IU soccer to College Cup

The Indiana men’s soccer team punched its ticket for the College Cup with a 1-0 win over North Carolina Friday night. The 16th-seeded Hoosiers got a goal from Eriq Zavaleta in the 60th minute, a rebound effort off his own header, to edge the ninth-seeded Tar Heels.

It is the first trip to soccer’s final four for IU since 2004, when Mike Freitag’s debut season ended with a national championship. The Hoosiers will take on the winner between Creighton and Connecticut — a game scheduled for 1 p.m. Sunday afternoon — next Friday in Hoover, Ala.

North Carolina outshot Indiana, 13-6, but the Hoosiers held a 4-3 edge in shots on goal, including Zavaleta’s decisive tally. The IU defense held up over the final 30 minutes, withstanding a late Tar Heel surge and then killing the clock in the right corner of the field as the players on the bench jumped up and down deliriously, and late sub Tim Wylie fell to his knees in the middle of the pitch as if in disbelief.


  1. So how does one compare the basketball team to the soccer team? One beat UNC by 24 and the other by only 1.

    Of course, one could also say that one allowed North Carolina a ton of points and the other held them scoreless!

    Go soccer hoosiers! Win two more!

    Go basketball hoosiers! Win (however many more it takes for the national title).

  2. Actually Jeremy, I hadn’t seen your post whe I wrote my blog note. Somehow I had managed to find it in goheels.com or something like that and was surprised that the picture was good. No commentary at all, but that was fine with me. And, when the game finished I had seen earlier that a couple of posters were wondering about coverage. Sp, I decided to go ahead and write a small blurb. By the way, the reliance on stats means nothing in soccer since the ‘shots’ do not measure the ‘opportunities’. IU was clearly better than North Caroline (uat least from minute 37 on or so when I found it). (Start times reflect ET times and are earlier in Chicago). So,…

    Thought I’d do it for Hoosier Scoop and the sound of several dozens to hundreds of Indiana fans who found the money to fly to Raleigh and get themselves from the airport to Chapel Hill. At times, on the NC broadcast of sound (as I said, no commentary) the IU fans and their IN-DI-ANA and HOO-SIER-ARMY drowned out the NC fans who valiantly tried to drown back, with no success.

    So….in summary, your welcome.

  3. For those who share the passion of Indiana Soccer and are excited by the great team Coach Todd Yeagley has done- a fan’s view of yesterday’s resounding, though still 1-0 win over North Carolina. (Do we ever get tired of getting well on North Carolina?)

    Resounding, because the Hoosiers were clearly better than North Carolina and while soccer is designed to frustrate, when a team plays and controls as the Hoosiers did yesterday there are no surprises.

    The back line was impenetrable. Well deployed, doing a good, consistent job of pressuring the ball and backing each other up as they pressured. Every time NC attacked, the Tarheel player looked up and had to look at two IU players in front of him. Bushue, in particular, and the other central back, dominated the entrance to the area. They were solid and clear in every containment. In the last 45 minutes, I don’t think there was a single NC attack that sped up my breathing. Every penetration entered the area simply to die… at Bushue’s feet or head.

    A lot has to be said of Coach Todd Yeagley.2’s tactical discipline for his wings. They did a great job of reducing the space to the ball, positioning to force the North Carolina attack to take the suburban routes and of completely swallowing the Heels up 2 v 1 wherever the Heels tried to come at the Hoosier area. That’s just really good coaching and, as important, acceptance of responsibility by the midfielders and backs. Interestingly, wherever the ball went the TV screen would show 5-6 red shirts whenever the hosts attacked.

    Offensively, the Hoosiers had more difficulty. Zavaleta is playing with his back to the goal and high on the point…like a true #9. North Carolina obviously knew that he’s a dangerous player and kept him well surrounded with their entire center backline. When he was able to receive the ball, he had to turn and that gives advantage to the defender on his back who simply has to bump him and keep him from turning. The defenders nightmare would be with Zavaleta coming at him with the ball under control and a look at the goal.

    Yesterday the Hoosier lateral strikers, both of whom seem to have a good deal of skill and speed, beat their defender with some frequency; but they insisted on going wide on nearly every penetration. And, with Zavaleta staying in his #9 position, the defense simply fronted him and marked under him, cutting him off from his wings.

    I’d like to see Zavaleta pull himself about 10 yards towards his own goal, like a true #10 or even an #8. The defenders would then have to decide whether to go with him, leaving a vacuum in the middle of their defensive area while at the same time, exposing their flanks to penetrations (dribble) on diagonal attacks at the middle by the Hoosier wings. This would also allow Zavaleta to trail the attack by 5-8 yards and put him in position to receive the pass or rebound defensive mistakes, while facing the goal. It would be a nightmare for the defenders and the opponent’s goalkeeper. It would also allow Zavaleta to play a greater distributing role- since he would join the play earlier and just north of midfield,- which would make Indiana’s entire attack even more productive and lethal. As it was, Indiana had plenty of opportunities. In,no less than four plays during the second half, the GOAL!! scream got cut off in the throat of the significant number of Hoosier fans in Chapel Hill.

    I was impressed with Zavaleta, he’s a strong, intelligent and skilled player. He reminds me in some ways of Armando Betancour, the Honduran international who played for Indiana and, for his country of Honduras, in the 1982 World Cup, almost knocking Spain- the host- out of its own Cup. (One of his shots hit the post with about 5 minutes to go).

    Coach Yeagley.2 is a real and precious gift to IU. His team is disciplined, ordered, well blended, physical but with a good sense as to how to move the ball and, in some positions, very talented. It definitely has a strong sense of tactics and a couple of players can be very creative. It is very, very strong, good in the air and well deployed and positioned defensively.

    Is there a weakness? Perhaps two, more an irritation for some eyes. Indiana would benefit from some depth when going forward and greater use of passing the ball back to its own back line when the outlet routes are cut off by the opponents or when laterals are pressured against the lines. A common mistake in American soccer is that ‘pushing forward’ seems to be a creed. Not enough use is made of the back players role in the attack, especially the central backs. The other minor ‘wish’ is that when the Hoosiers reach the back of their own midfield they not rely on trying to connect with its forwards through long air passes since these always favor the opponents facing the ball. A but more patience in developing the attack would not only make the Hoosiers more dangerous but reduce their exposure to counter-attacks. Thjis is where I think Zavaleta having more of a #10 role- receiving and carrying, receiving and laying off and making a run while facing the goal would help.

    But, there’s no doubt what Yeagley.2 has brought to Indiana…, quality intercollegiate soccer… perhaps even, ‘It’s Indiana Soccer.8’

  4. UNC fans have probably had enough of IU for a while. Tough week for the Tar Heels. The only thing better would to have been beating both Duke teams.

    Great job boys, keep it going.

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