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Men's College Cup

Lavrinenko tally is the difference; Indiana is repeat champ with 1-0 win over Santa Clara.

Indiana soccer CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Sunday, December 12, 1999) -- Yuri Lavrinenko's first-half goal off a counterattack staked Indiana to a lead that its defense protected tenaciously allowing the Hoosiers to defend their NCAA Division I championship with a 1-0 triumph over Santa Clara in the Men's College Cup final before 15,439 at Ericsson Stadium this afternoon.

Twice, Indiana defenders cleared shots from their goal line, including a spectacular sprawling save by All-American back Nick Garcia in the 70th minute to preserve IU's fifth national championship in the 27 years of the school's program.

"It's something indescribable no matter if you've won it before," said IU coach Jerry Yeagley, who has brought his team to the Final Four 13 times and the title match on 10 occasions. "This group is special. I don't remember a team that has come so far (over the course of a season)."

There were only five shots on frame in the match with Santa Clara getting three and holding an overall shots advantage of 7-6. In addition to Lavrinenko's tally, the only other Hoosiers shot came in the 65th minute.

The winning sequence for Indiana (20-3) began when freshman midfielder Pat Noonan hustled back into his own penalty area to cleanly strip Broncos striker Ari Rodopoulos. Noonan turned and fired a pass to the left flank to sophomore midfielder Ryan Mack to start a 100-yard dash upfield. Mack quickly passed to Lavrinenko at the center stripe and the senior midfielder carried 35 yards before pushing the ball forward to senior striker Aleksey Korol at the top of the box.

With his back to the goal, Korol used the outside of his right foot to touch the ball left where Lavrinenko ran on to it, carried to corner of the six-yard box and fired his left-footed shot into the right side netting past Broncos goalkeeper Rusty Johnson for his seventh goal of the season.

"I got the ball near midfield and started dribbling forward," said Lavrinenko, who in Friday's 3-2 four-overtime victory over UCLA established an NCAA tournament career assists mark with 11. "I was looking to pass it right away, but our movement on the sides opened up a road for me down the field. Aleksey made a great move on the side and I passed it to him and he played it back to me."

It was a final tally for the "Ukrainian Connection." Lavrinenko and Korol, along with midfielder Dema Kovalenko, who left college a year early to play in Major League Soccer, grew up in Ukraine before attending high school in Rochester, N.Y. and then signing as a trio to play collegiately in Bloomington. the ball.

It was the seventh straight match in which Korol had at least a goal or an assist and he finished with 20 goals and 10 assists for 50 points, the fifth Hoosier to hit that plateau for points.

"I checked in and they covered me and I dropped it back to Yuri, but I think his move was the key to the goal," said Korol, who tied an NCAA tournament mark of 29 points..

Santa Clara (16-4-3) nearly equalized in the 39th minute. Brett David beat an IU defender along the left end line and pushed a pass back to Jay Totten. Hoosiers keeper T.J. Hannig cam out to stop point-blank Totten's blast from eight yards, but the ball looped off his chest and appeared destined for the goal before defender John Swann headed the ball over the crossbar.

"I saw T.J. come off his line and I moved in front of the goal," Swann said. "Luckily, T.J. did deflect it. It was instinct and I just tried to tip it over the crossbar."

Garcia's heroics came in the 70th minute. Justin Canel sent a left-side throw-in to the center of the box where Jeff Stewart flicked it on to Anthony Chimienti facing the far post from six yards at an angle. Hannig got a hand on Chimienti's blast, but the ball still was heading toward the right corner when Garcia ducked to nod the ball over the bar, winding up on his back with his cleats caught in the netting.

"From what I can remember, the ball was on our left side of the goal and they had someone coming through," said Garcia, who announced he will forgo his senior season to play professionally in 2000. "I slipped in behind T.J. and I saw it come toward me. It was just a natural reaction. I remember it skimming off my head and I thought it went in."

In the 73d minute, it was Stewart who slid to stop Korol's six-yard attempt at an empty net, leaving Santa Clara one more great opportunity to tie.

That came four minutes later when two Hoosiers defenders were caught napping. SCU defender Eric Denton intercepted and IU clear and drilled a pass to striker Shawn Percell 10 yards from the center of the goal. Kept onside by an IU back at each post, Percell, who scored both goals in the Broncos 2-1 semifinal win over Connecticut, turned right and sent his shot way wide of the right post.

"I was waiting for the opportunity," Percell said. "I didn't turn well to get the shot off. Eric did most of the work to get the ball across."

Indiana 1, Santa Clara 0

Lineups: Indiana - T.J. Hannig, Nick Garcia, John Swann, Dennis Fadeski, Yuri Lavrinenko, Ryan Mack, Pat Noonan, Justin Tauber, B.J. Snow, Aleksey Korol, Matt Fundenbrger. Substitutes: Phil Presser, Tyler Hawley; Santa Clara - Rusty Johnson, Adam Eyre, Eric Denton, Keith Burden, Jeff Stewart, Kyle Smith, Sean-Michael Callahan, Justin Canel, Jerrus Roxas, Shawn Percell, Ari Rodopoulos. Substitutes: Michael Goehring, Jay Totten, Brett Davis, Anthony Chimienti, Scott McLain.

Indiana - Lavrinenko (Korol) 29:50.

Shots: Indiana 7, Santa Clara 6. Saves: Indiana - Hannig 3; Santa Clara - Johnson 1. Fouls: Indiana 16, Santa Clara 14. Offside: Indiana 3, Santa Clara 0. Corner kicks: Indiana 4, Santa Clara 7. Yellow card cautions: Indiana - Fadeski 9, Garcia 53, Tauber 57. Santa Clara - Goehring 82.

Referee: Brian Hall. Referee's assistants: Roger Taylor, Lou Labbadia. Attendance: 15,439 at Ericsson Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. Weather: 54 degrees, cloudy.

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