The Hoosier Army fell 3-1 to Newtown Pride in The Soccer Tournament at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, North Carolina and was knocked out of the tournament. This was the Hoosiers’ only loss in the four-team group stage, but their goal differential was not enough to push them through to the knockout round.
The first few minutes were completely dominated by Newtown Pride FC, with the Hoosiers just running after the ball and defending the best they could. Three minutes in, Nikita Katlov hit the post from the far-left side to show Newtown Pride that the Hoosiers were still dangerous.
But Newtown Pride struck first. William Eskay was alone inside the box and given an easy tap in after a low cross from the left, the Hoosier Army were down 1-0, losing for the first time in the tournament.
Newtown Pride had control of the ball and Indiana was over-relying on long passes by goalkpeer Christian Lomeli, which were not connecting. And with seven minutes, Lomeli was forced to make two point-blank saves in back-to-back attacks from Newtown Pride.
The Hoosiers were being boxed in, but 15 minutes into the game, they recorded their first shot on goal which came from an Austin Panchot header after a long cross. The Hoosiers started to generate better chances.
Newtown Pride, however, took advantage of Indiana’s boldness and scored another tap-in on a 2v1 counterattack. It was Gabriel Costa’s first goal in the tournament after missing a penalty in the final kick of the game against Kingdom FC.
After regulation, the match went to Target Score Time. The target score, which ends the match, is set upon the leading team’s score plus one goal. Whoever reaches the target score first wins the match. It has no time limit but after every five minutes one player from each side is taken out.
In the other game of the group, Kingdom FC had won 7-1 against Borussia Dortmund and passed the Hoosier Army in goal differential, so the Hoosiers had to win the game to advance.
Indiana made it 2-1 after a mistake by Newtown Pride’s defense offered an open lane to the goal. Kyle Spencer placed it in the right corner and gave some hope for the Hoosiers.
A couple minutes later, Newtown Pride’s Gabriel Ganzer received a lateral pass off a free kick and smashed it in. The ball went off Lomeli’s hand into the net as Newtown Pride reached the three-goal target score to win 3-1, ending the Hoosiers’ chance to advance to the knockout stage.
The Hoosiers played well in the first couple of matches, beating Borussia Dortmund and Kingdom FC. But The Hoosier Army did not show up when they had to, needing to outscore Kingdom’s goal differential in group play, which cost the Hoosiers a spot in the next round.
The Soccer Tournament continues June 2-4, with the quarter and semi-finals played on June 3 and the final on June 4. The winner takes home a prize of $1 million.