by Kelsey Renbarger
Saturday, the IUPUI Men’s Soccer team opened their season at Kuntz Memorial Stadium with a 1-0 shutout against Liberty University.
The Jaguars and Flames played a physical match before freshman Sam Fuller opened the scoring in the 37th minute, tallying his first goal as a collegiate athlete. Kyle Hyland sent a corner kick into the box where defender Yogi Snider flicked it on for the waiting Fuller who was able to head it home.
“I thought it was going in,” said Fuller. “It was a powerful header but it was pretty far away. [To score] feels great. I guess I need to work on my celebration though, I was supposed to do a dance."
“I told [Fuller] that he probably won’t know his position on the field, but just to get the ball into the goal,” said IUPUI Head Coach Isang Jacob.
Of the four shots taken by IUPUI, three were from Fuller. A close header in the second half almost put the score at 2-0 but the attempt was off frame. The other attempt was taken by Hyland, who notably played all 90 minutes in the heat.
Other than the goal scored for the Jaguars, only three other shots were taken. Liberty University attempted 12 shots in the 90-minute game and failed to put up any points on the scoreboard.
The shutout felt great for senior goalkeeper Tyler Keever.
“I didn’t have one last year and Coach Jacob says our goal is to have 10 this year, so we’ll try to make that happen,” said Keever. He also credited the win to his back four. “All four stuck together very well to shut them down. We didn’t give Liberty many good opportunities to score.”
Keever recorded four saves during the game in addition to getting the win. Liberty goalkeeper Josh Pacella walked away from Kuntz Stadium with just one save, picking up the loss in the Flames' first game of the season.
The victory was Coach Jacob's first in as many attempts since coming to IUPUI. Having left Penn State as an assistant coach, Jacob has long-term goals for the Men’s Soccer program.
“My goal is to win the Summit League Championship and go to the NCAA Tournament,” said Jacob. “It has been too long since we were there.”
The Jaguars will play again at Kuntz Stadium on Monday night against the Wright State Raiders at 7:00 p.m.
Liberty 0 0 - 0
IUPUI 1 0 - 1