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IU men’s soccer sees season end in heartbreak



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An emotional Richard Ballard walks off the field after Sunday afternoon's overtime NCAA Tournament loss against Virginia Tech at Bill Armstrong Stadium. Fuad Ponjevic Buy Photos

IU had barely let Virginia Tech get a touch of the ball in extra time.

After another save from Virginia Tech goalkeeper Ben Lundgaard, the Hokies had numbers moving into the attacking half.

Four Hokies took on three Hoosiers.

The IU backline finally looked vulnerable.

Virginia Tech junior midfielder Forrest White got the ball on his right foot, tapped it to his left and fired his shot off the left post. IU senior goalkeeper Christian Lomeli could do nothing but see it move past his outstretched arm.

Just like that, heartbreak.

“They had numbers on us,” IU junior defender Grant Lillard said. “He was able to bring it back to his left and he hit a nice shot. Sometimes there isn’t much you can do when they hit a shot like that.”

Behind White’s first career goal, Virginia Tech ousted the No. 7 seeded Hoosiers from the NCAA Tournament Round of 16 by a score of 2-1 in extra time.

The Hoosiers first fell behind in the 19th minute.

Virginia Tech midfielder Brendan Moyers was left all alone in the middle of the box and finished with ease to give the Hokies a 1-0 lead.

The Hoosiers didn’t find an equalizer until the 77th minute.

IU sophomore Rees Wedderburn sent in an in-swinging cross with his left foot from the far corner flag. It eventually found Lillard in the middle of the box, who finished with his head. It was tied.

IU had a firm grasp on the match after the initial Virginia Tech goal in regulation up until the deciding goal in extra time.

The Hoosiers outshot the Hokies 24-8, but couldn’t put away numerous 
attempts.

“It’s been elusive this year,” Yeagley said. “We worked so hard in getting cleaner in the final third and having composure. I thought their goalkeeper made some phenomenal saves on some, but I thought we could have been a bit cleaner. With this team you feel like one is enough.”

Virginia Tech Coach Michael Brizendine said his squad had not faced an attack like IU’s all season long.

Lundgaard’s massive saves kept the Hokies in it, and allowed his teammates multiple counter attack opportunities.

Yeagley said the Hoosiers didn’t lose, rather, the Hokies just won with a tremendous finish.

“Going out like that, overtime, it’s a tough way to go out,” IU senior Tanner Thompson said. “It’s not fun, but those younger guys will remember this moment and they’ll make sure it doesn’t happen again. These moments sting, but they make you better.”

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