ST. LOUIS, Mo. -
It wasn't pretty and it took a little help from the opposition, but the Indiana men's soccer team (1-0) opened the 2012 season with a 2-1 win at Saint Louis (0-1) Friday night as part of the Billiken Classic.
"It was a good start and (1-0) is obviously what we wanted to do," said head coach Todd Yeagley. "That was a good Saint Louis team. Great goal by Eriq to get it even and then I thought in the second half we started to have really good periods of play.
"We are not where we need to be but I saw some signs of some very good stuff."
What looked like an easy save for IU goalkeeper Luis Soffner resulted in a Saint Louis goal in the 22nd minute as Jon Roeckle slid the ball past Soffner when a deflection had him leaning the wrong way. Kingsley Bryce set up the play with a centering pass to Roeckle.
Indiana answered with a goal in the 34th minute from sophomore Eriq Zavaleta. Junior A.J. Corrado set up the play by saving a ball that nearly crossed over the end line. Corrado sent in a centering pass to Zavaleta, who took a strike from 10 yards out and hit the back of the net just inside the left post.
It was the first shot of the match for the Hoosiers. Indiana went to the halftime break with two shots (Zavaleta, Jacob Bushue), while the Billikens put up three.
Indiana did a better job of creating space early in the second half but it was Saint Louis with the dangerous shot in the 50th minute. Defender Caleb Konstanski fell chasing an attacker, setting up an open shot from Alex Sweetin that was saved on the line by Soffner. IU responded down the field with a shot from Zavaleta that hit the side netting.
With less than 36 minutes to play Zavaleta got on the end of a ball in the box but SLU goalkeeper Nick Shackelford saved his header after the offside flag was waved off.
Harrison Petts also had a shot into the side netting in the 65th minute. A minute later Indiana took a 2-1 lead off the head of a SLU defender as Roeckle sent Corrado's cross into the back of the net.
Indiana continued to get great service from Corrado and Joe Tolen on the wings into the box, but Shackelford was almost always there to pick the ball out of the air.
The Billikens fought to the end, getting the ball near the IU goal several times, including a shot from Robbie Kristo that was headed off the line by Petts.
SLU finished with 10 shots, compared to seven for the Hoosiers. Zavaleta led IU with two attempts, while Matt McKain also had an on-frame look.
Indiana wraps up play at the Billiken Classic on Sunday, Aug. 26 as it faces the Cincinnati Bearcats at 1 p.m. ET. Live stats can be found at SLUBillikens.com, or you can follow the action on Twitter at @IUMensSoccer.