After regulation ended in a 1-1 tie, the IU men’s soccer team beat Chivas de Guadalajara Saturday in penalty kicks, 4-3.
“We played a really good team, and we were able to get a lot of out of it,” IU Coach Todd Yeagley said. “We wanted to play a team with this sophistication and athletic ability. Our goal is to play the best competition in the preseason, and we couldn’t find any better.”
Although Chivas scored last in the first half, the Hoosiers controlled most of the period. The ball rarely moved away from the middle third of the field.
When the Hoosiers did get a chance in the offensive third, they capitalized. With a loose ball bouncing around the left side of the field from a corner kick, junior midfielder Harrison Petts fought off two Chivas defenders and booted a cross with his right foot.
“We had numbers in the box, so I needed to get it in there as fast as possible,” Petts said. “I kept my head up, and I saw Caleb making a slip run in behind, and luckily I hit it just how I wanted to get it to him.”
The ball found the head of senior midfielder Caleb Konstanski, who pushed during the chaos of the loose ball. With a flick of the head, the ball traveled over the outstretched left arm of the Chivas goalkeeper and into the netting on the far right post.
“I knew it was coming right at me. Harrison usually plays a really good ball in on a second ball like that,” Konstanski said. “I honestly wasn’t shooting, I didn’t know exactly where I was on the field, and I was planning on flicking it to (sophomore forward) Eriq (Zavaleta) or someone. I guess I was a little closer than I thought.”
For the remainder of the first half, the Hoosier midfield and defense kept the Chivas forwards to free kicks and long shots outside the penalty box.
Chivas saw an opportunity in the 30th minute.
A ball weaved through the Hoosier defense, and senior goalkeeper Luis Soffner found himself in a brief one-on-one situation against a Chivas forward.
Trailing more than five yards behind, sophomore midfielder Kerel Bradford ran the forward down for a stick that prevented a shot just five yards from the goal line.
The remaining Chivas attacks found the hands of Soffner until extra time in the first half.
As the half came to a close, a cross came in from Soffner’s left side. The ball found the extended knee of sophomore midfielder Patrick Doody and then the head of Chivas’ Carlos Ernesto Cisneros Barajas. The Barajas header flew just above the hands of Soffner into the back net.
Chivas continued in its bombardment of the Hoosier backline in the second half, outshooting IU 12-4 in the final 45 minutes.
Though they were stuck on the defensive, the Hoosiers did their part defensively throughout the second half, blocking most shots while sacrificing what they could to deflect the ball away from the goal.
Neither team was able to find the net again by the match’s end. Both teams agreed to a penalty kick finish, which is typically reserved for tournament games.
In the first round of kicks, Zavaleta matched his successful attempt with the first Chivas shooter to tie it 1-1.
After the second Chivas shooter hit his shot, junior midfielder A.J. Corrado aimed right and was blocked by the Chivas goalkeeper to make it 2-1 in favor of Chivas.
Soffner got revenge against Bajaras by blocking his shot left of the goal. This was the first of two blocks in a row for Soffner while junior midfielder Nikita Kotlov and Konstanski both netted their shots to put the Hoosiers ahead 3-2.
The next Chivas player hit his shot to tie the shootout 3-3 to restore hope for Chivas fans. Junior midfielder Jacob Bushue shot down that newfound hope when he scored the team’s fourth penalty kick, winning the shootout and IU’s final preseason game in front of a packed soccer crowd.
“Coming in, they told us it was going to be a big crowd,” Konstanski said. “It lived up to our expectations. It was loud, and being on national television with that atmosphere gets us going and ready for the start of the official season.”
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