IU set to face last hurdle before Big Ten play begins
Eriq Zavaleta is tied at six goals with three other players for the Division I lead.
However, of the four games in which Indiana (4-1-1) has scored, the sophomore forward delivered the tying or deciding goal in each match.
Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville (5-1), in contrast, features a suffocating defense. It’s allowed three goals in six matches and notched four shutouts.
The Cougars’ junior goalkeeper John Berner has started all six matches and allowed 0.50 goals per game.
In their last two victories, the Cougars blanked each opponent, limiting the Missouri-Kansas City and DePaul to six shots apiece.
Those wins vaulted the Cougars into the National Soccer Coaches Association of America poll, where they stand at 22nd.
Junior midfielder Jacob Bushue dismissed their poll presence.
“We treat every game the same,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if they’re unranked or if they’re ranked number one. We’re going to treat it the same.”
Sunday, Oregon State became the first opponent this season to score twice
The Beavers’ two goals doubled what the Hoosiers had allowed through five matches. However, IU scored three times in 4:48 in the second half to earn a 3-2 win, culminated by an OSU own goal in the 66th minute. Junior midfielder A.J. Corrado’s corner kick deflected off a Beaver defender and into the back of the net.
It was the second time an opponent’s goal proved to be the game-winning tally.
Entering play Friday, the Hoosiers and Ohio State lead the Big Ten in corner kicks attempted with 42 each.
Oregon State’s own goal marked the first time the Hoosiers scored from that set piece.
“It was real nice seeing it come off the set piece,” Bushue said. “We were really pressing them the entire half. It was a real big goal, got us momentum, and that’s what sparked the comeback.”
Redshirt freshman forward Kyle Sparks said he and his teammates are staying positive.
“We’re creating the opportunities, and we feel like they’ll come,” he said. “We feel dangerous on every corner kick. We’re getting a head on the ball. We’re getting a shot on goal, and we’re getting the rebound. We’re just not finding the back of the net as much as much as we’d like. We think it’ll come.”
The Hoosiers’ match against the Cougars is the first time since 1989 that these squads have played one another.
It’s also IU’s last game before Big Ten play begins. IU Coach Todd Yeagley said he wants his team to continue to make strides.
“We’ve put really good moments together,” he said. “We’ve just not been consistent enough in 90-minute matches. We’re sitting in a good spot, and there’s been good performances, considering who we’ve played. But there’s more in it for us.”
Bushue said converting from set pieces will separate the Hoosiers from other teams.
“If we can put the ball in the back of the net during set plays, we’ll be able to beat way more teams,” he said.
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