____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>After just one season playing for IU’s men’s soccer team, Dylan Mares is leaving the program.The redshirt junior midfielder has signed with an agent and will enter the 2014 Major League Soccer SuperDraft, he confirmed Monday. NCAA guidelines dictate that once an athlete has signed with an agent, he is ineligible to compete again at the collegiate level.Mares said the decision to turn professional after this season was one he made long ago.“It’s always been a goal of mine to do it,” he said. “I have wanted to do it for the past couple years even more than in the past. It was my plan to leave after this year regardless of how the year went.”The Zionsville, Ind., native transferred to IU in the spring of 2013 after three years at the University of Louisville.Despite missing the 2011 season with a knee injury, Mares scored 15 goals and recorded 10 assists in his two seasons with the Cardinals.IU Coach Todd Yeagley announced his transfer to IU on Jan. 3, 2013, saying, “Dylan is a special attacking player who will make an immediate impact within our team. Our program is excited to have Dylan Mares wear the IU jersey.”In his lone season with the Hoosiers, the midfielder appeared in all 22 matches, making 15 starts. He tallied three goals and assisted on another, linking up with fellow Zionsville natives Harrison Petts and A.J. Corrado in the IU midfield.Mares said he did not consult Yeagley before making his decision to leave the program and that he “had no inclination” on Yeagley’s knowledge of the situation prior to the 2013 season. He has signed with New York-based agent Ron Waxman and entered his name into the selection pool for the SuperDraft, which will take place Thursday at noon in Philadelphia.Mares joins fellow former IU players Corrado, Jacob Bushue and Nikita Kotlov in the pool of draft-eligible players.Because he was not offered a Generation Adidas contract and is an underclassman, Mares was not invited to the MLS Player Combine, though he said he has received interest from MLS clubs.“There’s various ways of going about what I’m doing now,” he said. “I am having interest from some MLS teams and right now I’m just talking with my agent and trying to decide the best thing for me.”Follow reporter Alden Woods on Twitter @acw9293.
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____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>Three IU seniors will participate in the 2014 adidas MLS Player Combine this weekend in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.Midfielders Jacob Bushue, A.J. Corrado and Nikita Kotlov, whose IU careers came to an end with the Hoosiers’ first-round NCAA Tournament loss to Akron in November, were selected to be a part of the 50-player field chosen by NCAA coaches and MLS representatives.Fellow midfielder Harrison Petts was also extended an invitation to the combine, but declined to participate.The Player Combine provides the nation’s top collegiate seniors, along with a select group of underclassmen and international prospects, the opportunity to showcase their abilities in front of MLS scouts and coaches in advance of the MLS SuperDraft. The 2014 MLS SuperDraft is scheduled for Jan. 16 in Philadelphia.--Alden Woods
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>Dec. 20: IU 79, Nicholls State 66Six days after a loss to in-state rival Notre Dame, IU returned to Assembly Hall and its winning ways. After a strong first-half performance that saw the Hoosiers lead by 15 at halftime, IU opened the lead to 21 in the second half before pulling the starters and allowing the gap to close. Dec. 22: IU 90, Kennesaw State 66Sophomore guard Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell’s 25 points — one short of a career high — helped the Hoosiers overcome 20 turnovers against an overmatched Kennesaw State squad. Freshman center Luke Fischer recorded a career-high 10 points in what would become his final game in an IU uniform. The Germantown, Wis., native announced his departure from the program Dec. 30 and enrolled at Marquette. Dec. 31: Illinois 83, IU 80 (OT)After flirting with a career high against Kennesaw State, Ferrell broke the barrier with a 30-point performance in IU’s Big Ten opener in Champaign, Ill. After matching Illinois almost basket-for-basket in regulation — both teams scored the same number of points in each half — IU floundered in overtime. The Hoosiers shot 1-8 from the field and fell a three-pointer short of a second overtime.Jan. 4: Michigan State 73, IU 56IU opened 2014 with a blowout loss at the hands of the then-No. 5 Spartans. The Hoosiers played MSU evenly in the game’s opening stages, but fell behind 9-7 less than five minutes into the game and never led again. Ferrell led the Hoosiers with 17 points as freshman guard Stanford Robinson turned in his best game in an IU uniform: 11 points, four rebounds and three assists while running the offense in relief of Ferrell. — Alden Woods
