Notre Dame at IU soccer

FINAL
Several chances for Indiana in the final four minutes, crosses and headers in the box plus a blast or two wide. IU had a final free kick outside the box with 13 seconds left but came up empty. In the end, the failure to take advantage of restarts and Notre Dame’s opportunistic finish of one was the difference. IRISH 1, HOOSIERS 0

SECOND HALF
18:40: Notre Dame was finding more of the ball, and it finally paid off. Soffner made a big save on Ryan Finley but the play ended with a corner, then a second corner which was one too many. ND’s Grant Van De Casteele with flick header that found the upper 90 at the back post on a bounce, and Soffner was helpless. IRISH 1, HOOSIERS 0

29:29: Starting Patrick Doody, Dylan Lax and Femi Hollinger-Janzen, IU has had the better of play through the first 15 but has yet to truly test the ND goalkeeper. Irish had one dangerous moment as Ryan Finley got in the middle of the box but his hurried shot was right to Soffner. HOOSIERS 0, IRISH 0

HALFTIME
Competitive game, but not much accomplished so far. Perhaps most exciting event after that Soffner save was the arrival of AD Fred Glass and football coach Kevin Wilson in the press box. Notre Dame finished with a 7-4 edge in shots (none on goal for Indiana), while IU had more corners, 5-4 (and more free kick opportunities). Hoosiers seemed to do a better job of linking the offense and defense in the final 15 minutes, but I’ll be interested to see what kind of halftime adjustments are made. Dylan Lax provided a nice lift off the bench, but IU hasn’t been able to get Nikita Kotlov, Andrew Oliver or Femi Hollinger-Janzen in space enough to do real damage. Improving that and being more opportunistic on restarts will be key. HOOSIERS 0, IRISH 0

FIRST HALF
21:48: Midway through the opening frame here, and it’s as even a contest as you might expect so far. But the only reason we’re still scoreless is IU goalkeeper Luis Soffner, who made a brilliant reaction save pouncing on a header from point-blank range that I was looking for in the net at the 35-minute mark. Indiana with just one official shot, an Eriq Zavaleta free kick that deflected off a defender just wide. HOOSIERS 0, IRISH 0

PREGAME
Big game, weather permitting, tonight as No. 11 Indiana hosts No. 8 Notre Dame at Armstrong Stadium. This will be the Hoosiers’ second game against a top 10 team this season, the first a 1-0 loss to Akron at Notre Dame’s tournament in South Bend. This may be the highest-ranked team IU plays the rest of the year, so it’s important that the Hoosiers get a result here if they want a top seed and multiple home games in the NCAA Tournament. Only lineup change tonight is Drew Schall starting at left back in place of Patrick Doody, Schall’s second start of the year.

Weather is clear at the moment, though there may be storms moving in by the second half, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there. I’ll have updates here and via Twitter.

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