Oct. 19, 2011
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -
The Indiana Hoosiers (9-3-2) overcame the Kentucky Wildcats (8-8-1) in monsoon-like conditions on Wednesday night thanks to a penalty from Eriq Zavaleta and a long-range strike from Nikita Kotlov. It is the third consecutive win for the 13th-ranked Hoosiers.
With temperatures hovering around 40 degrees and rain falling heavily, both teams had trouble maintaining possession early on.
Goalkeeper Luis Soffner was forced into his first save in the seventh minute, diving low to his right to keep out a volley from Kentucky's Jacob Kemper. It would be the start of a busy first half for the Hoosier defense, which managed to keep the visitors off the board despite allowing eight corner kicks in the opening period.
Indiana's best chance came in the 16th minute as Harrison Petts volleyed Matt McKain's cross straight at goalkeeper Tyler Beadle from 10 yards.
The hosts woke up from their slumber early in the second half as Zavaleta looked to ignite the spark for the Hoosier attack. The reigning Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week showed great footwork to spin away from a defender within 60 seconds of the restart, only to see his cross deflected out for a corner.
He would break the deadlock soon after via a penalty kick. Petts swung in a corner in the 56th minute, the ball skipping off the surface and hitting a Kentucky defender straight in the forearm. Referee Abbey Okulaja showed no hesitation in pointing to the spot, and Zavaleta calmly slotted the ball into the bottom left corner to get Indiana on the board.
It is the freshman's team-leading eighth goal of the season and his fourth in three matches.
The home side began to turn up the pressure, winning seven corner kicks in the second half but failing to find the net again until the 82nd minute. Kotlov ended the wait in spectacular fashion, collecting a loose ball 30 yards from goal and curling a measured shot into the top right corner past a stunned Beadle. The sophomore has now scored in two straight games, bringing his season total to three.
The Hoosiers return to Big Ten Conference play on Sunday, October 23, as they host the Michigan State Spartans at 2:00 p.m. ET.