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>With eight minutes and 25 seconds remaining in IU’s 73-56 loss to No. 5 Michigan State, the Hoosiers put together one of their best defensive possessions of the afternoon. With IU trailing 41-50, Michigan State junior forward Branden Dawson’s dunk attempt was blocked by freshman forward Noah Vonleh. A brief scrum under the basket saw the ball bounce out to Spartans star Gary Harris, who had a flurry of Hoosier hands in his face as he missed a three-pointer. Another battle for the rebound ended when Dawson missed a layup and the ball bounced out of bounds.On the ensuing inbound pass, Harris cut to the corner and was fouled by freshman guard Stanford Robinson as his three-pointer ripped through the net. Unhappy with the foul call, Robinson responded and was called for a technical foul, adding two free throws to Harris’ trip to the line. Harris, the preseason Big Ten Player of the Year, made only two of the three foul shots, but that had little impact.On a defensive possession in which IU blocked a shot and forced two more misses, Michigan State came away with five points. Before that possession, IU had cut the lead to nine with a 7-2 run. Senior forward Will Sheehey had sandwiched two Harris free throws with a slashing dunk and a three-pointer, igniting the crowd at Assembly Hall.After that backbreaking defensive possession, Michigan State had a 14-point lead, and the Hoosiers’ momentum was gone.The possession – first the successful defense of repeated attacks to the Hoosier basket, then the fouled three-point shooter, finishing with Robinson’s technical foul – embodied the mercurial Hoosiers’ inexperience. IU Coach Tom Crean said that while he could overlook Robinson’s technical due to a “chippy” game environment, his team needs to mature quickly. “It was a chippy game all the way across the board, so I’m not going to overreact to that … We need to see more from everybody after today,” Crean said. “Everybody’s got places they can grow in. Shooting the ball, passing the ball, you know, those types of things.”The Hoosiers field the 12th-least experienced roster in the nation: only Sheehey and sophomore guard Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell have averaged more than 10 minutes per game in a season. That inexperience has led to issues with turnovers throughout the season – IU gives the ball away an average of 16.3 times per game, 3.3 more than last season. The loss dropped IU to 0-2 in Big Ten play. Crean said the Hoosiers will have to overcome their youth in order to be competitive in the conference. “We just need to play,” he said. “We need to understand time and score, not play just going up and down the court, but really understanding what the game is bringing."The more you do it, the better the understanding you have, and it’s not like we can all of a sudden put three months of Big Ten basketball into these guys’ bodies.”
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>Each of the two times IU and Michigan State clashed in the 2012-13 season, Victor Oladipo led the Hoosiers to narrow victories en route to an outright Big Ten championship. Then-junior Oladipo tallied 40 points, 16 rebounds and 11 steals as IU recorded victories of eight and four points. With Oladipo gone to the NBA, IU – the 12th-least experienced team in D-I basketball – will attempt to find a new solution to the No. 5 Spartans as they clash in Assembly Hall Saturday. The Hoosiers’ youth has worked against them at times this season: with 63 turnovers in its last three games, IU has struggled to take care of the ball. Freshman guard Stanford Robinson said the Hoosiers’ inexperience combined with a desire to play quickly has led to the turnover issues. “We’ve been focusing on playing fast, so when you’re playing fast, all you’re thinking is, ‘Push, push, push,’ instead of just thinking about the play, seeing the play ahead of time,” Robinson said. “Some plays, we were just throwing the ball carelessly when we could’ve made the simple play. We were trying to make the home run play.” Despite his team’s inability to protect the ball, IU Coach Tom Crean said Saturday’s opponent might provide more of a challenge on the defensive end. The sixth-year head coach said the Spartans’ depth and versatility allow them to create dangerous match-ups all over the floor. “There’s so many players on the court that can play,” Crean said. “They’re rarely putting somebody out there that can’t make shots.” The Spartans’ attack is spearheaded by a pair of preseason All-Big Ten selections in senior center Adreian Payne and sophomore guard Gary Harris. The two have proven a potent inside-out combination this season, with each averaging more than 17 points per game. Harris, the preseason Big Ten Player of the Year, is a versatile shooting guard who has been known to take games into his own hands, but he has been hampered by an ankle injury. Despite missing three games and being limited in others, Harris leads the Spartans with 17.4 points per game. The 6-foot-10 Payne has made good use of his improved shooting stroke this season, shooting 46 percent from behind the three-point line while still pulling down 8.1 rebounds per game. “You can’t build your defense around stopping (Payne), because then they’re going to carve you up with threes,” Crean said. “You can’t go out and overpressure, because then they’re going to go around you.” Crean said that Payne in particular can create matchup problems by himself due to his versatility on the offensive end of the floor. “You’re talking about a guy like Payne, who’s one of the most unique matchups in the country because he can post, he can play at the foul line, he can drive it now, and he can shoot threes,” Crean said. “Not to mention rebound and defend. He becomes that much harder to guard.” IU will look for sophomore guard Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell to continue his red-hot offensive performance in order to keep pace with the Spartans. Ferrell leads the Hoosiers in scoring (17.7 points per game), three-point shooting (44%), and assists (4.1). Senior forward Will Sheehey said the Hoosiers’ early-season difficulties were to be expected with inexperience, but that further preparation can alleviate some of the issues. “We’ve got young guys who haven’t really played a season yet and haven’t had too many losses,” Sheehey said. “It’s good to see them come in and practice hard and really prepare for the next game, so they just have to come in and work.”
