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Season-high assist tally propels No.10 IU men's soccer to home win


Redshirt junior A.J. Palazzolo attempts to save a ball from going out of bounds against the University of Evansville on Oct. 22 at Bill Armstrong Stadium. Their win over Evansville meant an improvement to 9-2-3 on the season. Sam House

No. 10 IU men’s soccer racked up a season-high six assists in a 5-1 win over the University of Evansville. IU’s ball movement facilitated four of its five goals. 

“The conviction that we had on the ball was better today than it has been,” freshman forward Victor Bezerra said. “We’re getting each other’s habits down and taking it in stride.”

Cutting through the defense early, Bezerra and freshman forward Herbert Endeley sprinted down the left side of the field, kicking passes through defenders’ legs. 

Their crafty passing in the first minute got the ball to junior midfielder Spencer Glass on the edge of the box before he blasted the ball for his third goal of 2019.

“It was a great sequence,” IU head coach Todd Yeagley said. “Spencer was able to use his efficient stroke, kept it on frame and used the turf, which was really moving quick.”

Following a counter near midfield, freshman forward Joshua Penn speared a pass to Bezerra, who kicked the ball between senior goalkeeper Frederik Reimer’s legs and into the lower left corner of the net for his third goal on the season.

Penn’s passing play continued strong with right and left crosses into the box, which helped set up many of IU’s 11 first-half shots. In the 30th minute, his passing would help set up the third goal. 

From the right side of the field Penn shot a pass to senior defender Simon Waever at the top of the box. The former Purple Ace himself tapped the ball past two defenders and found junior defender A.J. Palazzolo for his second goal. 

Hoosier passing set up five corner kick opportunities and seven shots on goal in the first half. 

“To come out in the first half and score three goals like that breeds confidence going for the rest of the game and hopefully moving forward,” junior forward Thomas Warr said. 

Although the offense was dim for most of the second half, it lit up near the end. 

In the 69th minute, Bezerra blasted the ball high in the air and upfield to Warr. As the ball descended, Reimer, all alone on his end of the field, ran after Bezerra’s pass, but Warr got to it first. 

Warr juked by the Purple Aces’ goalkeeper and kicked the ball into the net for the sixth assist and fourth goal of the match. The goal was also Warr’s first since the preseason, and he credited it to the increasing chemistry between him and Bezerra.

“Great pass,” Warr said. “Him and I work a lot to move off each other. We’re getting that connection more and more each day.”

The final goal also came from solid ball movement but was an unassisted finish from freshman midfielder Trey Kapsalis. 

Following a deflection, Kapsalis curved the ball from roughly 15 yards out, scoring his first collegiate goal. 

IU’s bench exploded onto the field and cheered with Kapsalis, an athlete who Bezerra said works hard and contributes much to the program. 

“Everybody’s first thing in their head is what’s best for the team and having these guys to be able to come in and make an impact is huge,” Bezerra said. 

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