FINAL: TIE: INDIANA 1, NORTHWESTERN 1. Result ends IU’s Big Ten title hopes. Hoosiers fall to turf in frustration as time expires. NU keeper Miller stoned Zavaleta at near post at 0:48, than Zavaleta got the ball underneath and past him, but the rebound was booted off the line. Earlier Petts hit the post on a diagonal shot that was a great look. So the home team had, by far, the best chances in overtime, and finished with an overall 20-7 advantage in shots.
END FIRST OVERTIME: STILL TIED, 1-1. Final 10-minute OT remaining, golden goal (sudden death) situation.
8:00: Tyler Miller fantastic leaping save on Zavaleta header from a Corrado cross, then nearly an own-goal on the rebound. Hoosiers very nearly won it there.
END SECOND HALF: TIED AND HEADED TO OVERTIME: NORTHWESTERN 1, INDIANA 1: Going into golden-goal overtime. NU’s 4th straight OT game and 9th of the season. After a 5-minute break, we’ll have a 10-minute period and, if nobody scores, another 10 minute period, and if no further score has ensued the match would end in a tie. And that would do IU no good. The Hoosiers need a win to keep Big Ten title hopes alive.
Just over 5:00 left. Both sides looking dangerous, but still 1-1.
19:20: Femi Hollinger-Janzen steal leads to IU flurry, but Matt McKain’s blast blocked by a defender. Femi is repeatedly dispossessing guys out there.
20:59: TV timeout. 1-1 tie. NU a transformed team, dominating possession as much as IU did in the first half. Looking dangerous down the left side, lots of dangerous crosses. IU mounting occasional threats, too, but NU is then counter-attacking with real ferocity. The Calistri goal was the Wildcats’ first in three games and it seemed to galvanize them. And it was pretty much a gift.
Tale of two halves. Northwestern with the more dangerous chances after intermission, and the goal, the opposite of the first half.
38:39: Northwestern 1, Indiana 1. Hoosiers give equalizer away. IU’s Karel Bradford headed down a long Wildcat throw-in just atop the 18 but Hoosier keeper, coming way off his line, is beaten to the ball before he can corral it by NU striker Joey Calistri and gives up an easy Calistri chip into the empty net. Eric Weberman got an assist for the throw-in. Very soft goal.
END FIRST HALF: INDIANA 1, NORTHWESTERN 0: Eriq Zavaleta’s 16th goal the difference. Only the second first-half goal of the Big Ten season, and fifth of the year, allowed by the Wildcats, but Indiana dominating play. IU playing very aggressive soccer, with almost no players in its defensive third. Everybody forward. Every pass challenged. A lot of possession. It’s almost like fore-checking in hockey. Hoosiers have the lead, but aren’t holding back at all. IU has five shots and Northwestern has none, and the Hoosiers have the game’s lone corner-kick.
16:01. Indiana 1, Northwestern 0. Eriq Zavaleta’s 16th goal of the season off a Patrick Doody assist. Doody a burst of speed to get the feed to Zavaleta, who had a touch and stutter-step to free himself just outside the box and then made no mistake, blasting the ball past keeper Tyler Miller into the upper right corner of the net.
22:46. TV break, still scoreless. Not a whole heck of a lot going on, aside from some good technical soccer. Two skilled sides that tend not to give up goals. The only dangerous-looking shot so far came from IU’s Nikita Kotlov at the 30:12 mark, from about 20 yards up top, but it was barely wide left. The Hoosiers have had a lot of possession, with a lot of guys forward, but not many chances generated.
PREGAME: If a possible shot at the Big Ten regular-season title isn’t enough motivation for the host Hoosiers tonight, there is the revenge factor. But if gained, it almost certainly won’t come easily.
Northwestern’s defending conference champs are in town, and they knocked IU out of last season’s Big Ten tournament on penalty kicks last season. Jarrett Baughman, a senior from Bloomington North, is a key member of a Wildcat defense that has allowed only 12 shots on goal and just two goals during Big Ten play this season. NU (10-4-3 overall, 3-1-1 Big Ten) hasn’t scored itself in three games, either, though.
IU (11-4-2, 3-2) is coming off its worst loss of the season, a 3-1 setback Sunday at Michigan State, the only game the Hoosiers have dropped all season by more than a goal.
If Northwestern wins tonight, the Wildcats take the Big Ten title. An Indiana win, coupled with a Michigan State loss or tie Saturday against Michigan, would give the Hoosiers the title. If IU and Michigan State both win, they’d tie for the title, but MSU would get the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament via its head-to-head win over the Hoosiers. As always, we’ll have updates here on the Scoop and also via Twitter at htograham.
IU is without junior midfielder Jacob Bushue, who had a knee iced after the Michigan State game, and won’t play tonight. But he could potentially return next week.