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Indiana pre-game: College Cup final

Read what IU coach Todd Yeagley and his players had to say before Sunday's College Cup Final, the NCAA men's soccer national championship game.

Todd Yeagley, Head Coach

Opening remarks:
“We’re really excited. I think we anticipate a great matchup with Georgetown. I thought they were tremendous last night with their effort against one of the most consistent teams in the country in Maryland.

“Certainly, (our) team is playing very well and we’re excited for this. It’s going to be a great challenge, as every final is, and I know they’ll leave everything out on the field and represent IU with great distinction.”

On the history and tradition of IU against Georgetown playing in its first College Cup …
“It’s great for a storyline. We’re proud to be in our 14th final and 18th College Cup. That’s all historical pieces to it and it helps our proud tradition grow deeper and richer. But these (players) know and the players before them knew that what goes on between the lines is where that piece is made. Georgetown, nor (our) players, better be thinking about those pieces at that time. It’s about that we have to do our job and win this game. Then the result will take care of itself and the mark will be left. I don’t think we’ll be thinking about it. It’s a nice storyline. But it’s just another really difficult matchup that our guys have done great handling all year and focusing on the moment to win the game.”

On the importance of Eriq Zavaleta to the team this season …
“It’s rare you’ll find a team at this point in the season without someone putting the ball in the back of the net, whether it’s one or two or by committee. Eriq’s been that player for us this year. What’s been outstanding is that it hasn’t been three goals in a game, disappear for three or four games, then come back. … That shows the consistency of what he’s capable of doing and, also, what other players on our team do to create those chances for Eriq. We’ve said all along one of the strengths of our team is balance and how we can take teams offensively. Eriq doesn’t need many chances and he’s always ready to put the next one away. He’s got a short memory. If he doesn’t make one, he wants the next one and that’s a great sign in a goal scorer.”

On how outside defenders Matt McKain and Patrick Doody pushing forward on the attack helps the team …
“In our system, we encourage and we need our outside backs to join the attack and help us, whether it’s giving penetration, service or support in deep channels. Patrick and Matt have had a tremendous tournament. They’ve been good for us all year, but really have come together – in the Notre Dame game in particular. We needed them to be really strong based on that match up. They were fantastic and led to one of the goals for Eriq.

Luis Soffner, Goalkeeper

On quest to win national championship and the hashtag campaign …
“The last few weeks it’s shown our team has definitely come together. We’re playing tremendous team soccer. Our mentality has been the #Q48, the quest for eight, the eighth star. It’s been our team motto all year. We’ve kind of embraced it and so has Bloomington and all of our supporters. We’re really excited we could have the opportunity to make it here and to move onto the final. It’s been our goal from day one and we’re real excited to get that opportunity.

Eriq Zavaleta, Forward

On quest to win national championship …
“Coming to Indiana, it’s been in our heads that we want to get to this final four and win a national championship. Any player that steps foot on the field at the beginning of the year, that’s their goal in mind. This team has really rallied together and played well together to get here. We’re excited for the opportunity to be able to play in the national championship.”

On how outside defenders Matt McKain and Patrick Doody pushing forward on the attack helps him score goals …
“It’s funny for me that you point that out. Just before the (Creighton) game, I walked up to Patrick and Matt and told them, ‘you two playing at your best is really what’s carried us and makes us our best.’ Because those guys do such a good job making other teams worry about them, which opens up space. Or they put in the balls they have been. You can’t score goals without good service and that’s been evident this tournament.”

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