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell turned in his best game in a Hoosier uniform Sunday to lead IU in its 90-66 victory over Kennesaw State. The sophomore guard tallied 25 points to go along with 5 assists and 6 rebounds. His point total was one shy of a career high.Much of Ferrell’s contribution came in the game’s first 20 minutes. His 16 first-half points were the focal point of an IU attack that jumped out to a 22-point lead before ending the period with a 43-25 lead. “I’m trying to find different outlets, find different ways to score,” Ferrell said of his strong showing. “I’m kind of just playing the game, really, just trying to make the game as simple as possible.”Four Hoosiers finished the game with double-digit scoring tallies: senior forward Will Sheehey scored 15 points, freshman forward Noah Vonleh recorded 14, and freshman forward Luke Fischer chipped in a career-high 10 points.Fischer made an impact on both ends of the floor, adding a career-high three blocked shots to his offensive production. He attributed his improved play to work in practice throughout the week.“I think ever since this past week started, they’ve really had us move forward in practice, and I guess it’s translated to games,” Fischer said. “We’ve been doing it all week long.”IU was able to find its way to the rim throughout the game, eschewing the three-point shot in favor of high-percentage looks. The Hoosiers’ 11 attempted three-pointers were their fewest in a game since attempting 8 in the season opener against Chicago State. The Hoosiers’ 62.7 percent shooting was a season-high and the team’s highest since Dec. 19, 2012. Despite the offensive success, the Hoosiers struggled with turnovers, giving the ball away 20 times. It was the second consecutive game in which the Hoosiers turned the ball over 20 times. For the season, the Hoosiers average 15.9 turnovers per game against 13.7 per game from their opponents.IU Coach Tom Crean said his staff recognizes the importance of protecting the ball and will continue to work with his team on the issue.“We really grasp the fact that when we give the ball back to the other team, it’s really taking points off our average and off individual averages,” Crean said. “What we need to be able to do… is take care of the ball better. There’s such an opportunity for us to do good things with it.”With the victory, IU moves to 10-3 on the season and ends the nonconference portion of their schedule. Up next is a Dec. 31 matchup at Illinois and the start of the Big Ten conference season that comes with it.Ferrell said that it will be up to him and senior forward Will Sheehey to lead a young team throughout the grind of a Big Ten season. “I like, so far, where we are,” he said. “Being young doesn’t really play a factor into it, we’ve got a lot of games under our belt.“We’re going to work hard, and definitely take care of the ball. That all starts with me and Will.”
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>After a sloppy first half that saw his team have more turnovers (11) than field goals (9) IU Coach Tom Crean turned the game over to his playmakers.Sophomore guard Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell, senior forward Will Sheehey and sophomore forward Jeremy Hollowell combined for 26 points in the second half of IU’s victory over Nicholls State Friday. Ferrell added seven assists without a turnover after committing four with just one assist in the game’s first 20 minutes.“I thought we had some guys play the way we need them to play,” Crean said. “We made progress tonight. I thought Yogi Ferrell had an outstanding game, not only because he had eight assists but because of the pace that he played at on both ends.”The trio’s 44 points accounted for more than half of the Hoosiers’ 79 points against the Colonels on a night that saw no other IU players reach double-digit scoring. Ferrell led the way with 16 points while Sheehey and Hollowell added 14 of their own. Much of the trio’s scoring came in the first 10 minutes of the second half, but a run sparked by Ferrell and Sheehey put the Colonels away for good in the game’s final eight minutes.Two Sheehey three-pointers – one off a Ferrell assist – sandwiched a Ferrell-assisted layup from freshman guard Stanford Robinson to stretch the Hoosier lead to 19. Sheehey said the sophomore point guard’s ability to distribute the ball enabled the Hoosier run.“There’s always points in the game when you can seek it out and pick and choose when to open the game up,” he said. “Yogi made a great play on the ball to find me. When he gets to the lane and makes plays for everybody else, it’s pretty easy to play.” With 12 games played, Ferrell (16.1 points per game), Sheehey (10.5) and Hollowell (9.2) sit at first, third and fourth in scoring for IU, respectively. Freshman forward Noah Vonleh is second on the team with 11.8 points per game. Despite the trio’s dominance of the Hoosier scoring charts both Friday and all season, Sheehey said it remains critical to have contributions from every player. “We have 18 guys for a reason. Those guys need to come in and play as hard as they can and give certain guys breaks and whatnot,” Sheehey said. “The 18 guys on the team just have to be ready to be called on at any time.”
