IU soccer vs. Clemson

Indiana moves to 3-0 on the season with a win on the opening night of the IU Classic. Hoosiers play San Diego State at 2 p.m. Sunday back here at Armstrong. HOOSIERS 3, TIGERS 0

14:32: After the injured player was carted off, the ref changed the card on Dylan Lax’s foul from yellow to red — I don’t think you can do that,, and Todd Yeagley was exceedingly unhappy — leaving Indiana down a man. Hoosiers responded with a third goal as Nikita Kotlov hit the framework, but Zavaleta won the loose ball and chipped the rebound in for insurance. HOOSIERS 3, TIGERS 0

16:32: We’ve got an injury delay for a Clemson player here, who will be taken off on a stretcher — likely a broken leg or something similarly severe from the way he’s being attended to. But Indiana in good shape now with a two-goal lead. Hoosiers had been building much of the half before the goal finally came. And the defense has been pretty solid after a few shaky moments in the first half there when goalkeeper Luis Soffner bailed IU out with a couple of big saves.

Biggest difference I see so far with this team — both in that Chivas preseason game and here — is that the defense is coming up with plays to prevent goals instead of making mistakes that allow goals. Even when one person makes a mistake, soembody else is there to cover them, and that includes Soffner, who has usually made the saves he should make in his career, but not as many tough saves as you would like. But he’s been very good tonight. HOOSIERS 2, TIGERS 0

19:00: And Hollinger-Janzen makes good on his potential impact, getting free down the left side of the field and eluding a defender in the box. His shot from a severe angle was blocked by the keeper, but redshirt freshman Kyle Sparks bangs home the rebound. HOOSIERS 2, TIGERS 0

21:05: Much better possession by the Hoosiers in the second half, working the ball on the ground and controlling the midfield, but no payoff so far. Femi Hollinger-Janzen fed Kyle Sparks for a chance on the left side of the box, but Sparks’ shot was deflected just wide right by the keeper. Clemson with only a few restart opportunities so far. HOOSIERS 1, TIGERS 0

Indiana had a couple dangerous chances in the final minute of the first half with Femi Hollinger-Janzen’s centering pass just a half-stride from connecting with Zavaleta in front, and a free kick just outside the box turned away by the Clemson defense.

So the first minute and last minute were heavily in IU’s favor, the rest of the half not so much. Halftime tallies have Clemson with a 6-4 edge in shots, 2-2 in shots on goal. Soffner with 2 saves for IU. Hoosiers need to turn it up in the second half if they want to hold the lead. HOOSIERS 1, TIGERS 0

16:00: After that fast start, the Indiana offense has cooled dramatically, while Clemson continues to be dangerous. Tigers had a ricochet in front off a corner narrowly saved, a 1-v-1 saved by Soffner and most recently a shot hit off the left post. HOOSIERS 1, TIGERS 0

44:06: If you were late finding your seat, you missed a lot. Just 30 seconds in, Clemson had to clear Nikita Kotlov’s shot off the line. But on the ensuing throw-in by Kotlov, Eriq Zavaleta headed the ball into the net for the early lead. HOOSIERS 1, TIGERS 0

Armstrong Stadium is the site for tonight’s Indiana men’s soccer home opener, with the No. 10 Hoosiers taking on the ACC’s Clemson Tigers. IU enters 2-0 after winning last weekend’s Billiken Classic in St. Louis, with this weekend’s IU Classic to be followed by the Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament in South Bend next weekend. Speaking of South Bend, Notre Dame edged San Diego State, the Hoosiers’ Sunday opponent, in the first game, 3-2.

Starting lineups are out and IU is going with Matt McKain, Caleb Konstanski, Kerel Bradford and Patrick Doody on the back line; Harrison Petts, Nikita Kotlov, Andrew Oliver and A.J. Corrado (updated: and Jacob Bushue) in the midfield; with Eriq Zavaleta up top and Luis Soffner in goal.

Scoring updates here and more frequent observation on Twitter.


  1. I think you are missing a starter in your analysis. Right now you have IU playing a 4-4-1 (which is 1 player short) when they always play a 4-5-1. I assume you forgot Jacob Bushue who is generally the 5th midfielder.

  2. I’m trying to follow the game. Could you tell us a bit more. Did IU control the ball, particularly in midfield (which you should expect with a 4-5-1)? are they able to establish themselves in midfield and at least shut down the counterattacks? (your shot count would suggest not). Is IU paying calmly, on the ground or more as vs. St. Louis (too fast, uncontrolled). How are they defending (m to m, zone, funneling?, pressuring the outlet by Clemson)?

    I’m trying to follow the game, but would appreciate more description/analysis. Thank you

  3. The trick is that if I’m typing too much, I miss what actually happens — looking up just in time to see the ball in the net is not good. I do try to give a little more detail in brief on Twitter.

    But to answer your question, IU did not control the midfield in the first half at all, but have been on the ball much more here in the second half, creating more service opportunities from the wing, particularly via Nikita Kotlov.

    A few not so well-placed fouls have given Clemson some free kicks in the final third, though the Tigers have yet to make much of the restart opportunities.

  4. Are you sure the player wasn’t kicked in the spine and there worried about paralysis. I am watching on iuhoosiers.com and as a doctor if it is just a broken leg you generally can be carried off quickly. The camera is blurry so I do not want to rush to judgement but I just wondered if they are not worried about a spinal injury.

  5. A question for later …when you have time. Is IU depending strictly on crossing serves from the wings? Are they in the air, or crossing on the ground end-line to middle? Are they trying to penetrate the last 20 yds through the middle with short passes (away from the ball side running diagonals across)? Just trying to get a sense of how they are approaching the games tactically.

  6. Good…love your second half comments…helps to visualize the tempo. Sounds like when they play like this (with the ball and pace under control, the goals come by themselves- which is how goals should come).

    p.s. don’t read this till the end.

  7. There were some crossing serves in the air, though most opportunities are generated by diagonal runs wide from Kotlov or Hollinger-Janzen at the edge of the box, then they have a defender to beat 1-v-1 for a shot or get to the end line for a centering pass.

  8. On the injury, they didn’t do any of the usual things for paralysis like a neck brace to stabilize the head, so I think it was just a leg. He was moving his arms and head around and talking, so no indication anything beyond the leg.

  9. Your game story is very, very good. Could you describe the circumstances and the foul that resulted in the red card? Thanks.

  10. To be honest, I just looked up just as the foul occurred, but from what I saw it was a typical – if unwise – challenge from the back with Lax’s follow through clipping the Clemson player. The initial yellow card seemed appropriate for a reckless but not intentional foul. How or why it was changed to red neither Todd Yeagley or anybody else could quite understand. And FYI, Yeagley said it was some sort of foot injury for Clemson’s Iain Smith.

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