Ohio State at IU soccer

FINAL
Indiana up to the challenge this time, holding off the Ohio State attack in the second half to finish the regular season with a win. Each team finished with 11 shots, but six on goal for Indiana and just two for Ohio State. Hoosiers at least the No. 4 seed for the Big Ten tourney, could move up to third. HOOSIERS 1, BUCKEYES 0

SECOND HALF
22:13: At the second-half media timeout, and Indiana maintains a 1-0 lead that could’ve been more. Nikita Kotlov a couple excellent chances on the left side of the box saved by OSU keeper Matt Lampson. HOOSIERS 1, BUCKEYES 0

29:53: A third of the way through the second half now. Ohio State came out on the attack, but IU seems to have weathered the initial assault. Expect Buckeyes to ratchet up the pressure as time winds down, knowing they must at least tie to have a chance at the conference title. HOOSIERS 1, BUCKEYES 0

FIRST HALF
0:15: Just when it looked like another frustrating, scoreless half for Indiana, a goal arrived. Matt McKain carried the ball up the right side and hit a cross off an OSU defender. The ball looped into the air in the middle of the box. Eriq Zavaleta went up, but the ball fell behind him to Nikita Kotlov, who took a touch and pounded the shot off the OSU keeper and in.

IU goes to the half with a 7-2 edge in shots but struggled most of the half to put anything together once the offense got near the box. Indiana has led each of its last two Big Ten games but settled for a tie, so we’ll see if the Hoosiers can keep the lead this time. HOOSIERS 1, BUCKEYES 0

21:14: Midway through the opening frame, no score so far. Indiana has three shots to Ohio State’s one. Eriq Zavaleta a couple good header chances, one saved and one just high. HOOSIERS 0, BUCKEYES 0

PREGAME
Gorgeous afternoon for soccer here at Armstrong Stadium as No. 9 Indiana celebrates Senior Day by hosting Ohio State. In a bit of a twist, today’s game marks a chance to win the Big Ten title — for Ohio State, not Indiana. The Hoosiers were the preseason favorites, but ties in each of the last two conference games have left them out of contention. But the Buckeyes could clinch the title with a win, or with a tie and a Northwestern loss or tie. The Wildcats play at Michigan later this afternoon. Stay tuned for updates here and on Twitter.

20 comments

  1. I hope people are patient with Coach Wilson. He is slowly getting ahold of the reins at Indiana. It’s going to take some time, but the progress these kids have made thus far is positive to say the least. There’s a lot of time left in the game but I am very impressed!

  2. Good to see Kotlov coming on strong down the stretch. I would like to see IU generating more than one goal per game, but I’m totally shocked that a single conference loss sinks IU all the way to fourth in the tourney (I know- two ties – but still!)

  3. Devin- soccer differs from most other sports in the fact that a ‘poor’ team can play to a tie and sometimes get away with it. Indiana has the problem that many approach their game with the Hoosiers that way. Pack 9 players inside the area, lay another one across the top bar to bat away stray shots…and risk getting one long breakaway. Italy made a business out of this (the catenaccio) and, most teams play against Barcelona, Brazil, Argentina, Spain that way. Not good for the sport, but sometimes the gamble pays off.

    The best way to counter the approach is with a lot of patience (a frequently ignored but absolutely critical skill in soccer), pulling the ball back away from the defensive team’s area into your own midfield, frequently changingthe pace (you can’t always play fast…the pace has to be varied…sometimes you just don’t attack for minutes at a time, or you walk while you move the ball around to pull defenders; constant movement into spaces behind the defenders (forcing them to lose sight of the attacker or the ball) by strikers; and, sudden one/two touch ball handling in sudden probes with the hope defenders get impatient. And sometimes, you do all this and the “poorer team” successfully holds their spaces.

    Normally, this should not happen in a tournament game since teams have to try to get at least one goal…but, I have seen it happen. Usually, you’ll also see that when you finally do score one goal on a defense like this, you’ll score four. That did happen (if I remember correctly) to IU in 2-3 of its games this year.

    What makes soccer such a greatsport is that the ‘lesser’ team sometimes can ‘sustain’ performances above-their-heads that succeed. Sort of like college basketball before the shot clock.

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