I was having another great sports evening, watching the Cubs, White Sox, and IU Soccer, but in the end it was spoiled. A goal with time running out in overtime gave Marshall University its first ever NCAA soccer title. It derailed what could have been a 9th championship for the soccer Hoosiers and sent me to bed shaking my head. IU was seemingly outmatched during the entire game and barely held on to get to overtime. Where did these guys come from? They took out #1 seed Clemson, perennial favorite Georgetown, the home town Tar Heels, and storied Indiana to sweep through the tournament. Another unforeseen ending to an already strange Covid disrupted season.
Marshall has survived one of the greatest tragedies in sports history. The movie “We Are Marshall” depicts the aftermath of the 1970 plane crash that killed 75 people: 37 football players on the Marshall University Thundering Herd football team, along with five coaches, two athletic trainers, the athletic director, 25 boosters, and a crew of five. They’ve since achieved two NCAA Division 1-AA championships in football, but this is their first NCAA title outside of that sport – a long time in the making. It’s well deserved, even at the expense of my Alma Mater.
Just like Marshall – “We’ll Be Back,” and eventually get our 9th. The Herd may very well develop into a national powerhouse in the sport with few seniors on their squad. Despite the Hoosier loss, there were several positive recruiting stories in both basketball and football yesterday, as a legitimate 7-footer and several football studs entered the university athletic programs through the portal. Plus, both the White Sox and Cubs won last night, with Oregon State product Nick Madrigal, the Pale Hose second baseman, getting his first Major League homerun, while the Cubbies felt the temporary pain of former teammate Kyle Schwarber’s (IU/Cubs/Nats) dinger. These Chicago victories were worthy of sweet dreams in lieu of the “We Are Marshall” nightmare.