Indiana Daily Student

End of the streak

Seniors watch college careers end after loss to Creighton

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Senior forward Matt Fundenberger dyed his hair blond for good luck before the men's soccer team left for Ericsson Stadium Wednesday. When he highlighted his locks in 1998 and '99, the Hoosiers won national titles.\nNo such luck in 2000.\nAs the ball hit the goalpost three times in Friday's semifinal match against Creighton, senior midfielder Justin Tauber saw the season threaten to flicker out.\nThe third and final time the ball hit the post, Creighton forward Mike Tranchilla took the rebound and scored the game-winning goal. \nAs the ball crossed the goal line, Tauber watched his season -- and career - end.\nSenior goalkeeper T.J. Hannig had to watch the loss from the bench. He was sidelined after a knee injury that will require a second surgery in the offseason. His career ended three victories away from making him the winningest goalkeeper in IU history. \nWhen IU (16-7) lost its final four match 2-1 in three overtimes to Creighton (22-4) Friday, the careers of three seniors ended. All three played in four consecutive semifinal matches and won two national titles after beginning their collegiate careers in improbable fashion. \n"Each one was special in his own way, in terms of what they did on the field and off the field, and what they had to overcome," coach Jerry Yeagley said. "T.J. was a walk-on we recruited from camp and redshirted his first year. Justin was a guy who basically begged his way onto the team, and Fundy was one who many thought didn't have the athleticism to play top Division I. They all worked their butts off to achieve and made very significant contributions to the program." \nFundenberger ended his senior career with 12 goals, to move into 12th on the all-time scoring list. In his final game, Fundenberger assisted on IU's goal. He dribbled the ball upfield and as he was tackled in the midfield, passed to sophomore forward Pat Noonan. \nIn the final minutes of the game, Fundenberger continued to pressure Creighton's defense. With six minutes left in regulation, he brought the ball to the near side of the goal and fired a cross that was knocked away by the right hand of the leaping Creighton goalkeeper. As the final overtime slid to 20 remaining seconds, Fundenberger brought the ball near Creighton's goal, only to have his effort at a shot halted by a wall of three defenders. \nSuch perseverance has always impressed Yeagley. \n"I think Fundy proved without a doubt that he was a big-game player and he got some of our most important goals for us in the four years that he played," Yeagley said. "A workhorse, he gave his best effort every time. He'd just push it. He's a very honest player, a very hard working player." \nAs he scored more and more goals in 2000, Fundenberger moved past former Hoosiers Yuri Lavrinenko and Lazo Alavanja, with whom Fundenberger had shared a offensive line. Despite his 37 career goals, he's more concerned with the loss that ended his career two days premature of the national title game. \n"I'm just more worried about what the team does and what we've been able to do over the past four years," Fundenberger said. "It's great: the two titles. I don't think anybody remembers the goals or anything like that. "They remember that Indiana won." \nAnd for the first time in two years, Fundenberger won't have a season to remember by a final win. From 1997 to 2000, his Hoosiers advanced to four consecutive final fours, where they won two national titles. At North Central High School in Indianapolis, Fundenberger collected four consecutive state titles. \nIn West Virginia, Hannig collected five state championship club titles. He was a frequent participant at IU summer camps and ended his career at IU with a 63-9 record. He played in only 11 games this season after he tore tissue in his right knee. He returned to the lineup after six weeks of rehab for the first-round NCAA tournament game against San Jose State. \nAlthough it was his final match before he reinjured his knee, Hannig played one of his finer games, as he shutout the previously undefeated Spartans. \n"It was unfortunate for him that he was unable to be playing in the end," Yeagley said. "But he still had one of his best games in his career the first game in the NCAA tournament at San Jose State, which gave us the confidence to go forward and get to the final four." \nWhile Fundenberger and Hannig were recruited to walk-on at IU, Tauber wasn't contacted by the Hoosiers. He played for IU's club soccer team before he tried out and made the varsity squad. He was redshirted his first year before he played three games the next year. \nHe got his break against Clemson in the 1998 NCAA quarterfinals, when he played the majority of the game. In 1999, Tauber was tested for a starting position in a struggling midfield. Yeagley found his pick for a center midfielder with the 5-foot-7 Tauber. \n"The glove just fit," Yeagley said. "He did a great job of accepting the responsibility, taking charge and being the dominant hub that you need to be in that central midfield position."\nIn his final game, Tauber, as usual, defended his teammates whenever he felt an official's call was questionable or when an opponent was too physical. At one point Friday, Tauber jumped between IU goalkeeper junior Colin Rogers and a Creighton player who knocked into Rogers during a scoring opportunity.\nFor Tauber, just making it to the semifinals wasn't enough. After winning two national titles with a team he toiled to get on, settling for top-four isn't fulfilling.\n"Every year, the coaches put us together and our goal is the national championship," Tauber said. "Definitely we weren't satisfied with just making it here. It's disappointing knowing it's my last game putting on an Indiana uniform.\n"It's just something I'll always miss. It's just a great feeling, going out wearing that jersey"

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