Indiana Daily Student

Hoosiers lose friendly to Mexican U-20 National Team 2-0

Pete Stuttgen
Pete Stuttgen

What started off as an “international friendly” quickly escalated into a heated competition as IU hosted the Mexican Youth National Team Tuesday night at Bill Armstrong Stadium in front of a crowd slightly more than 4,600. \nFor the fourth straight year, the Mexican Youth Team traveled into Hoosier territory. Unfortunately for IU, for the second straight year, Mexico walked away as the victors with a score of 2-0. Mexico leads the overall series 3-1.\nIn a tense match, both teams fought a very physical and intense game. While Mexican goalie Miguel Baez said he thought the collegiate style of play was more physical than what he was used to, IU coach Mike Freitag respectfully disagreed.\n“Their style is a physical one, if not more so than ours,” Freitag said. “They are well schooled on using their bodies. They make contact first before going after the ball, whereas we tend to go in feet first. I have to commend them for their style.”\nIU started the match a bit shaky, letting El Tri players get the step ahead of them on passes. However, where the offense lacked, the defense picked back up. Junior midfielder Brad Ring played a physical game in the middle, saving the Hoosiers from dangerous possessions from Mexico.\nIt was in the 11-minute mark when Mexico scored its first goal. IU freshman defender Daniel Kelly was tripped up in the 18-yard box and had the ball stripped from him by forward Moises Herrera. Herrera went one-on-one with Hoosier goalkeeper Chay Cain and snuck it past him into the lower right of the goal.\nThe intensity of both teams quickly rose as the Hoosiers frantically tried to tie things up and Mexico tried to hold them off. The intensity peaked in the minute of stoppage play when a Mexican player went down with an apparent face injury. Hoosier and Mexican players began arguing about the dirty play and had to be separated by referees as the half expired.\n“I don’t think anything malicious went on in the game,” Freitag said about the verbal altercations. “I just think it was two teams trying to play hard and get an edge.”\nJunior forward Kevin Noschang had several attempts at goals as the game went on, but was unsuccessful.\n“(I thought) ‘Shoot,’” Noschang said about his missed goals. “My job as a forward is to take chances and unfortunately none of them worked.”\nThe Hoosiers’ closest opportunity to score came in the 58th minute, as Noschang brought the ball into the 18 and centered it to sophomore Neil Wilmarth. Wilmarth took the shot, but it was easily blocked by Baez.\nMexico scored the go-ahead goal during the stoppage play. Jesus Manzo took a fast break down the left side of the field and knocked the ball into the lower right side of the goal, sending the Mexican faithful into a fury of cheers.\nKelly said Mexico was a great \nteam – possibly the best he’s ever faced.\n“They way they move,” Kelly said, “I mean, we know we have to move, but the way they move is some of the best I’ve ever seen.”

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