CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -
A goal from Eriq Zavaleta in the 60th minute ended an eight year College Cup drought for the Hoosiers, giving them a 1-0 win at No. 9 seed North Carolina in the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Tournament Friday night in Chapel Hill, N.C.
With the win the Hoosiers improve to 14-5-3 on the season, while UNC ends its year at 16-4-3. For the Tar Heels the loss snapped a 40-match win streak at Fetzer Field, with its last loss coming against Akron on Sept. 10, 2010. Carolina had surrendered just six goals all season, and just one on its home turf.
Indiana will face the winner of Connecticut and Creighton on Friday, Dec. 7 in Hoover, Ala. The UConn-Creighton game will take place Sunday afternoon.
"This group, I couldn't be more happy for them," said head coach Todd Yeagley. "I am proud of our players and how they have stayed the course. There is a lot of expectation with this program and these players are playing the best when the pressure is greatest.
For the lone goal of the game, Patrick Doody first-time the ball into the box and the header from Zavaleta was initially saved by UNC goalkeeper Scott Goodwin. The ball came right back out to Zavaleta, who headed it home on an open net to give IU the 1-0 lead.
It is the 18th goal of the season for Zavaleta.
"We knew that one goal could win this game," Zavaleta said. "Doody played a great ball in and I got myself in a good spot. (Goodwin) made a good save, but I was right there."
That led to another flurry of shots from the Hoosiers as A.J. Corrado put one on goal as the Hoosiers had six shots through the first 20 minutes of the second half after none in the first half. Four of those six shots were on frame.
With nine minutes gone in the second half, a quick re-start from Corrado down the line went to Doody, and he crossed it into the box as Nikita Kotlov made a run but the ball was cleared out for a throw. A minute later there was a flurry of action in front of the UNC net as Kotlov got his head on the ball for an attempt and an attempted clearance by a UNC defender was cleared off the line by his own teammate.
North Carolina took the final eight shots of the match and finished with a 13-6 advantage, but none could get past the Hoosiers as stout team defending and an outstanding performance in goal from senior goalkeeper Luis Soffner for his 10th shutout of the season shut the Tar Heel attack down.
Both teams spent the first 15 minutes of the match feeling each other out with no shots during that time. UNC took the first shot of the game with 27 minutes to play but Soffner didn't need to make a move on it as he saw it bounce wide left of the goal. Three minutes later, a snap shot from Rob Lovejoy went right into the chest of Soffner for the first save of the night.
Indiana had a dangerous run when Caleb Konstanski whipped a ball into the box, but it was just behind Nikita Kotlov and UNC goalkeeper Scott Goodwin was there to pick it out of the air.
The teams went into the locker room knotted at zeros with the Tar Heels leading the shot tally, 4-0. Soffner had a pair of saves for IU.