FINAL: Indiana 2, Evansville 1

Evansville almost scores on a corner kick with 2 seconds left. All 11 Purple jerseys were there, and one head connected. The ball landed on the top of the net.

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4:33 left, second half: Well, Evansville has begun to counter. It is pushing 10 players into Indiana’s half of the field.

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7:24 left, second half: Indiana is solidly in control here, owning the play for the last six minutes.

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14:22 left, second half: And play continues here. The Hoosiers have obviously tightened up a bit and won’t be pushing toward the net.

Freshman Andy Adlard into the game. His father was once the coach at Evansville, while his mother is the all-time leading scorer in basketball for the Purple Aces.

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INDIANA 2, EVANSVILLE 1

22:14 left, second half: Balchan with the individual effort, collecting the ball in the middle of the field and darting pass a few defenders. He showed great burst as he neared the net and then did what few of his teammates could: slid the ball past Dufty.

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25:15 left, second half: Line change. Out go forwards Daniel Kelly and Neil Wilmarth. In goes Kevin Noschang (returning to the game) and Lee Hagedorn (entering for the first time.)

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27:00 left, second half: Purple Aces earn a corner then control the ball for a few seconds before Brad Ring hustles in and pries the ball away. Chay Cain will kick it away.

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30:00 left, second half: It’s getting a little physical here, as the elbows are coming up. Funny thing: when an Indiana guy does it, the Indiana radio guys call it inadvertent. When the Evansville player does it, the Evansville announcers roll out the same word. I’m going to go on record and say that nothing happening out there right now is inadvertent.

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37:17: Clearly Indiana is having the better of the play, but maybe not really the better of the chances. As has been the case for as long as I’ve covered the team, Indiana has this unusual habit of making its scoring chances seem incredibly benign. The ball gets into the box but no player is there to get on the end of the ball. And there doesn’t appear to be anyone really fighting — pushing, shoving — to get into that spot. This team executes so well. That’s just not enough.

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40:35: Balchan manages to center another pass — he was pretty well defended — but Darren Yeagle again couldn’t get it past Dufty.

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44:00, second half: Indiana again gets going quickly, earning a corner kick. Wilmarth, who’s not tall but is aggressive, gets his head on it but can’t put the ball on net. I’m not sure that the Hoosier shave scored off a corner kick all season.

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INDIANA 1, EVANSVILLE 1

2:47: Darren Yeagle began the run by taking a ball out of the air, popping it up over a defender and running 30 yards through open space. He worked the ball over to Eric Alexander, who instead of trying to force a shot from about 10 yards out, crossed the ball into space. Rich Balchan got on the end of that before it could squirt past the back line, and he played it through the air to Brad Ring who came flying through the air, ninja-like, sending it into the back of the net.

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6:50: Now Balchan dribbles into the middle and gets a shot off. Dufty stretches to make the save. The Hoosiers now have 14 shots, and Dufty has been credited with eight saves.

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10:45: The Hoosiers are still pressing against the Purple Aces’ defense but without any luck. Daniel Kelly fought for a ball along the sideline, keeping it from three Evansville players long enough that Eric Alexander was able to scoop it up. He dribbled across the field toward center, got a shot off that was blocked, gathered the rebound and was fouled. A free kick was knocked away by the Evansville wall, causing a corner for Indiana. But the Hoosiers create nothing with the set piece.

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14:45: Daniel Kelly just broke in alone on Dufty and could not get his shot around the left end of the sprawling keeper. It’s tempting to say that Indiana is snake-bitten right now, but in reality these scoring woes have been going on since last season.

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17:20: Now Yeagle’s cross is knocked out, leading to a corner. Evansville defends this well and not only clears but counters, getting the ball upfield to Minyono for a chance.

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18:51: Wilmarth gets on the end of another corner kick but his attempt goes wide.

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22:45: Indiana comes back with a furious foray into the offensive zone, first with a shot that is blasted just over the crossbar and then a few chances on the ensuing corner kick. Looks like someone had a wide open net off a rebound — possibly Alston — but sent the shot too high from in tight.

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EVANSVILLE 1, INDIANA 0

23:30: As I was writing about the substitutions, the Purple Aces managed to streak down the side and get a pass into the middle, which was converted pretty easily. Chay Cain had very little chance on that.

Stephen Minyono made the original pass to Cory Elenio, who found Robbie Lynch in good position for the shot. Lynch, like Indiana’s Rich Balchan, is a freshman out of Carmel, Ind.

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25:00: Looks like Indiana will make a few changes. Neil Wilmarth steps in at forward for Noschang and Darren Yeagle has been substituted for Weaver.

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32:30: Alston just ran under a long pass, got behind the Purple Aces’ defense and instead of trying to squeeze a tight shot past Dufty opts to center to Eric Alexander. The pass is right on but Alexander opts not to shoot because of the traffic in front of him. He moves left and aims top corner from about 10 yards out and misses wide.

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35:00: Who knows why it has happened now — or how long it will last — but midfielder Billy Weaver has suddenly become a dangerous play-maker. He’s constantly getting the ball from the wings into the net, and seems to have the knack for getting it around defenders.

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39:22: Evansville finally counters Indiana’s early energy with a serve into the box that is turned on and sent off an Indiana player by 6-3 forward Stephan Minyono. He could be trouble all game, as he’ll have a chance to run around and get his head on some crosses. Indiana’s defenders are all 6-0 or smaller.

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44:14: Right away, Indiana goes on the attack. Brad Ring earns a free kick from about 30 out. Billy Weaver taps to Daniel Kelley, who takes advantage of the fact that the Purple Aces are expecting him to loft a ball into the box. He dribbles in about eight yards then sends a shot skidding on the ground toward the near corner. Alec Dufty, who is 6-5, dove and got a hand on it. The rebound went to Kevin Alston streaking in from the left, but the sophomore back couldn’t tuck it past Dufty from a tight angle.

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Not many surprises in Indiana’s lineup, as Kevin Noschang and Daniel Kelly get the start at forward. Noschang was the Big Ten Player of the Week for his efforts last week, and Kelly has been strong up top all season.

A heavy breeze is sweeping across the field as warmups begin. The sky, though, is a brilliant mix of orange-hued clouds and light blue that you can almost see darken with each passing minute.

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About 10 minutes until game-time here at Armstrong Stadium. Down on Yeagley Field the players are warming up — in a fairly literal sense, as the temperature has dropped below 50 degrees.

The Hoosiers are 5-1-1 in their last seven games. They tied Ohio State over the weekend to remain unbeaten in Big Ten play.

Their one loss in the last seven games came in a mid-week trap game that has some similarities to this one: it came on a colder night against a regional rival for whom this is one of the biggest games of the year. Louisville beat Indiana 2-1 in OT on Dec. 10. That game, though, was away.

One comment

  1. Awesome. Always good to get a win vs. an in-state team.

    21 shots! How’d they only get 2 goals out’ve that?

    Thanks for the run-down, guys. Much appreciated.

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