IU Closes Regular Season with Northwestern
Oct. 30, 2012
SETTING THE SCENE Despite its second loss of the season in conference action, the Hoosiers still have chance at the Big Ten regular season title with a win over Northwestern tonight. If Indiana wins, and Michigan either defeats or ties Michigan State on Saturday, the Hoosiers will be regular season champions. The Hoosiers are coming off their worst loss of the season, a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Michigan State in East Lansing. Eriq Zavaleta scored the lone goal for IU, his 15th of the season. He has scored at least one goal in six of the last seven matches.
NEWS AND NOTES The Hoosiers suffered their worst defeat of the season at Michigan State on Oct. 28, a 3-1 loss to the Spartans. It is the first time IU has give up three goals this season, and its first loss by more than one goal. Michigan State took a 1-0 lead in the 43rd minute and tallied the game-winning goal in the 52nd minute. The Spartans' third goal was scored in the 76th minute, with Zavaleta scoring the Hoosiers' lone goal in the 78th minute. Zavaleta has a Big Ten-leading 15 goals on the season, with six in the last seven matches. Freshman midfielder Richard Ballard made his third-consecutive start in the match. Goalkeeper Luis Soffner had six saves in 90 minutes of play. Soffner has allowed 13 goals in 1590:02 minutes of play for a 0.74 GAA. He has nine shutouts in 17 matches, matching his single-season best which came as a freshman in 2009. His 29 career shutouts ranks sixth on the IU career list. His 246 career saves (64 in 2012) puts him at fourth on the all-time IU list. Indiana is 4-1-1 in true road matches this season with wins over Saint Louis, Ohio State, Penn State and Kentucky. The lone loss came at Michigan State (3-1). Tonight will be senior center back Caleb Konstanski's 40th-consecutive start for IU. The Hoosiers have out-scored opponents 19-7 after halftime. The Hoosiers are 2-for-2 in penalty kicks this season, with both makes coming from Zavaleta. IU is 9-1-1 this season when Zavaleta scores at least one goal. Indiana's 30 goals have come from nine different players. Zavaleta has four multiple-goal games this season (vs. Cincinnati, vs. Clemson, at Kentucky, vs. Wisconsin) and has surpassed his freshman goal total with 15 goals in 17 matches. He had 10 goals as a rookie in 2011. Indiana came back from a two-goal deficit for its 3-2 win over Oregon State on Sept. 9. The last time IU came back from a two-goal deficit was Oct. 31, 2010 against Northwestern. Trailing 2-0 after the 46th minute, the Hoosiers put up three unanswered goals in regulation to win the Big Ten regular season title.
SCOUTING THE WILDCATS Northwestern is 10-4-3 on the season, 3-1-1 in Big Ten play. They have struggled as of late, going 0-2-1 in their last three matches and 3-3-1 in the last seven. The Wildcats have been shut out in their last thee matches, with their last goal coming in a 2-0 win at Loyola on Oct. 17. Chris Ritter leads the team in scoring with five goals and five assists (15 points), while Joey Calistri is the top goal scorer with six. Northwestern has scored 22 goals while allowing just 14 and are out-shooting opponents 199-153. Tyler Miller has played all 1624:44 minutes in goal, allowing 14 goals for a 0.78 GAA with seven shutouts. Head coach Tim Lenahan is in his 12th season at Northwestern. He is assisted by Neil Jones and Mike Babst.
SERIES HISTORY Indiana is 24-2-3 all-time against the Wildcats, with both losses coming in the last eight seasons. The Wildcats' only wins over IU came in 2004 (1-0) and 2009 (2-0). Both meetings last season ended in ties, with a 2-2 tie in Evanston during the regular season, and a 1-1 tie in the Big Ten Tournament. The Hoosiers are 12-1 in matches played in Bloomington. The last time the teams met in Bloomington, Indiana posted a 3-2 win to clinch the Big Ten regular season title. IU was down 2-0 in the match before scoring three unanswered goals. The Hoosiers have posted 18 shutouts in the series, which began in 1983. Eleven times the Hoosiers have scored four or more goals in a match with Northwestern, including an 11-0 win in 1983, 8-0 wins in 1991 and 1992, and an 11-1 win in 1996.
