Hoosier Army kept up its streak in The Soccer Tournament, winning both games of Thursday’s doubleheader at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, NC. After the 5-2 win over Borussia Dortmund, the Hoosiers won 5-4 over Kingdom FC in a nailbiter that went the distance.
In the first couple of minutes, Hoosier goalkeeper Christian Lomeli made two point-blank saves to hold the scoreless tie. One minute later, the Hoosiers answered with Austin Panchot scoring from outside the box, 1-0.
Keeping the momentum, Nikita Kotlov extended the Hoosiers’ lead to 2-0 with seven minutes in the 20-minute first half. From the kick-in, Kotlov made a great individual play on the left wing and placed the ball perfectly on the top wide corner to keep it out of the Kingdom FC goalkeeper’s reach.
Kingdom FC soon responded with two tough shots on the left corner in back-to-back attacks, but Lomeli made great saves to keep them off the scoreboard.
With 14 minutes played, Panchot scored a screamer to put the Hoosier Army ahead 3-0. Off a pass from the left, Panchot lobbed the ball over Kingdom FC’s defender back to himself just in front of the box and finished with a volley to smash the ball past the goalkeeper.
Kingdom FC, however, started to attack more and the Indiana defenders were forced to block many of shots near the end of the first half. Five minutes back from the half, Kingdom FC’s Alberto Morales Roldan scored from a square pass at the top of the box to make it 3-1.
Kingdom FC kept pressing. With five minutes left in regulation, Luke Holmes scored from outside the box to make it 3-2. After a fast cut past the defender, Holmes fired a low shot out of the reach of Lomeli in the left corner. Still, the Hoosier Army answered with a goal two minutes later. Cory Thomas scored from the rebound after a great individual play by Joris Ahlinvi to make it 4-2 for the Hoosiers.
In Target Score Time, the target score is set upon the leading team’s score plus one goal. Whoever reaches the target score first wins the match. The Target Score Time has no clock but after every five minutes one player from each side is taken out.
Lomeli made a key kick save to keep the ball out of the net after the 7v7 went down to 6v6. Five minutes later, down to 5v5, the Hoosier goalie made another point-blank save to keep the score 4-2.
In 4v4 play, the Hoosier Army stitched a great passing play inside the opponent’s box, but the defender saved the ball on the line. Right after, Kingdom FC forward Alex Ramos scored from a point pass to make it 4-3.
Another five minutes passed and both teams went down to 3v3. With an open field, Kingdom FC’s Holmes made a great individual effort that ended with a shot in the bottom right corner out of Lomeli’s reach, 4-4.
Both teams then went down to 2v2, having just the goalkeepers and one field player on the smaller pitch. From a corner kick, Kotlov passed to Lomeli inside the box and the Hoosier goalkeeper did not waste his chance. Lomeli received the ball in front of the goal, took a few touches toward the goal to get a better position and placed it underneath the goalkeeper to win it 5-4.
After blowing a two-goal lead in Target Score Time, the Hoosier Army was able to hold Kingdom FC off and conclude Thursday’s doubleheader undefeated. The Hoosier Army plays its last group stage match against Newtown Pride FC at 9 a.m. on June 2 in Cary, NC.