Indiana Daily Student

Tumultuous season ends in penalty kicks

Upsets. Heartbreak. Elation. The 2007-2008 men’s soccer team had it all. \nThe season started off strong with a win over New Mexico in Fort Wayne, and it appeared as though the Hoosiers were officially leaving behind their disappointing finish from the season before – a defeat in penalty kicks by Santa Clara.\nThese hopes continued to grow as IU went on to tie No. 9 Maryland and defeat No. 2 University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) during the course of the Adidas/IU Credit Union Classic. They dominated in the Mike Berticelli Tournament in South Bend, defeating both Northern Illinois and Rhode Island to win the tournament.\nThe Hoosiers climbed the rankings and were sitting at No. 2 in the nation when they traveled to St. Louis to face Creighton University and St. Louis University. Unfortunately for IU, they hit a speed bump in their road to the NCAAs, falling to both teams.\nThe losses were tough for the team, and it showed in their game against University of Alabama-Birmingham a few days later. A lapse in defense led to a late goal by UAB, leaving the Hoosiers to scramble from a 2-1 deficit late in the game. They were unable to recover.\nWhile it was a tough three-game stint for IU, they came back with a vengeance for the remainder of the season. Even while facing tough opponents such as Michigan, Notre Dame and Northwestern, IU went on to lose only one game and tie three more before heading into the postseason. They claimed their 13th Big Ten regular-season title outright, but fell to Ohio State in the Big Ten Tournament championship game.\n“It’s frustrating,” freshman Neil Wilmarth said. “Their two center backs were strong and hard to get by. It makes it hard to finish an opportunity when we got one.” \nIU was awarded a No. 4 seed in the NCAA tournament, giving them a first round bye. Their first, and ultimately last, game of the tournament came against the Bradley University Braves in Bloomington. The two teams tied at 1-1 during regulation time, which led to two overtimes and eventually a shoot-out. All five Bradley players slipped their shots past junior goalkeeper Chay Cain, and the first four Hoosiers got theirs past the Bradley keeper as well. Freshman Michael Roach was to take the deciding shot, and despite solid kicks in practice, sent his shot just high and off the crossbar. Bradley continued on in the tournament while the Hoosiers saw their tournament run end prematurely for the second year in a row.\n“I want to commend my team for an outstanding year,” said head coach Mike Freitag. “It didn’t end up the way we wanted. I was proud of this team. I know this team will continue to grow.”\nWith the loss, three seniors saw their collegiate careers come to an end that evening. Goalkeeper Chris Munroe, midfielder Charley Traylor and back Greg Stevning all played their last games as Hoosiers. The three Hoosiers had been teammates since high school, when they played for North Central in Indianapolis. \nWhile their athletic careers may have ended, all three are beginning their professional careers in business. Traylor will be working in finance in Atlanta, while both Stevning and Munroe will be working in Chicago.

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