NORTHWESTERN (24-2-3) 9/23/83 W 11-0 H 9/21/84 W 5-0 A 10/7/87 W 7-0 H 10/6/88 W 3-0 A 10/19/90 W 3-1 H 10/18/91 W 8-0 A 10/18/92 W 8-0 H 10/16/93 W 6-2 A 10/16/94 W 4-0 H 10/15/95 W 7-0 A 11/10/95 W 2-1 N! 10/20/96 W 11-1 H 10/19/97 W 4-0 A 10/18/98 W 1-0 H 10/17/99 W 1-0 A 11/13/99 W 2-0 N! 10/15/00 W 4-1 H 10/14/01 W 3-0 A 10/13/02 W 1-0 H 10/12/03 W 3-0 A 10/17/04 L 0-1 H 10/16/05 T 1-1 A 10/7/06 W 1-0 H 10/14/07 W 1-0 A 11/7/08 W 2-0 H 10/25/09 L 0-2 A 10/31/10 W 3-2 H 10/30/11 T 2-2 (2OT) A 11/11/11 T 1-1 (2OT) N!
LAST TIME THESE TEAMS MET... A game where the Hoosiers did not allow a goal by the Northwestern offense ended in a 1-1 tie, with Northwestern advancing 3-2 on penalty kicks in the semifinal round of the 2011 Big Ten Tournament Men's Soccer Tournament in Ann Arbor, Mich. The Hoosiers were on their heels early as the Wildcats had an early pair of shots clang off the crossbar. Indiana's passing was not sharp, leading to several dangerous turnovers in the Northwestern offensive third. Indiana's first shot of the day came off the foot of Alec Purdie, whose shot from 20 yards out was wide left of the frame. Less than a minute later Kerel Bradford had an on-frame look that Northwestern goalkeeper Tyler Miller was forced to make a diving save to his right. That effort woke the Hoosiers up as freshman Eriq Zavaleta put Indiana up 1-0 in the 20th minute with his 10th goal of the season. Downing a ball from Tommy Meyer, Zavaleta turned his defender and took his shot across the goalmouth, hitting the lower left corner. That is assist number seven on the year for Meyer. Indiana was again faced with a relentless Northwestern offensive attack early in the second half, with goalkeeper Luis Soffner picking up three early saves. The Hoosiers also led the foul count 10-2 early in the second half, giving the Wildcats prime scoring opportunities on restarts. With less than 30 minutes to play in the second half, sophomore Harrison Petts took his run up the left side and brought Miller out of his goal, but his shot from an odd angle on a open net went high. In the 68th minute, junior Caleb Kontanski made a run forward from his defensive position, taking a shot that was blocked by the Wildcats. The rebound made its way to junior Tim Wylie whose shot was also blocked. With 20 minutes left in regulation, senior Chris Estridge took the ball of his marker's foot and made a run toward goal. His shot from 14 yards out was well taken but floated over the cross bar. Northwestern tied the match at 1-1 with 13:02 to play as a bad clearance by Tommy Meyer went off Soffner's head and resulted in an own goal. Two minutes later a cross into the box from Bradford found an open Konstanski. With the goalkeeper out of position, Konstanski had a sitter but blasted his shot high. With less than two minutes to play a shot from Nikita Kotlov won the Hoosiers a corner kick, but Estridge's shot on the rebound was also cleared. Indiana found itself in a shootout situation for the first time since the 2007 season. That year the Hoosiers and Bradley went to a shootout in the NCAA Tournament second round, with Bradley advancing 5-4. Eriq Zavaleta took the first shot for the Hoosiers, with it saved by Miller. Reed Losee was good on his first shot. In round two, A.J. Corrado's penalty attempt was saved, while Northwestern's Chris Ritter sent his shot high. Meyer's shot was wide in round three, while Soffner saved Kyle Schickel's attempt. Round for saw both Jacob Bushue and Peter O'Neill connect on their attempts. Purdie's kick was good in round five, while Jarrett Baughman was high on his shot. In the sixth and final round, Harrison Petts had his shot saved, and Nick Gendron hit the back of the net to advance the Wildcats. Indiana finished with a 21-20 advantage in shots, with eight on goal looks compared to seven for Northwestern. IU had a 4-1 advantage in shots in the second overtime.
