gotten to the dance. They're always a good team. \n"How they'll handle that, we'll have to wait and see"

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