The Men’s Soccer team fell for the third consecutive match, this time to instate rival Valparaiso University at the Crusader’s Brown Field.
IUPUI (1-5-1) took advantage of the lumbering Valparaiso (3-2-1) defense early in the match when Matt Guy cut off a pass in the attacking third. His ensuing shot was pushed barely wide by Valpo goalkeeper Kyle Zobeck, but the speed of the Jaguars showed to be a handful for the tall – but slow – VU center backs.
“We didn’t use our speed as much as we should have,” Head Coach Isang Jacob said following the loss. “We knew their back line was big but wasn’t fast, and we hoped to get one early.”
Kyle Hyland continued with a slew of impressive left-footed free kicks some coming from the corners and others following fouls. Midway through the first half, he had an opportunity to open the scoring from 22-yards out, but his curling shot glanced off the top of the wall and still nearly snuck into the upper-90. On the ensuing corner, again taken by Hyland, was easily saved by Zobeck.
“Hyland is doing a fabulous job of playing that role,” Coach Jacob boasted. “He has taken on a lot of leadership and is responding well. He is a left back but we moved him to center back due to injuries on our team.”
The best opportunity for Valpo in the first half came off of a poorly played long throw in. Stefan Antonijevic, a 6-foot-6 defender, flicked a ball out towards a pair of Valpo players who combined to send a ball towards the net. IUPUI’s goalkeeper Tyler Keever somehow put a foot on the ball to clear it off the line, preserving the 0-0 score.
Perez Agaba suffered a rough injury with just over six minutes remaining in the first half when a head-to-head collision left him cluttered on the turf.
In the second half, the teams traded poor possession, but the game was chippy enough to allow a few opportunities. Valpo capitalized on IUPUI fouls, sending service after service towards the box, but they didn’t score until later. A seemingly desperate chance from Eric Nieto skipped along the ground, scooting past a shielded Keever, for the freshman’s first goal of his career.
“It was tough,” Keever said. “The ball got cleared out and there were ten or eleven guys running out of the box. Three of our guys tried to get a touch on it and they all missed. It snuck through and I couldn’t see it.”
The Jaguars struggled to maintain any real pressure in the second half. Most chances came from long services in that could easily be cleared away by the Valparaiso defense. The last five minutes of the match were frantic but a goal wasn’t in the cards for IUPUI.
“I thought we fought, that’s what we asked the guys to do. We played against a very good Valparaiso team.”
IUPUI 0 0 – 0
Valpo 0 1 – 0
Goals: VU – Nieto, Eric (1) 63’
Cautions: IUPUI – Fritcha, Tyler, 71’ (Tackle); VU – Bench, 60’ (Dissent)