BIG TEN DOMINATION Since the Big Ten began sponsoring men's soccer in 1991, the Hoosier have dominated the league. The Hoosiers are 93-17-12 in regular season matches, tallying 30+ more victories than second-place team Penn State (59). Indiana has never lost in its Big Ten opener, going 19-0-3 in those matches. IU has won 11 Big Ten tournament titles, sharing the 1995 crown with Wisconsin. Indiana has also been crowned regular season champion 14 times, including nine-straight seasons from 1996-2004. IU won back-to-back regular season titles in 2006 and 2007 and re-claimed the regular season crown in 2010. Indiana has been the league's goals-against average leader in 15 of 19 seasons, including 2007 when the Hoosiers allowed just two goals in six matches for a 0.31 GAA. IU has had a league-record 11 Big Ten Players of the Year, including three of the last five seasons. Will Bruin won the award in 2010. The Hoosiers have also boasted the Freshman of the Year three of the last five years. Eriq Zavaleta won the award in 2011.
THE BIG TEN RACE With a 4-4 tie between Penn State and Ohio State, and Northwestern and Wisconsin playing to a 0-0 tie, the Hoosiers remain in contention for the Big Ten regular season title. The Hoosiers can win the Big Ten if: 1) they beat Northwestern on Nov. 1 AND 2) Michigan either ties or defeats Michigan State on Nov. 3. If Northwestern defeats Indiana, they are Big Ten champions. If Indiana wins and Michigan State defeats Michigan, the teams will be co-champions at 4-2, but MSU will receive the first-round bye based on its 3-1 win over Indiana on Oct. 28. Ohio State (0-4-1), Wisconsin (1-3-1), Penn State (3-1-2) and Michigan (2-2-1) are out of contention for the first round bye in the Big Ten Tournament. Penn State could still win a share of the regular season title if NU and IU tie, AND Michigan State ties or loses to Michigan. However, in that scenario, NU would get the first-round bye based on its head-to-head win over the Nittany Lions.
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INDIANA IN THE POLLS Indiana fell six spots to No. 22 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) rankings. The Hoosiers moved down four spots to No. 16 in the Soccer America poll. Indiana fell three spots to No. 16 in the Top Drawer Soccer Tournament 48 and five spots to No. 16 in the College Soccer News Top 30. The Hoosiers went down three spots to No. 11 in the Soccer Times poll.
HOOSIERS IN THE BIG TEN (as of 10/29) Indiana leads the conference in overall wins (11) and is tied for the top spot in Big Ten victories with three. The team currently ranks first in points (82), goals (30), goals per game (1.76), goals allowed (13), goals against average (0.74), shutouts (9) and corner kicks (112). Sophomore Eriq Zavaleta leads the league in shots (65), shots per game (3.82), points (32), points per game (1.88), goals (15), goals per game (0.88) and game-winning goals (5). A.J. Corrado leads in assists (9) and assists per game (0.53). Goalkeeper Luis Soffner leads the conference in shutouts (9) and shutouts per game (0.53).
NCAA RANKINGS (as of 10/29) In the latest NCAA rankings, Indiana is 15th in save percentage (.838), tied for 8th in shutout percentage (0.53), and 17th in team goals-against average (0.74) Individually, Eriq Zavaleta is fourth in total goals (15), sixth in goals per game (0.88), fifth in total points (32), and seventh in points per game (1.88).
NCAA RPI The first NCAA RPI was released on Oct. 15, with the Hoosiers leading the Big Ten at No. 5. In the second release on Oct. 22 the Hoosiers fell two spots to No. 7 Other RPI numbers for Big Ten schools are No. 26 Michigan, No. 38 Northwestern, No. 41 Penn State, No. 63 Michigan State, No. 82 Wisconsin and No. 86 Ohio State. In addition to the Big Ten teams, IU's opponents are No. 3 Akron, No. 4 Notre Dame, No. 8 Louisville, No. 9 Saint Louis, No. 18 Kentucky, No. 30 SIUE, No. 62 Evansville, No. 76 Clemson, No. 80 Cincinnati, No. 89 San Diego State, No. 93 Oregon State and No. 97 Butler.