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>IU President Michael McRobbie announced the largest donation in the history of IU Athletics Thursday, accepting a $40 million donation from Cynthia "Cindy" Simon Skjodt to renovate Assembly Hall.The gift is the fourth-largest in IU history and will kick off a $150 million capital campaign for the athletic department. IU Vice President and Director of Athletics Fred Glass described Simon Skjodt's donation as "less of a spark and more of a blowtorch" to the new campaign. The renovations to 42-year-old Assembly Hall are expected to be completed by 2016 and will extend a string of updated facilities for the Hoosiers, including Cook Hall, Memorial Stadium's north end zone project, and recently-completed baseball and softball stadiums.Planned improvements "will focus on improving amenities to enhance the fan experience while preserving the current seat configuration and seating capacity," according to an IU Athletics press release. Along with a redesigned atrium, escalators to balcony-level seating, and a state-of-the-art video scoreboard will come updates to the arena's infrastructure. "The overall goal is to preserve the best home court advantage in college basketball," Glass said. "This isn't a patch job. I need to be a part of preserving this incredible venue for another generation. I seriously want this building to be here for another 42 years."A change in the building's name accompanies Simon Skjodt's donation - the arena will officially be renamed to Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. "I think this is a reasonable way to provide for additional resources for the athletic department, and it's not going all the way to a commercial name," Glass said. "In my view, (the name) strikes the right balance."Simon Skjodt is the daughter of Melvin "Mel" Simon, the late owner of the NBA's Indiana Pacers. She is an IU alumna with a history of donations to IU - a $1.5 million gift to IU's Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. "This is a very important moment as I continue (her father's) legacy," Simon Skjodt said. "I strongly believe that if you love this university, you should give back to this university."It's an honor and a dream come true for me."
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>AKRON, Ohio – A dominant second-half performance and frantic comeback attempt fell short for the IU men’s soccer team Thursday. The Hoosiers fell to Akron 3-2 in the NCAA Tournament’s first round.Akron grabbed control early, rippling the Hoosier net just more than six minutes after the opening kickoff. Senior forward Reinaldo Brenes streaked through a wide-open Hoosier defense to meet a pass from freshman midfielder Adam Najem. The rolling pass threaded through three IU defenders on its path to Brenes, who slotted his low shot between freshman goalkeeper Colin Webb’s legs.By the time Brenes’ shot reached the back of the net, hundreds of Akron students gathered behind the goal had erupted — the Zips took an early 1-0 lead. The Hoosiers had no fewer than three chances to equalize following the early goal, but shots by freshman forward Tommy Thompson and senior midfielder Harrison Petts failed to produce a goal. Akron capitalized on a bit of fortune in the 23rd minute, doubling its lead with a goal from Aodhan Quinn.A scramble in front of the IU net pulled Webb off the goal line to turn away a shot. When the deflected ball fell to Quinn’s feet, the senior midfielder took one touch to evade a defender and lofted a shot over a crowd of both crimson and white shirts. Webb was unable to recover in time to prevent Quinn’s shot from settling in his net and doubling the Hoosiers’ deficit.IU Coach Todd Yeagley said he saw a strong performance from his team in the first half despite the scoreline. “I thought we were the better team in the first half in the quality of chances that we had,” Yeagley said. “We knew we’d get more. They’d taken a lot of risks going forward ... I thought we picked and chose our moments, just didn’t convert well in the first half.” A flurry of goals early in the second half took the game from its halftime score of 2-0 to a 3-2 Zips lead after just nine minutes. Brenes’ second goal of the game gave Akron a 3-0 lead, but a rapid-fire response from the Hoosiers pulled them within one goal after two scores in under two minutes. Junior midfielder Dylan Lax put IU on the scoreboard first, heading home a corner kick from junior defender Patrick Doody. The Hoosiers’ first attempt at goal clanged off the right post before falling to a waiting Lax, who put his header away. The Hoosiers struck again 104 seconds later by converting another Doody corner kick.Doody’s ball into the box was deflected by Thompson off the crossbar and fell to the feet of senior midfielder Jacob Bushue, who rolled a shot through a sea of defenders and inside the left post. Bushue’s goal made the score 3-2 in favor of the Zips with 37 minutes and 15 seconds remaining in the game. As the clock wound down, the Hoosiers peppered Akron