No. 9 Indiana Faces No. 3 UNC In NCAA Third Round
Nov. 25, 2011
SETTING THE SCENE Indiana brings its 10-match unbeaten streak to Chapel Hill on Sunday, Nov. 27 for the third round of the NCAA Tournament. The No. 16 seed Hoosiers advanced to the third round with a 3-0 win over Old Dominion. No. 1 seed UNC topped Coastal Carolina, 3-2 in the second round. This is the sixth meeting between UNC and Indiana, with each of the last four coming in the NCAA Tournament. The Hoosiers are making their 36th overall appearance in the NCAA Tournament and are in the field for the 25th-straight year. Indiana is 78-26-4 all time in NCAA Tournament games. Sophomore Nikita Kotlov has had the hot foot for the Hoosiers with eight goals in his last nine matches, including two goals and an assist in the 3-0 win over ODU. The Hoosiers are the only remaining Big Ten team in the NCAA Tournament.
NEWS AND NOTES Indiana advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament for the fourth-straight year with a 3-0 win over Old Dominion on Nov. 20. Sophomore Nikita Kotlov had a pair of goals and an assist, while junior Tim Wylie scored his first career goal. Kotlov tallied what would be the game winner in the 17th minute off a cross from senior Chris Estridge. It was Kotlov again in the 71st minute, giving him his ninth goal of the season and eighth in the last nine games. Freshman Patrick Doody's corner kick set up the goal. Wylie capped off the scoring in the 80th minute as he put home the rebound off a shot from Kotlov. Indiana out-shot the Monarchs 20-8, with 12 of its 20 shots on frame. Kotlov had seven shots total, six on goal. Junior goalkeeper Luis Soffner picked up his eighth shutout of the year, while it was the ninth clean sheet of 2011 for Indiana.
SCOUTING THE TAR HEELS North Carolina has spent much of the 2011 season ranked No. 1 in the nation and are 18-2-2 overall. The Tar Heels have won seven straight and are 8-1-1 in their last 10 matches. The Tar Heels earned the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament as winners of the ACC regular season and tournament titles. Junior forward Billy Schuler leads the UNC offense with 14 goals and 4 assists (32 points), while junior midfielder Enzo Martinez has scored nine goals and 10 assists (28 points). Five Carolina players have scored five or more goals as the Tar Heels have tallied 52 goals on the season, while allowing just 16. Goalkeeper Scott Goodwin has started all 22 matches, allowing 16 scores in 2022 minutes for a 0.71 GAA with eight shutouts. Junior forward Ben Speas (Akron) and senior defender Matt Hedges (Butler) both faced Indiana as members of different squads last season. Head coach Carlos Somoano is in his first season as head coach of UNC. He is assisted by Jeff Negalha and Grant Porter.
SERIES HISTORY This is the sixth meeting between Indiana and North Carolina, with the Tar Heels holding a 3-2 lead in the series. The last meeting came in 2009, also in the third round of the NCAA Tournament. UNC was a 1-0 winner in that match. It is the fourth-straight meeting between the teams that has come in the NCAA Tournament. Prior to 2009 the team met in the 2001 NCAA College Cup title game, won 2-0 by the Tar Heels. Indiana won the NCAA Tournament third round meeting between the schools in 2000, 1-0 in Chapel Hill. UNC was the No. 1 seed that season. The teams matched up during the regular season in 1988 and 1994, with IU takin a 2-0 victory in Bloomington in 1988, and falling at home by a 2-1 score in 1994.
INDIANA vs. ACC This is Indiana's first matchup with an ACC team in 2011 regular season. The Hoosiers and Duke played to a 1-1 tie during the preseason. The Hoosiers are 24-13-6 all-time against teams currently in the ACC. Boston College (2-0-0), Clemson (5-4-1), Duke (4-2-1), Maryland (3-0-2), North Carolina (2-3-0), North Carolina State (2-1-1), Virginia (4-2-1), Wake Forest (2-1-0).
NCAA DÉJA VU The trip to North Carolina is not so unfamiliar to the Hoosiers as IU was in the same position for the 2009 NCAA Tournament, facing the Tar Heels in the third round. Goalkeeper Luis Soffner, defender Tommy Meyer, and midfielders Nick Blevins and Alec Purdie all saw action in the 2009 match, a 1-0 victory for the Tar Heels. Soffner had five saves in the match, which was decided on a goal from Alex Dixon in the 28th minute.
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KOTLOV ON A ROLL Sophomore midfielder Nikita Kotlov is on a hot streak right now, tallying two goals in the 3-0 win over Old Dominion in the NCAA Tournament second round to bump is season total of nine. Eight of Kotlov's nine goals have come in the last nine matches. The streak began with a goal on Oct. 15 in a 4-1 win over Michigan. That set off a four-match scoring streak with goals vs. Kentucky (Oct. 19), Michigan State (Oct. 23) and Evansville (Oct. 26) After going scoreless vs. Northwestern on Oct. 30, Kotlov scored vs. Ohio State (Nov. 5) and Michigan State (Nov. 9). He again went without a goal vs. NU on Nov. 11, before coming back with two vs. ODU. For his performance against Old Dominion, Kotlov was named to the Top Drawer Soccer Team of the Week and the College Soccer News Team of the Week on Nov. 21. Kotlov ranks second on the team and tied for second in the Big Ten in goals scored (nine) and is third on the team in scoing with 19 points (9g, 1a).
