Indeed, Virginia adjusted to life after Claudio quite nicely this season, scoring the most goals (86) in team history, and Wood broke the individual school record for a season with 23. None of those goals, however, was more precious than Sunday's game-winner. In the 21st minute, Wood trapped a left-footed cross from Virginia defender Brandon Pollard inside the penalty box, settling the ball quickly. As soon as Indiana goalkeeper Scott Coufal committed, Wood knocked the ball into the lower left corner of the goal.
The Hoosiers had their best chance to tie the game with 4:15 left in the first half, when Maisonneuve howitzered a shot from eight yards out toward the right side of the net. En route the ball struck the forehead of Virginia midfielder Billy Walsh, who was standing on the goal line. "I don't know how I got that thing," said Walsh. "I was lucky, I guess."
"It could have gone either way," said coach Yeagley. "I told my seniors that it was the best four years of my career. It's unfortunate they couldn't get the ring."
The sense of loss was especially acute for Todd, who is a leading candidate for Player of the Year. On Saturday he and his father had talked of raised expectations. "We both felt that we would be letting the other one down if we didn't get to the final four," said Yeagley senior. "Todd said to me, 'If we would have lost to Cal State-Fullerton in the quarterfinals at home, I would have really let you down, Dad." I told him that I was hoping that as a coach, I wouldn't let him down."
As the Virginia players ran an exuberant victory lap after Sunday's final, Todd, like most of his teammates, lay inconsolable on the grass near the Indiana bench. Yeagley senior, ever the coach, went to each of his players, pulling them to their feet and thanking them for a magnificent season. At last he approached Todd, put his arm around his waist and escorted him off the held. "I love you," he whispered to his son. "You didn't let me down."