goalkeeper Jake Fenlanson with shots, with the sophomore’s strong performance the only thing keeping IU from an equalizer. The Hoosiers’ bid at a comeback fell short, and their season ended, taking with it dreams of back-to-back national championships. “We left it on the field, and we can always be proud at the end of the game if that happens, regardless of the outcome,” Yeagley said. “One team will be ultimately smiling at the end of the season. This group got to experience that last year.”The loss ended the careers of IU’s five seniors: midfielders Harrison Petts, A.J Corrado, Nikita Kotlov and Bushue and defender Matt McKain — the second time the group has had a season ended in Akron. In 2010, IU fell to the Zips by a score of 2-1 in the NCAA Tournament.“Obviously it’s disappointing to go out in the first round,” a sullen Petts said after the game. “I couldn’t have asked to play with better seniors and better teammates this year. It’s been an up and down year, and I don’t know any other group of guys who could’ve dealt with that.” IU finishes the 2013 season, in which they entered as the nation’s No. 1 team, with a record of 8-12-2, the most losses in one season in program history. Despite his team’s struggles throughout the season, Yeagley said their performance to rebound and win the Big Ten Tournament will serve as a teaching point for future IU teams. “I think any time you leave a season with a title, that’s one of our main three goals, to win the three that are winnable for us,” he said. “The quality of soccer this team played throughout the year, with adversity that we faced with results, and how they came back from that and did what they did at the Big Ten, I think will be one of those moments we’ll talk about. We’ll use that as a learning lesson for teams in the future.“Anyone that watched this team knew how this group plays. I think tonight was an example of that.”Follow men's soccer reporter Alden Woods on Twitter @acw9293.
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>Riding its first winning streak of the season and last weekend’s Big Ten Tournament title win, the IU men’s soccer team will head to Akron, Ohio, Thursday for the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Discounted by many after the worst regular season in program history — 11 losses and the Hoosiers’ first-ever losing season — IU hit its stride when it most needed to, churning out wins of 2-1 (OT), 0-0 (5-3 penalty kicks) and 1-0 en route to the conference championship. IU Coach Todd Yeagley said his team’s attitude after winning four consecutive matches is “very confident,” and his team will be prepared for the pressures of attempting to defend its 2012 NCAA College Cup championship. “We said it didn’t matter where we go and who we played. We’re going to take it one game at a time,” Yeagley said. “It’s just like last year. When you go on that mentality, you’re in a good place, and this team’s in a good place right now.”The Hoosiers (8-11-2) will take on No. 7 Akron (16-3-1) in a first-round battle of unseeded teams that have become acquainted with one another during Yeagley’s four-year tenure. In 2010, the freshman season for IU’s five current seniors, the Zips knocked IU out of the NCAA Tournament with a 2-1 victory in Akron, following that with a 1-0 victory in Notre Dame, Ind., in 2012. “It’s a great matchup,” Yeagley said. “They like to play. We’re just going to have to be very good defensively. We’ll certainly get our chances, so I like the matchup. These guys that are seniors finished their freshman year there, so I think there’s a little extra there as well.”The Zips enter the NCAA Tournament as winners of their past six games, having not lost in the 10 matches since their 2-0 loss to Hartwick on Oct. 5.Akron Coach Jared Embrick’s squad captured the Mid-American Conference Tournament championship with a 4-1 victory against Western Michigan on Nov. 17. Yeagley said Thursday’s battle, which features winners of two of the last three College Cups, will be fiercely competitive in the NCAA Tournament’s first round. “It’s a very good team,” Yeagley said. “They were hoping for a seed — Akron — probably were right on the cusp. They’re familiar. It’s a very great atmosphere when it comes to their student body, so it’s going to have a lot of great energy.”Despite their poor showing in the regular season, the Hoosiers find themselves in position to make a deep run in the tournament.IU’s five seniors and national championship campaign last year will lend experience to a team that has recently found its form.Senior midfielder and team co-captain Harrison Petts said the Hoosiers have reverted from their regular season performances and are poised to compete in the NCAA Tournament. “I think coming into the year we were obviously one of the top teams,” Petts said. “I think a combination of some bad bounces and some poor play in the boxes this year kind of made us fall off the radar, but now that we have it turned around, I wouldn’t bet against us.”Follow reporter Alden Woods on Twitter @acw9293.
