The IU defense came through for the most part, making drastic diving and sliding saves, IU Coach Todd Yeagley said.
“(Senior midfielder) Caleb (Konstanski) and (senior goalkeeper) Luis (Soffner) are the two that always come forward for us during big games,” Yeagley said. “They made some great saves tonight, and against a Final Four team, you have to be making those saves.”
Despite being outshot during the game 15-11, the Hoosiers garnered a few chances on goal.
Near the 25th minute, sophomore defender Patrick Doody put a hopeful ball into the box from nearly halfway down the field. Sophomore forward Eriq Zavaleta was not able to reach the ball with his head before Akron goalkeeper David Meves got a hand on the pass.
Midway into the second half, junior midfielder Jacob Bushue dribbled his way down the right side of the field into the six-yard box. Bushue played a pass back to the top of the box, where Zavaleta was open.
The forward sent a shot in, but Meves deflected the ball with his fingertips over the crossbar.
Akron’s Eric Stevenson scored the lone goal of the match. Receiving a pass from forward Dillon Serna, Stevenson worked a ball through two Indiana defenders. The ball deflected off the last defender and rolled slowly into the right post. The deflection from the post bounced the ball into the goal, ending the Hoosiers’ three-game shutout streak.
“The only goal we let through tonight got lucky,” Konstanski said. “It squared across the box and took a deflection. It’s unlucky, plays like that, but we stayed strong and finished the game positively.”
Yeagley said he felt the Zips did not receive the Hoosiers’ best efforts Friday night.
“I credit Akron for playing well and making it difficult for us, but I would definitely like to play that team again when we’re in a little bit more of a synch offensively,” Yeagley said.
In Sunday’s barnburner against Oregon State, the Hoosiers gave up two early goals yet found a way to string together three second-half goals and achieve the victory 3-2.
Oregon State gained the lead early with two goals in five minutes.
Heading into the locker room at halftime with the score 2-0, the Hoosiers were down at the half for the second time in as many games.
But in just five minutes, the Hoosiers were able to turn their fortunes around.
Junior midfielder A.J. Corrado scored for the Hoosiers first after tucking a shot in the right side far post in the 62nd minute.
Four minutes later, Zavaleta headed a shot into the goal, scoring on a cross from junior midfielder Harrison Petts.
The go-ahead goal came off a Beaver own-goal, and just like that the Hoosiers had the lead with less than 15 minutes left in the game.
On Friday, Konstanski expressed his pleasure with the Hoosier defense and the potential of the Hoosier offense. In the second half Sunday, the two united for the comeback.
“We have to put some better things together offensively, but we play well defensively,” Konstanski said. “Those pieces of the puzzle will come together throughout the season.”
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