Creighton 2, Indiana 1, 3 OT
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) _ Mike Tranchilla’s goal in the third overtime gave Creighton a 2-1 semifinal victory over two-time defending champion Indiana at the NCAA men’s soccer tournament Friday.
Creighton (22-3) will try to win its first NCAA title in any sport when it faces Connecticut on Sunday. The Huskies beat Southern Methodist 2-0 in the other semifinal.
The Bluejays, who had three shots go off the post in extra time, scored the game-winner in the 124th minute of play.
Zach Piercy fed a pass to Brian Mullan in the penalty area. Mullan sent a shot off the left post, but Tranchilla one-timed the rebound into the left corner of the net.
``I’m glad the game is over,″ Tranchilla said. ``The third time it hit the post, it came right to me and I hit a wide-open net. I’m so happy.″
Indiana, which has advanced to the Final Four 14 times in the last 28 years, finished the season 16-7. Two of the Hoosiers’ losses were to Creighton, which handed Indiana its worst loss in school history _ 4-1 in September.
``It really tears you up when you lose like this,″ Indiana coach Jerry Yeagley said. ``The emotional dart is really something in the sudden victory format.″
In the second game, Darin Lewis scored a first-half goal, and assisted on Cesar Cuellar’s tally in the second half as the UConn (19-3-2) put away memories of last season’s four-overtime loss to Santa Clara in the semifinals.
Lewis’ goal came in the 15th minute after he fielded a long ball and shot past goalkeeper Byron Foss from a near-impossible angle 10 yards from the goal line.
In the 50th minute, Lewis stripped Tom Dolan 40 yards from the goal, raced in and fed Cuellar, who wrapped a left-footed shot around Foss.
SMU (20-5) had to play the final 19:30 with only 10 players. Defender Toti Suarez was sent off after picking up his second yellow card.
Creighton had two great chances to win Friday’s game in the first overtime.
Tranchilla hit the post from close range on one shot, and in the final seconds, Peter Henning’s header off a corner kick also hit the left post.
The Bluejays trailed 1-0 at halftime, but tied the game in the 49th minute on Mullan’s goal off an assist from Tranchilla.
Indiana’s best chance to win it in regulation came with six minutes left.
Matt Fundenberger received a long pass and shot toward the left post, but Creighton goalkeeper Mike Gabb made a leaping save, knocking the ball away with his right hand.
Pat Noonan scored Indiana’s only goal in the 29th minute, off a pass from Fundenberger.
It was the first goal given up by Creighton in the tournament. The Bluejays had outscored their previous three opponents 7-0.
``We are proud to be in the position we are in,″ Bluejays coach Bret Simon said. ``I am pleased with the our players, seniors down to freshmen.″
Indiana midfielder Ryan Mack, the Big Ten player of the year was limited in the second half with hamstring pain.
``It felt like I was paralyzed,″ Mack said. ``My hamstrings were locked.″
``It took an awful lot away from our offense,″ Yeagley said.