Prior to Friday’s game against Creighton University, IU men’s soccer head coach Todd Yeagley knew his team would be facing an emotional and determined team. After struggling defensively in their start to the season, the Bluejays were 0-2 and looking to beat the No. 1 ranked Hoosiers.
Creighton flipped the script against the Hoosiers Friday night and dominated in almost every area of play — including fouls and yellow cards — to beat IU 3-0
“They had a really tough outing their last game,” Yeagley said in reference to Creighton’s 0-4 loss to Saint Louis University. “They clearly got it figured out.”
Creighton scored a goal in the second minute and added a foul in the third, setting the aggressive tone of the game.
For the rest of the match, barely five minutes passed without a foul called on either team for a total of 30 fouls and four yellow cards in 90 minutes of play.
The Bluejays contributed 18 fouls and three yellow cards, with three fouls called on both freshman forward Manu Toledano and senior midfielder Daniel Espeleta. Four other Bluejays also had two fouls each.
For IU, freshman forward Samuel Sarver and junior forwards Herbert Endeley and Ryan Wittenbrink took the brunt of the fouls.
Sarver led many of the Hoosiers’ offensive charges down the field, making moves in the penalty box and putting pressure on the Bluejays’ defense. Ultimately, none of those chances came to fruition against a determined Creighton side.
“They wanted the game really bad, and they played hard,” Yeagley said. “I give them credit, they played a fantastic game.”
IU responded to Creighton’s advances with 12 fouls and one yellow card, which was issued to junior defender Brett Bebej. The Bluejays cleared the ball away on every chance from the Hoosiers, often leading to a foul or corner kick.
Although IU had 12 corner kicks, none challenged Creighton’s defense.
“I didn’t like our attack tonight in general,” Yeagley said.
The Hoosiers were out-numbered not only in fouls but shots. The 18-7 shot differential showed IU’s inability to get close to the goal and to take advantage of chances when it got there. No Hoosier recorded more than one shot.
Yeagley said he hopes his players learn a tough lesson from the match but thinks the team will be better because of it in the future.
IU will face Xavier University at 8 p.m. Monday at Bill Armstrong Stadium in its second match of the Adidas/IU Credit Union Classic. Xavier, who is 3-0, beat Ohio State 2-1 Friday night to remain undefeated on the season.