TIMING IS EVERYTHING For the Hoosiers this season, a struggle with timing is showing up in the stat sheet as the squad has been called offside 70 times this season. In comparison, IU opponents have seen the flagged raised just 14 times in matches with the Hoosiers. In looking at the Big Ten standings, the Hoosiers far and away lead the league in the stat with the next team on the list Wisconsin and Michigan at 35 offside calls. Ten of those 68 flags came in Indiana's 1-0 double overtime win at Penn State on Sept. 29. The Hoosiers were also flagged eight times in a 0-0 double overtime tie against San Diego State and in a 2-1 loss to Michigan.
ZA-VA-LE-TA There are no worries about a sophomore slump for Eriq Zavaleta. After tallying 10 goals as a freshman in 2010 and earning Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors, the sophomore has gotten off to a strong start in 2012. Zavaleta has 15 goals in 17 matches this season, including multiple goal efforts vs. Cincinnati (2), Clemson (2), Kentucky (2) and Wisconsin (2). Zavaleta's 15 goals have come on 65 shot attempts. He is also efficient in his shot selection, with 29 of his 65 attempts on goal (45%). Zavaleta has five of the team's 11 game-winning goals this season. He currently leads the Big Ten in shots (65), shots per game (3.82), points (32), points per game (1.88), goals (15), goals per game (0.88) and game-winning goals (5).
THE SOFFNER WALL Senior goalkeeper Luis Soffner is off to the best start of his career in 2012. In 17 matches Soffner has posted nine shutouts and had a streak of 377 scoreless minutes this season. Indiana has allowed 13 goals this season, fewest among Big Ten teams, with Soffner playing all 1585:02 minutes in goal this year. Named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 2 after a pair of shutouts over Clemson and San Diego State, on Sept. 24 after a 2-0 shutout of Ohio State, and on Oct. 2 after a 1-0 shutout of Penn State, Soffner leads the conference in shutouts (9), and shutouts per game (0.53). He is third in goals-against average (0.74), but first among goalkeepers who have played more than 732 minutes this season.
DEJA VÚ KOTLOV? In 2011, midfielder Nikita Kotlov got off to a slow start on the season with just one goal in his first 12 matches. Over the final 10 matches of the season, Kotlov tallied eight goals to finish second on the team with nine total, earning All-Big Ten honors. In 2012, Kotlov did not score his first goal of the season until game 13, heading home a ball in a 2-2 tie at Louisville on Oct. 10. Kotlov added his second goal of the year in the very next game as the Hoosiers posted a 2-0 win over Butler on Oct. 16. Goal number three on the season came in a 2-0 win over Evansville, giving him three goals in the last five matches.
KEEP ON WINNING With a 2-0 win over Butler, Indiana was assured of its 40th-straight winning season. The Hoosiers are currently in their 40th year of varsity soccer, with the first season of the program coming in 1973. They have tied UCLA for the NCAA record, which the Bruins set from 1967 through the 2006 season. The next active team on the list is Virginia, which has 31-straight winning seasons entering 2012.
NCAA Division I-Consecutive winning seasons No. Team From-To 40 UCLA 1967-2006 40 Indiana 1973-present 37 Saint Louis 1959-1996 37 Clemson 1970-2007 34 SMU 1975-2008 31 Virginia 1981-present
MAY I HELP YOU? If Hoosiers are scoring goals, odds are the ball was played to them by junior midfielder A.J. Corrado. Corrado leads the Hoosiers and the Big Ten in assists with nine this season. Three of those assists came in one week with victories over Kentucky (4-1) and Wisconsin (2-0). Corrado assisted on Eriq Zavaleta's second goal of the night at Kentucky. He then assisted on Zavaleta's game-winning goal in the 11th minute vs. Wisconsin and his score in the 49th minute. In fact, four of his eight assists have come on goals by Zavaleta. He also assisted on Nikita Kotlov's goal in a 2-2 tie at Louisville, sending in a corner kick that was headed in by the sophomore. His eighth assist was also on a Kotlov goal in a 2-0 win over Butler. Number nine came on Femi Hollinger-Janzen's score in a 2-1 loss to Michigan.
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