LEXINGTON, Ky. -
Sophomore striker Eriq Zavaleta found the form that earned him Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors with two goals and a pair of assists as the Hoosiers defeated Kentucky, 4-1 at the UK Soccer Complex in Lexington.
Indiana improves to 8-2-1 on the year, while the Wildcats drop to 5-5-1.
Indiana staked itself to a 1-0 lead in the fourth minute when Zavaleta took one touch in the 18-yard box and fired the ball past UK goalkeeper Jack Van Arsdale for the score. Defender Matt McKain assisted on the play, serving the ball into the area from the right side.
In the 17th minute defender Caleb Konstanski had a rebound shot off a corner kick that sailed high, and in the 36th minute Zavaleta crossed a ball to Nikita Kotlov on the far post, who sent his shot into the side netting.
It looked as if the teams would head into the lockerroom with IU leading 1-0, but Femi Hollinger-Janzen changed that with his first career goal at 44:24. Zavaleta was again in on the play, holding the ball up before making a sliding pass to Hollinger-Janzen, The freshman smashed a shot into the upper left corner from 18-yard out for the 2-0 lead.
Indiana led the shot tally 5-3 at the half, with both of its on-goal looks finding the back of the net.
Zavaleta tallied his second goal of the match with a right-footed shot through traffic in the 67th minute. The play began with A.J. Corrado playing the ball down the right side before playing to Zavaleta near the top of the box. Zavaleta took one touch before burying his ninth goal of the season.
Indiana was not done with its scoring as another freshman got in on the action in the 80th minute. Andrew Oliver netted his second goal of the season, with the ball again coming from Zavaleta. Zavaleta saw Oliver making a run through the midfield and timed his service perfectly, hitting Oliver in stride as he took on Van Arsdale one-on-one.
Kentucky got a goal back in the 86th minute when Tyler Riggs got his head on a ball that bounced through the box on a corner kick. The game ended with Matt Lodge sending a shot off the cross bar as time expired.
Hoosier goalkeeper Luis Soffner finished with three saves in the match for his eighth victory of the season.
Indiana is back in action this Saturday as it plays host to the Wisconsin Badgers on Jerry Yeagley Field at Armstrong Stadium. Match time is 7 p.m. ET.