Soccer Hoosiers fall to UNC, 1-0

The preseason No. 1 Indiana men’s soccer team lost to fourth-ranked North Carolina, 1-0, in an exhibition match at the National Soccer Festival in Fort Wayne. The game was a rematch of last year’s NCAA quarterfinal, a 1-0 Hoosier victory in Chapel Hill, N.C. Here’s the IU release:

FORT WAYNE, Ind. — The top-ranked Indiana men’s soccer team could not find an equalizing goal as a 47th minute score from Cooper Vandermaas-Peeler gave the North Carolina Tar Heels a 1-0 win over the Hoosiers in an exhibition match Saturday night at the Shindigz National Soccer Festival in Fort Wayne, Ind.

After taking the first few minutes to find their footing, the Hoosier attack began to come to life when in the 13th minute an A.J. Corrado corner kick found Billy McConnell, who blasted a shot that was saved by UNC goalkeeper Brendan Moore. The rebound went to Nikita Kotlov and his ensuing shot was also saved.

Two minutes later, left back Patrick Doody made a run toward the near post and rocketed a shot on the move that sailed over the cross bar. In the 23rd minute Tommy Thompson also got some power behind a shot attempt but was just wide of the target.

Most of the Tar Heels’ five first-half shots came off of set pieces, including an attempt from Chipper Root from 23 yards out at the top of the box that was blocked by the Hoosier wall.

The most exciting sequence of the match came in the 33rd minute when Thompson took another hard shot from distance, sending this one off the post. The ball came back out to Kotlov and his attempt was saved by Moore. Kotlov had a second opportunity off another rebound but this time sent his lob high.

Kotlov would have another scoring opportunity with less than four minutes to play as a perfectly played ball from Thompson left him with a point-blank look at goal. Too much muscle on the shot saw it sail over the bar.

Indiana held an 8-5 shot advantage at the break, with three on goal to one for UNC.

The Tar Heels wasted little time in scoring what would be the game winner less than two minutes into the second half of play. Vandermaas-Peeler played a ball from Josh Rice and sent a cross-body shot into the lower left corner for the only score of the match.

Indiana would have just two shot attempts in the second half, including a curling shot from Thompson that was stopped by Moore in the 60th minute.

In addition to a starting 11 of Michael Soderlund, Matt McKain, Doody, Kerel Bradford, McConnell, Jacob Bushue, Dylan Mares, Corrado, Harrison Petts, Kotlov, and Thompson, Jamie Vollmer and Tanner Thompson also saw second-half action.

Soderlund finished with one save in 90 minutes of action, while Kotlov led the way with five shot attempts, three of which were on frame.

The Hoosiers officially open the 2013 season on Friday, Aug. 30 at 7:30 p.m. when they play host to SMU as part of the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic. Notre Dame and UCLA will get things underway with a 5 p.m. match.