by Michael Hadley
|Photo by Rachel Hale|
IUPUI (4-7-2) held off the shorthanded Western Michigan Broncos (7-8-1) at home Wednesday night, beating their Mid-American Conference foe 1-0 at Kuntz Memorial Stadium. The win was the Jaguars third in a row at home, and third in a row all-time against Western Michigan.
Early on, it was Western Michigan outclassing IUPUI without much trouble. Despite implementing the played-out tactic of “boot and chase”, the speedy Broncos did their best to get on the end of the long passes. With 23 minutes to play in the first half, a defensive breakdown lead to the best WMU chance so far in the match. A long ball played in for Oliver Mayer put the Bronco one-on-one with IUPUI keeper Tyler Keever. The senior goalkeeper did well to stand his ground, deflecting a low shot attempt away from danger.
The pair would have more run-ins throughout the night, with the Jaguar getting the better of every opportunity. Keever, the reining Summit League Player of the Week, is averaging just 1.08 goals in thirteen matches so far in 2011.
IUPUI certainly had a bit of bad luck during the first half, having a rough go of things in the attacking third of the pitch. A high-percentage night in the midfield was balanced with a quite poor performance on the attack.
Luckily for IUPUI, Western Michigan would provide the spark needed for the Jaguars to score. A poor back pass from a WMU player was cut off by the recently subbed on Sam Fuller, and one touch from the freshman’s head was all it took to register his second goal on the season.
In the waning moments of the first half, Keever was again tested following a defensive breakdown. Western Michigan got a ball ten yards from the net for Pat Schiffer who fired a shot that was barely pushed up and over the frame by the IUPUI keeper. Time expired before a corner kick could be taken.
|Photo by Rachel Hale|
IUPUI came out of the half flying high, peppering WMU’s Matt Murrell with two shots within the first two minutes of play. Western matched the intensity well, putting shots on goal quickly after IUPUI’s chances, but neither team could crack the other’s defensive code in the early stages of the second half.
The chippy action lead to more fouls being called in the second half by referee Tony DeLois, including a red card to Western Michigan’s Jason Grant. The freshman thought he got the worst of a challenge from Keever on the edge of the 18-yard box, leading to a bit of a scuffle between the two. Grant took a swing at the Jaguar in the melee, leading the straight red card.
Jeff Keyler’s skill was well on display in the second half as he took the most forward attacking position for IUPUI. The sophomore from Roncalli High School was unable to get a shot over the goal line, but his combination of speed and strength disrupted the WMU defense to create chance after chance, and each time Keyler nearly put the Jaguars ahead.
As the clock ticked down, IUPUI saw Perez Agaba pick up a yellow card but then on the restart the senior went down with an apparent leg injury. The unfortunate incident put a black mark on the otherwise impressive second half from the Jaguars, seeing the home side with a 12-5 advantage in shots taken.
Man of the Match: IUPUI’s Tyler Keever (5 Saves, 0 Goals Allowed)
WMU 0 0 – 0
IUPUI 1 0 – 1
WMU – None
IUPUI – Fuller, Sam (39’) unassisted
WMU – Yellow: Schiffer, Pat (53’) for a reckless challenge; Jones, Darren (65’) for a late shove. Red: Grant, Jason (60’) for swinging at an IUPUI player
IUPUI – Smith, Matt (70’) for a reckless challenge; Agaba, Perez (86’) for a reckless challenge