NOTRE DAME, Ind. -
The Indiana men's soccer team will make its first trip to the NCAA Quarterfinals since 2008 with a 2-1 double OT win at No. 1 Notre Dame Sunday afternoon in the third round of the NCAA Division I men's soccer tournament.
The Hoosiers improve to 13-5-3 on the season and will face North Carolina on Friday, Nov. 30 at 6 p.m. with a trip to the College Cup on the line. Notre Dame ends its season at 17-4-1.
"What a win for this program," said head coach Todd Yeagley. "The team played a complete 90 (minutes) and we took it to a very good Notre Dame team. They were a fantastic team this year and we knew we had to be at our best. Today our discipline and the way we executed our plan made the difference."
It was the dynamic scoring duo of junior Nikita Kotlov and sophomore Eriq Zavaleta that made the difference for the Hoosiers as the team did a complete 180 from its regular-season performance in a 1-0 loss to the Fighting Irish.
Indiana had the early attack with shots from Harrison Petts and Kotlov saved by Notre Dame goalkeeper Will Walsh. IU held a 5-0 lead in shots through the first 23 minutes, with three of those attempts on frame.
With 15:40 to play in the first half, A.J. Corrado took a shot that deflected off a pair of Notre Dame players, but Walsh did well to keep his concentration and smothered the ball for the save. As time wound down substitute Richard Ballard connected with a serve from Matt McKain but sent his header high.
The Hoosiers went into the locker room with an 8-2 advantage on shot attempts, five of which were on frame. Indiana did a good job of containing the scoring threats of Harrison Shipp, Ryan Finley and Patrick Hodan, not allowing a shot from the Fighting Irish's top three scorers over the final 27 minutes of the half.
Less than three minutes into the second half, Petts too a shot from just inside the 18 that took Walsh down to his right for the save. The ball began to spill out of Walsh's hands, but the goalkeeper was able to smother before a lurking Kotlov could take a rebound shot.
Notre Dame took a 1-0 lead against the run of play when Shipp found Kyle Richard alone at the top of the 18, who then sent a shot to the lower right for the score in the 54th minute.
The lead didn't last long as Kotlov scored his eighth goal of the year and fourth in two NCAA Tournament games exactly 56 seconds later. Kotlov took a tight-angled shot on a pass from Corrado, who netted his 12th assist of the season on the play. The back and forth continued when nearly immediately after the goal Notre Dame's Patrick Hodan sent a shot off the right post.
Minutes later Kotlov had to leave the field as he suffered a leg injury while trying to close down a Notre Dame player.
Just over 22 minute to play and it was Patrick Doody who took a cracking shot from just outside the top of the 18, with Walsh diving to his left and punching the ball over for an IU corner kick.
Notre Dame thought it had a goal with just over nine minutes to play with a slip header off a Dillon Powers free kick, but the referee immediately had his hand raised for a foul, negating the score.
Femi Hollinger-Janzen had a shot early in the first overtime period that was blocked. The ball fell to Matt McKain, who tried to loop the ball over Walsh but the goalkeeper chased down the attempt on the far post.
Less than two minutes into the second overtime period, Zavaleta ended the match with his 17th goal of the year. McKain served the ball into the mixer, and Kotlov flicked it on to Zavaleta who headed home his sixth game-winning goal of the season.
"I haven't scored a tournament goal with this team and there isn't a better moment to have it," Zavaleta said. "I am so proud of this team. This is the best I have seen this team play in a long time."
Indiana finished with a 19-11 shot advantage, 10 of which were on frame. The Hoosiers took seven corner kicks to two from the Fighting Irish.