Hoosiers Fall 1-0 to U-20 Mexican National Team in Spring Finale
April 28, 2013
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - A goal in the 31st minute from Alfonso Gonzalez was all the U-20 Mexican National team needed in a 1-0 win over Indiana on Jerry Yeagley Field at Armstrong Stadium Sunday afternoon.
The match capped the 2013 spring season for Indiana and is an annual event for the Hoosiers, with more than 3,300 fans coming out to watch the international matchup. The Mexican squads hold an all-time record of 5-2 in the series.
The highlight of the day for Indiana was the play of redshirt freshman goalkeeper Michael Soderlund. With the Hoosiers needing to fill the shoes of four-year starter Luis Soffner, Soderlund was up to the task Sunday with 11 saves on 22 shots from Mexico. Early in the first half Uvaldo Luna had a bicycle kick that was cleared off the line by Soderlund and defender Patrick Doody, while the rebound resulted in a shot from Marco Bueno that was also saved by Soderlund. Soderlund picked up another save in the 28th minute on an attempt from Jorge Espericueta.
It would be Espericueta and Gonzalez teaming up for the lone goal of the match at 30:03. Espericueta sent in a corner kick to the top of the penalty area, and Gonzalez shouldered down the ball, one-timing it just under the crossbar and out of the reach of Soderlund. Mexico finished with a 9-3 advantage in shot attempts in the first half.
Sophomore Dylan Mares had a first-half shot that landed safely in the arms of goalkeeper Gibran Lajud. Freshman Femi Hollinger-Janzen also had a look on-goal in the first half but it was an easy scoop by Lajud for the save.
The Mexico attack continued to keep Soderlund and the Hoosiers on their toes in the second period of play. Bueno, who finished with a game-high nine shot attempts, took on Soderlund 1v1 in the 53rd minute but was denied. In the 60th minute Soderlund punched away a ball from Bueno that was heading toward the back of the net.
Late in the second half Doody had a shot from a sharp angle on the left side that was stopped by Lajud. One of the Hoosiers' best opportunities came in extra time when Hollinger-Janzen got the ball at his feet in the six yard box. Hollinger-Janzen tangled with a Mexico defender and was taken down, but the referee waved play on, snuffing out Indiana's final scoring attempt.
The Hoosiers will return to the field in defense of their 2012 NCAA title on Friday, Aug. 30 when they open the 2013 season against SMU in the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic. The annual tournament also features Notre Dame and UCLA, with the Hoosiers and Bruins meeting on Sunday, Sept. 1.
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