KEEP ON SCORING Despite losing 68 percent of its goal production fro the 2010 season, the Hoosiers have scored 39 goals in 21 matches, after putting up 37 goals in 20 matches in 2010. The Hoosiers goal numbers in 2010 and 2011 top numbers put up in 2009 (28-23 games), 2008 (35-24 games), 2007 (31-22 games) and 2006 (32-22 games). Nikita Kotlov has tripled his scoring output, going from three goals in 2010, to nine in 2011, while Alec Purdie has more than doubled his after going from three goals in 2010 to eight in 2011.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN The road has been a friendly place for the Hoosiers this season as they are 6-1-4 in matches played away from Armstrong Stadium Indiana is 4-1-3 in true road matches and 2-0-1 in neutral-site games. Indiana has road wins over Rutgers, Butler, Michigan and Evansville, with ties at Notre Dame, St. John's and Northwestern. The lone loss came at Wisconsin by a 2-0 score.
DID YOU KNOW? Last time IU played a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament was 2003. The Hoosiers defeated No. 1 UCLA 2-1 in Los Angeles in the quarterfinals and went on to win the NCAA title. Since the NCAA started seeding teams in 1994, IU is 3-0 when facing the No. 1 seed, including a 1-0 win at UNC in 2000. Three of Indiana's 2011 regular-season opponents remain in the NCAA Tournament. No. 2 seed Creighton, No. 12 seed Louisville and Rutgers have all advanced to the round of 16. Twenty-six of Indiana's 39 goals have been scored by either a freshman or sophomore. Todd Yeagley's team are 4-3-1 during the month of November. Indiana is 8-1-1 this year when jumping out to a 2-0 lead in a match. 54 percent (6/11) of Indiana's starting lineup is either a freshman or sophomore. In addition, the first two players off the bench are also sophomores. Indiana has 13 wins for the first time since 2008. Prior to the 2009 season, the Hoosiers had tallied 13 or more victories in 22 straight seasons (1987-2008). The Hoosiers have scored 12 of their 39 goals within the first 32 minutes of the match this season. Seven of those have come within the first 20 minutes of play. Indiana has scored in the first 20 minutes in each of the last two matches.
INDIANA IN ROUND THREE The Hoosiers have advanced to the third round of NCAA Tournament play 26 times with a record of 16-8-2. Below is a listing of the Hoosiers' third-round matches: 1976 1-0 SIU-Edwardsville 1978 2-0 SIU-Edwardsville 1979 0-2 Penn State 1980 3-1 Penn State 1981 0-1 Philadelphia 1983 2-1 Saint Louis 1984 4-2 Saint Louis 1988 3-1 Seton Hall 1989 1-0 Howard 1990 0-1 Evansville 1991 2-2 SMU 1992 0-2 San Diego 1994 2-1 CS Fullerton 1996 0-1 Florida International 1997 6-0 South Florida 1998 2-1 Clemson 1999 3-0 Penn State 2000 1-0 North Carolina 2001 3-0 Rutgers 2002 0-1 Connecticut 2003 5-0 Virginia Commonwealth 2004 1-0 Boston College 2006 0-0 Santa Clara 2008 3-0 Michigan 2009 0-1 North Carolina 2010 1-2 Akron
HOOSIERS IN THE BIG TEN (as of 11/21) The Hoosiers are at or near the top of the standings in several Big Ten statistical categories. Eriq Zavaleta leads the Big Ten in points with 25 and points per game with 1.19. He also leads the league in goals scored (10) and goals per game (0.48). Nikita Kotlov is tied for second in goals scored (9), goals per game (0.47) and points per game (1.00) and is fourth in total points (19). Alec Purdie is second in points (21), points per game (1.00) and is tied for fourth in goals (8) and fifth in goals per game (0.38). Purdie leads the conference in game-winning goals with five, while Zavaleta and Kotlov are tied for second with three. Tommy Meyer is second in the league in assists with seven, while Harrison Petts is tied for third with six. Chris Estridge, Zavaleta and Purdie are tied for sixth with five assists each. Goalkeeper Luis Soffner is third in save percentage (.807), saves (71) and shutouts (8) and is second in goals-against average (0.81). INDIANA IN THE POLLS Indiana dropped four spots to No. 11 in the Soccer America poll and stay at No. 9 in the NSCAA top 25. The Hoosiers are at No. 10 in the College Soccer News top-30 which was last released on Nov. 6. IU dropped to No. 15 in the final Top Drawer Soccer Tournament 48.
NCAA RPI Indiana moved up five spots to No. 14 in the fifth NCAA RPI list that came out on Nov. 15. IU was No. 19 in the first two RPI releases, No. 21 in week three and No. 19 in week four. Other Big Ten RPI numbers: Northwestern 34, Wisconsin 49, Ohio State 52, Michigan State 69, Penn State 79, Michigan 149.
FRESHMAN IMPACT The Hoosiers are getting key contributions from several players who are donning the cream and crimson for the first time in 2011. Forward Eriq Zavaleta locked up the Big Ten Player of the Year award and currently leads the conference in goals scored with 10. He also leads the league in points (25) and points per game (1.19). His 10 goals have come on just 55 shots, and 25 of his 55 shots have been on frame (.455). A starter in all 21 matches, his 10 goals are also the most by an IU freshman since Matt Fundenberger had 13 as a freshman in 1997. Freshman midfielder Patrick Doody has appeared in 16 games for IU. Doody has been a key player for Indiana off the bench as they have gone 11-1-4 in his appearances. He picked up his first career point with an assist in Indiana's 3-0 win over Old Dominion in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Kerel Bradford redshirted in 2010 and is making the most of his first season on the pitch at IU. Bradford has started all 21 matches and was a Big Ten All-Freshman Team honoree.
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