The IU men's soccer team fell 1-0 to UCLA in a hotly contested matchup this afternoon, with UCLA's Victor Chavez scoring the game's sole goal in the first minute of the sudden-death extra time period.
The Hoosiers' best chance at a goal came with 14:51 to play in the second half, when freshman forward Tommy Thompson was dragged down from behind inside UCLA's 18-yard-box. UCLA defender Joe Sofia was sent off with a red card for the poor challenge, and junior midfielder Dylan Mares stepped up to take the Hoosiers' penalty kick.
Mares, who appeared to lose his balance during his run-up to the penalty spot, attempted to place the ball in the bottom left corner of the goalmouth, but his shot was stopped by UCLA goalkeeper Earl Edwards, Jr.
IU went on to threaten to score multiple times at the end of regulation, but a solid display of defending by a 10-man UCLA squad kept the Hoosiers off the scoreboard.
Heading into the golden goal OT period, IU seemingly possessed the momentum, as evidenced by their strong run of play to finish the second half and their man advantage over the Bruins. That momentum, as well as the match, was ended when UCLA's Victor Munoz played a ball towards IU's goal, intended for Chavez. IU sophomore goalkeeper Michael Soderlund was unable to corral the pass, and the ball fell to Chavez's feet with an open net ahead of him.
The senior forward did not hesitate, slotting a shot home and ending the game after only 56 seconds of extra time.
- Sunday's game set an all-time attendance record for IU's Bill Armstrong Stadium, with 7,720 people creating a standing-room-only environment. IU Head Coach Todd Yeagley described the turnout as "unbelievable. Our support is phenomenal. I know everybody who left the stadium today left excited about this team."
- Yeagley on his team's adjustments after UCLA defender Joe Sofia was sent off for dragging down Tommy Thompson with 14:51 left in the second half: "We really wanted two (players) on the right of their centerbacks. They were going to bottle up the center of the field, so we had to get some wide service, so we pushed our wide backs higher. Not as sharp as we needed to be when we were up the extra man, but that's something we weren't able to work on in the short preseason.
- Shortly before a penalty was awarded to IU for Simmons' challenge on Thompson, the Hoosiers were denied what appeared to be a clear penalty when Thompson, after a through ball from senior A.J. Corrado, was pulled down from behind. Referee Cien Arosea gave the Hoosiers a free kick on the edge of the box, a decision Yeagley was unhappy with: "I thought he missed one. We were definitely due for a penalty in that game, and we did get one later."
- IU goalkeeper Michael Soderlund, making only his second start in an IU uniform, put in a solid performance, despite the game-ending goal. "He was confident, he made good exits, and his feet were good," Yeagley said. "Mike had to be really good about being there... I thought Mike was very good on the weekend, and today in particular."
The Hoosiers will next take the field on Friday, when they will travel to Birmingham, Ala., for a game with the UAB Blazers. They will return to Bill Armstrong Stadium on Sunday for a matchup with West Virginia.
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