Indiana Daily Student

IU ends spring with 2-0 victory against Mexico U-20 team

Teammates congratulate sophomore midfielder Tyler McCarroll (left) after the opening goal in IU's contest against the U-20 Mexican Youth National Team Tuesday at Bill Armstrong Stadium.
Teammates congratulate sophomore midfielder Tyler McCarroll (left) after the opening goal in IU's contest against the U-20 Mexican Youth National Team Tuesday at Bill Armstrong Stadium.

Passionate cheers and chants, droning horns and an array of tunes by IU’s Crabb Band and a Mexican mariachi band echoed throughout Bill Armstrong Stadium for two hours Tuesday.

The aggressive play on Jerry Yeagley Field accompanied with the surroundings resulted in the IU men’s soccer team’s best performance of the spring season.

The Hoosiers scored twice on four shots-on-goal and dominated physically on defense to shut out the U-20 Mexican Youth National Team 2-0.

With the win, IU finished 2-1-2 on the spring.

“We had some very good moments in our performance, collectively and individually,” IU coach Todd Yeagleysaid. “We’re leaving like we want to leave the spring. I think we made positive steps.”

More than 4,000  people attended the game, including a healthy contingent of Mexican fans. That made the contest as close to a regular season game as possible this time of year, Yeagley said.

“That’s why we really love this game,” he said. “With players, there are butterflies. They’re nervous, especially the young ones who haven’t played in an environment like this. So now, when you come into a hostile away environment or a home game where there’s four or 5,000, the anxiety may not be there as much.

“That is a great tool for us.”

The Hoosiers went on the offensive in the first half, striking first blood at 30:33. Sophomore midfielder Tyler McCarroll took advantage of an opening and put junior midfielder Andy Adlard’s assist past Mexico goalkeeper Israel Cano.

“I knew that goal would be crucial to change the momentum of the game,” McCarroll said. “We deserved it with how we were playing.”

McCarroll could see the improvement in his team’s aggression in first-half play.

“I think each game we’ve gotten better and better,” he said. “I think we proved it today with how we played and how we executed.”

Returning from the half with their 1-0 lead, the Hoosiers continued to build on their aggressiveness.

Five minutes into the second period, sophomore forward Will Bruin barely missed on a shot on which Cano made a brilliant diving save.

Mexico could not muster much on offense, however, as IU’s physical advantage limited its opponent to six total shots, three by midfielder Diego De Buen.

Bruin said it was a result of increased emphasis on defense in practice.

“At the beginning of the spring, we started off from scratch,” he said. “We worked on so much defensive shape and getting all our backs and midfielders on the same page.”

Later in the half, at 68:29, Bruin made up for the miss and added his fifth goal of the spring on a header from McCarroll.

“We’ve been working a lot more on finishing, and I think a lot of people are getting more confidence with just the little drills we do in practice,” Bruin said. “From where we started, we’ve made multiple strides up to now.”

Mexico earned one final chance at a score with extra time on an IU penalty, but the Hoosiers’ defense clamped down and shut out the visitors as the final gun sounded.

With his first stretch of games as IU coach now finished, Yeagley has at least a better and clearer idea of what he’ll see when the team reconvenes for the fall season.

“We built a lot of depth, and depending on how guys come back, there’s going to be a lot of great competition,” he said. “That’s what this spring is about, as well: create competition. Competition within this program has been a backbone and a strength, and we’re going to have that.

“That’s what makes you better – the environment.” 

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