Indiana Daily Student

IU looks for 1st-half production against Akron

Junior midfielder Andy Adlard looks for a pass as sophomore forward Will Bruin (right) tries to run behind the IUPUI defense during the Hoosier's game against the Jaguars Wednesday at Bill Armstrong Stadium. Hoosiers tied the game 1-1.
Junior midfielder Andy Adlard looks for a pass as sophomore forward Will Bruin (right) tries to run behind the IUPUI defense during the Hoosier's game against the Jaguars Wednesday at Bill Armstrong Stadium. Hoosiers tied the game 1-1.

If the trends of the spring season continue, the men’s soccer game Saturday would need to go beyond penalty kicks to settle.

Such seems to be the case for the Hoosiers, who have had three straight regulation ties lead to overtime periods en route to a 1-1-2 spring record.  

“Late in the game, you start stretching and you start forcing,” IU coach Todd Yeagley said. “Nights are going to be tough sometimes to score.”

IU hopes Saturday isn’t one of those nights, as the team travels to Northern Kentucky for an exhibition contest at 8 p.m. against Akron, last season’s national runner-up.

By design of the spring season, teams have played more overtime periods each game.
The Hoosiers ended their April 9 game against Cincinnati with a 1-1 tie in regulation.

Then, they played two 10-minute extra periods against IU-Purdue University Indianapolis before the game concluded with the same outcome.

On April 17 in Fort Wayne, IU once again sent a contest to overtime when sophomore forward Will Bruin matched two Notre Dame goals in the second half.  
Neither team scored in the two overtimes, which led to penalty kicks, where the Fighting Irish claimed the victory with a 4-2 advantage.

More concerning to Yeagley, however, is the Hoosiers’ tendency to start slowly on offense in the first half. All six of IU’s goals this spring have come in the second half of games.

“We weren’t there in the first half as much as I would’ve liked,” Yeagley said. “We’re seeing a trend that we have to address.”

The first-year coach attributed conditions during the games as a possible factor in his players’ adjustment periods. The Hoosiers played through rain in their spring opener against Louisville on March 28 and a glaring setting sun in two evening contests.

“Whether it’s the sun, a little heat that we haven’t been dealing with, they’re things that we’ll deal with next year,” he said. “Our team’s got to get stronger and deal with conditions. That could’ve played into it.”

Regardless of the conditions in Newport, Ky., on Saturday, IU could be in for a challenge against Akron.

The Zips entered the Dec. 13 final of the 2009 NCAA Men’s Division I Soccer Championship undefeated before falling to Virginia 3-2 in penalty kicks.
Akron coach Caleb Porter, who played at IU from 1994-97, earned National Coach of the Year honors for his team’s flirtation with perfection.

While a date with one of the nation’s premier programs seems daunting, Yeagley said he knows exactly what he wants to see from his squad: a faster start.

“What I would’ve liked is to see them solve that a little bit quicker on the field because most of our job is done prior,” he said.

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