Dec. 13, 2002
DALLAS (AP) - Chad Marshall scored on a header in the second overtime period to send Stanford to the NCAA championship game with a 2-1 victory over Creighton on Friday night.
Stanford (17-4-2) will take on UCLA (17-3-3), a 2-1 semifinal winner over Maryland, in Sunday's title game. The Bruins, who won national titles in 1985, '90 and '97, beat the Cardinal twice during the regular season - 1-0 both times.
In the 107th minute, midfielder Mike Wilson crossed the ball to Marshall, who headed it into the left side of the goal for the win.
Roger Levesque also scored for Stanford, which reached the championship game in 1998, but lost 3-1 to Indiana.
Mike Tranchilla scored on a penalty kick for Creighton (18-3-2).
"They put a lot of pressure on us. If we would have knocked the ball around a bit quicker, we would have handled that a lot better," Creighton captain Joe Wieland said.
In the first semifinal game, Adolfo Gregorio scored the go-ahead goal on a penalty kick in the 81st minute to lead UCLA past Maryland.
Stanford just missed clinching the win in the first overtime period when a volley went over the head of Creighton goalkeeper Mike Gabb, but midfielder Joe Wieland knocked the ball away with a bicycle kick.
"That ball seemed to hang in the air forever. I think it took the entire stadium a while to catch their breath after that," Levesque said.
Also in the first overtime period, Creighton forward Luiz Del Monte missed an open look at the goal, sending a weak shot wide left.
Creighton took a 1-0 lead when Tranchilla, the team's leading scorer with 15 goals, converted on a penalty kick in the 14th minute.
Levesque tied it at 1 when he volleyed the ball into the top of the net off a touch pass from Todd Dunivant.
Stanford's victory was big for coach Bret Simon
, who coached at Creighton for six years. While in Omaha, he guided the Bluejays to two College Cup appearances.
"I didn't realize how personal this game was until we won. At first, I was ecstatic, but after I saw their players after the match I was sorry for them that their run had to end this way," Simon said.
Stanford will face UCLA for the third time this season. Below is a preview of Sunday's match.
"UCLA is our greatest rival," said Simon. "It's also very exciting to have two teams from the Pac-10 in the final. Our rivalry will only be enhanced by what happens in the final."
Championship Game - 2002 NCAA Men's Soccer Championship
Stanford (18-4-2) vs UCLA (17-3-3)
Sunday, December 15, 2002, 3:30 p.m. (ct)
Gerald J. Stadium (32,000)
For the first time in NCAA men's soccer history, two Pac-10 teams will be in the championship game ... That honor goes to the Stanford Cardinal and the UCLA Bruins ... In just its third year of existence, the Pacific-10 Conference has emerged as one of the nation's premier men's soccer leagues, as at least half its teams have been ranked among the Top-25 for the majority of the 2002 season ... Pac-10 teams have combined for a 44-13-10 record against non-conference teams this season ... Only two conference schools (Stanford and UCLA) have ever reached the NCAA title game ... The Bruins won the national titles in 1985, 1990 and 1997, and were runnerups in 1970, 1972 and 1973 ... Stanford reached the championship game in 1998 but lost a 3-1 verdict to Indiana.
The Cardinal has won six straight games, the second longest win streak of the year ... Stanford started the year with seven straight victories ... Stanford's defense has been the trademark of the Cardinal, giving up only 15 goals in 24 games ... In eight other games, Stanford has given up only one goal ... Fifteen players have scored at least one point this year, with Roger Levesque leading the team with 27 points (7 goals, 13 assists).
Stanford is in the midst of its third trip to the NCAA Final Four ... Last year, the Cardinal reached the semifinals but lost a 3-2 four overtime decision to eventual national champion North Carolina ... In 1998, Stanford reached the national championship game, but lost a 3-1 decision to the Indiana Hoosiers ... Stanford is 13-8-1 in NCAA Tournament play ... Stanford has made an appearance in the NCAA Tournament ten times, including the last six years.
Since the 2000 season, the Cardinal is 8-1-0 on neutral grounds.
The NCAA championship game will be televised on ESPN2.
Bret Simon is in his second season at Stanford with a current record of 37-6-3 ... Last year, Simon lead the Cardinal to a school record 19 wins (19-2-1) and a trip to the NCAA Final Four.
Five Cardinal seniors will be suiting up for their final game in a Stanford uniform on Sunday against UCLA ... Roger Levesque will be playing in his 76th game against UCLA ... During his four years on the Cardinal varsity, Stanford is 67-13-6, won a Pac-10 title (2001) and earned four trips to the NCAA Tournament ... Todd Dunivant, a senior, has been a three-year starter on the Cardinal, and has played in 80 games, fifth-best in the school record book ... Taylor Graham, has gone from walkon to two-year starter ... A first team Academic All-American, Graham will be playing in his 67th game at Stanford, 51 as a starter ... Johanes Maliza has played in 78 games at Stanford, sixth-best in school history ... Goalkeeper Andrew Terris has recorded 87 saves in his four-year career, eighth-best in school history ... A sixth senior, Taylor Ahlgren battled injuries during his four years at Stanford, but has provided strong moral support for the Cardinal.
Stanford will be trying to win its third NCAA championship title this year ... Already this Fall, Stanford University has won national titles in men's water polo and men's cross country.
Stanford is ranked 15th in the NSCAA/adidas poll ... The Cardinal is ranked ninth in the Soccer Times poll, and tenth in the Soccer America poll.
This will be the third meeting between Stanford and UCLA this year ... On October 18, then sixth-ranked UCLA upset then top-ranked Stanford, 1-0, in overtime on a Jimmy Frazelle goal 1:47 into the extra period ... On Nov. 10, UCLA's Cliff McKinley fired a rocket shot by Stanford goalkeeper Robby Fulton at 56:48 of the second half to provide the only goal of the game as the Bruins shutout Stanford at Harry Maloney Field ... UCLA holds a 21-3-2 advantage over Stanford ... Stanford has not beaten the Bruins in the last five games.
The Cardinal reached the championship game of the 2002 College Cup with a second round victory over Portland (0-0, 10-9 in penalty kicks), a 2-1 decision over Furman in double overtime in the third round, a 2-0 decision over Clemson the quarterinals, and a 2-1 double overtime decision over Creighton in the semi-finals ... Stanford received a first round bye.