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Clinical performance pushes men’s soccer past New Hampshire


Junior midfielder Francesco Moore makes a penalty kick against New Hampshire in the third round of the NCAA tournament Saturday evening at Bill Armstrong Stadium. IU defeated New Hampshire, 2-1, to advance to the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament against Michigan State. Bobby Goddin Buy Photos

Correction: An earlier version of this story stated the final score was a 2-0 IU win. The match finished as a 2-1 IU win.

Throughout this season, No. 2 IU has been able to get a barrage of shots off in each game, but the Hoosiers found a different way to get the job done against New Hampshire on Saturday night at Bill Armstrong Stadium.

With just seven shots and only two of them on target, IU was outshot by New Hampshire in the third round of the NCAA Tournament. 

However, the Hoosiers put together a precise, clinical performance in order to get a 2-1 win and advance to the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals.

“As you keep playing better teams as we keep moving on, that’s what it has to be,” junior attacker Cory Thomas said. “You’re not going to get 30 shots per game. You’re going to get, as good as we are, five decent chances and it really comes down to whether you can put it into the net. Tonight we were pretty good.”

Thomas opened the game's scoring during a fast IU start. In the 10th minute, after IU junior defender Rece Buckmaster created space on the right wing, he swung a cross into the box for Thomas, who connected with  the cross with his head to score the goal.

For the majority of the first half, the Hoosiers dominated the Wildcats, and limited their offensive opportunities through stout defensive play. Junior defender Andrew Gutman caused havoc running down the left wing, and several Hoosiers were always waiting in the box in an effort to extend their lead.

“I thought we started really well,” IU Coach Todd Yeagley said. “The first 20 minutes we were on top of them. We’ve worked so hard from our assessment of being more box-dangerous, and so Cory was there in the box when we needed him.”

Junior midfielder Francesco Moore was one of three players who anchored the center of the pitch for IU and controlled the game through the middle in order to create more opportunities in the first half. He said being in the right place at the right time and staying aware of where they were on the pitch at all times aided their dominant performance.

Moore extended the Hoosier lead in the 65th minute after freshman midfielder Spencer Glass was taken down in the box, leading to a penalty that Moore then converted right down the middle of the goal.

New Hampshire ended up getting one back near the end of the game to give IU a scare down the stretch, but the Hoosiers were able to hang onto the lead. 

Through 22 games, and in the thick of the NCAA Tournament, IU has still yet to trail at any point this season.

“It’s just a big team effort from top to bottom,” Moore said. “Our focus going into every single game is to get a goal early on, or if we don’t, we want to be locked in. We always think about what we can do better and the next play ahead, so I think it’s a testament to our discipline, which comes from coaching. They really try to nail in focus in us, and I think it shows with that stat of us not trailing all year.”

The Hoosiers got it done against New Hampshire in a different way, but it goes to show how versatile they can be when put in contrasting situations.

“We lead the country in shots," Yeagley said. "And it’s a nice stat, but at some point we say that we need to be efficient with it. We didn’t get as many looks tonight, but again, our efficiency was good, and we’re still looking at becoming a better finishing team.”

The win means a meeting with seven-seed Michigan State is set for Dec. 1 in Bloomington, where the two sides will do battle to reach the College Cup in Philadelphia.

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