Indiana improves to 18-0-3 all time in Big Ten openers, knocking off the Nittany Lions at Armstrong tonight. It took nearly 78 minutes for the Hoosiers to break though, but that they finally did, and the defense made the one goal stand up. It is the third straight shut out for IU. HOOSIERS 1, NITTANY LIONS 0
12:29: Stingy as the Penn State defense is, the Nittany Lions couldn’t hold out forever against a relentless IU attack. After a long throw-in by Indiana, AJ Corrado got the ball in the middle of the field outside the box, then chipped one over the top, where Alec Purdie flicked a header into the upper right corner of the net for the lead. HOOSIERS 1, NITTANY LIONS 0
30:15: Indiana continues to pressure Penn State this half much the same as the first, but IU unable to finish. Harrison Petts couldn’t convert on a loose ball at the back post, and a few long balls for Eriq Zavaleta have been a stride too long. HOOSIERS 0, NITTANY LIONS 0
Well, 45 minutes are in the book here at Armstrong in the Big Ten opener. Indiana with a 4-2 advantage in shots, and the Hoosiers have yet to play from behind this season. IU defense doing a nice job of closing down the PSU attack. Despite exiting after a hard foul with nine minutes left, Harrison Petts looks like he’ll be OK for the second half. But this would be a good time to note that Nikita Kotlov is not available as far as I can tell after an ankle injury last weekend on the East Coast trip. I expect veteran Joe Tolen might get a chance to spark the IU offense here in the second half. HOOSIERS 0, NITTANY LIONS 0
15:25: A couple of good chances for IU in the 21st minute as Jamie Vollmer had a blast in the middle of the box blocked, then of the ensuing corner kick Eriq Zavaleta’s volley was just high. Penn State hasn’t had much other than that one scare and a couple of corner kicks. HOOSIERS 0, NITTANY LIONS 0
27:40: A third of the way through this first half, both teams coulda, shoulda, woulda been on the board. Indiana did find the net off a series of headers from a corner kick, but the final one by Caleb Konstanski was ruled offsides about six minutes in. In the 11th minute, Konstanski slipped down and a pair of Nittany Lions converged on the ball in the box, but goalkeeper Luis Soffner and backtracking Tommy Meyer blocked a couple of point-blank shots to keep the game scoreless. HOOSIERS 0, NITTANY LIONS 0
I’m at Armstrong Stadium for tonight’s Big Ten opener between the visiting Nittany Lions and the host Hoosiers. This is the second game of a doubleheader, with the IU women dropping a 1-0 decision to Iowa in the first game. Feel free to follow me on Twitter as well.
Indiana comes into this contest 17-0-3 all time in Big Ten openers, a streak that will be tested by No. 16 Penn State (5-1-1), which has shut out six of its seven opponents this season.
IU is off to a 5-0-2 start and ranked No. 7 in the nation. The Hoosiers have four shutouts in seven games, but lead the conference in goals per game at 2.29 and assists at 2.43.
Here’s what Indiana coach Todd Yeagley told me earlier this week about this matchup: “It’s all zeroes in the Big Ten. Starting off with a good result really helps you. Its not the end all of the season, but it goes a long way. Penn State is tough as they always are. Right now the Big Ten is up in the air because everybody has had inconsistent results outside of us and Penn State. It will be good test to kick off the Big Ten season.”