Second-Half Rally Lifts No. 10 Indiana to Win
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Eriq Zavaleta's penalty-kick goal in the 56th minute broke a scoreless tie, lifting No. 10 Indiana to a 2-0 win over the Kentucky men's soccer team on a cold and rain-soaked Wednesday night at Jerry Yeagley Field at Bill Armstrong Stadium.
With the two teams battling through a scoreless tie and UK owning the pace of play through the first half, IU struck on the penalty-kick goal, on what was believed to be ruled as a handball inside the box. Zavaleta elected to go to his left on the penalty, with UK sophomore All-Conference USA keeper Tyler Beadle diving to his left, with the ball skipping off his outstretched hands into the back of the net. Zavaleta, the reigning Big Ten Player of the Week, leads IU with eight goals in his first 14 career collegiate games.
Kentucky (8-8-1) owned the first half of the game, as the Wildcats mounted several chances against a stingy Hoosiers defense. UK totaled an 8-1 advantage in corner kicks in the first half, getting a pair of great looks from junior Jacob Kemper and inspired play from senior midfielder Josh McCrary. The Hoosiers came out strong in the second frame, creating several chances before the penalty-kick goal.
The loss keeps UK from its second win over Indiana in program history, with the Wildcats lone win over the Hoosiers coming in 1995 in Bloomington. The tradition-laden Hoosiers - who have 17 final four appearances and seven NCAA Championships in program history - leads the all-time series with UK 16-1-3.
Indiana (9-3-2) got a clean sheet from standout keeper Luis Soffner, who saved two UK shots in the game for his sixth shutout of the year. Beadle posted a save in the game, stopping an IU challenge in the first frame.
UK returns to action on Sunday, traveling to Memphis for a league match with the Tigers set for 3 p.m. ET at the Mike Rose Soccer Complex.
The Wildcats played without three starters in the game, including leading scorers Tyler Riggs and Matt Lodge, along with 2010 Freshman All-America defender Dylan Asher. Riggs and Lodge have mounted two of the more prolific individual seasons in UK soccer history, with the duo combining for 17 goals and 15 assists through 17 games in 2011. Asher has helped shore up the UK defensive unit since returning from an early-season injury.
IU added a goal in the 82nd minute, as Nikita Kotlov took a long-strike from about 25 yards out, sailing to the far post and into the side netting on a nice strike. Beadle, positioned at the near post at the time of the strike from Kotlov, dove to his left but couldn't get his hands on the ball. Kotlov's goal was his third of the year.