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>The IU men’s soccer team learned its NCAA Tournament fate Monday, as the NCAA announced the tournament’s first-round matchups via a selection show on NCAA.com.The Big Ten champion Hoosiers will travel to No. 8 Akron Thursday for a matchup of recent NCAA champions. The Hoosiers are the defending champion, while the Zips captured the title in 2010.IU is the most successful postseason program in men’s college soccer history, accumulating 83 victories and a 0.745 winning percentage in the Hoosiers’ 40 years. Akron has been one of the strongest programs in the nation in recent years, reaching the NCAA Tournament 11 of the past 12 seasons and making back-to-back College Cup final appearances in 2009 and 2010.The winner of the IU-Akron matchup will travel to Milwaukee for a clash with No. 17 Marquette.— Alden Woods
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>Late in Wednesday’s first-round Big Ten Tournament game against Michigan, the IU men’s soccer team stared into the face of a situation that had burned them repeatedly in the 2013 season: overtime. The Hoosiers fell behind early in the game but equalized in the second half, sending the game into sudden-death overtime. Next goal wins. IU had faced the same situation six times in the regular season, with only a meek 1-1 draw with UC Irvine and five heartbreaking losses to show for their efforts.Junior midfielder Dylan Mares said the Hoosiers were collected and ready for the challenge of another overtime period.“We just put what’s happened in the past and concentrated on the present,” Mares said. “I think our team was very motivated. We knew our team had been doing well.”A once-promising season hung in the balance, with both teams searching for the game-winning goal while remaining cautious of making a mistake that could end their tournament. The Hoosiers, determined to make a postseason run in spite of the program’s first-ever losing season, pressed forward.Six minutes into overtime, pandemonium struck the Hoosier bench.Freshman forward Tommy Thompson weaved through the defense and laid the ball off for Mares in front of an open net. Playing in his first Big Ten Tournament since transferring from Louisville in the spring, Mares carried the hopes of a season on his foot. He flicked Thompson’s pass on goal, wheeling to celebrate before the ball came to rest in the back of the net. Mares’ goal gave IU a 2-1 victory against the Wolverines and kept the Hoosiers’ postseason dreams alive.“The ball got flicked on, and Tommy was able to start running at the guy, and he got one-on-one,” Mares said. “He did everything to get me the ball.” He paused, reflecting on his most important goal in a Hoosier uniform. “It’s a good feeling knowing you helped the team out.”IU played the majority of the first half from a deficit, as Michigan struck early. The Wolverines jumped out to a 1-0 lead by way of senior defender Ezekiel Harris’ 11th-minute goal.As Michigan sophomore forward James Murphy made his way down the left sideline, Harris created space for himself in front of the IU goal. A scramble ensued, but Harris came away with the ball, and a simple finish past IU freshman goalkeeper Colin Webb and into the right corner of the net put the Wolverines on top. IU senior midfielder A.J. Corrado leveled the score in the 63rd minute, creating a chance by himself after collecting an errant cross that deflected off Thompson’s face. From just inside the penalty area, Corrado took a touch with his right foot and fired a shot across the face of the Wolverine net. The ball slipped under the grasp of diving junior goalkeeper Adam Grinwis before finding the back of the net and breathing new life into the Hoosiers’ season. After Corrado’s goal, the game tightened up. Ball possession and steadiness replaced chance creation — neither side was willing to make a season-ending mistake — and the final 28 minutes of the second half featured only four shots on goal.The game continued into overtime, only to be halted just six minutes in by Mares’ third goal in an IU uniform. Mares said getting a postseason victory lifted some pressure from the Hoosiers, but he knows their work is not done.“It’s always a relief winning a game in overtime, especially when we haven’t won them in the regular season yet,” Mares said. “Definitely because it’s the postseason, we’re all motivated to keep pushing. “We have nothing to lose in each game. It’s just thrilling to get a win, and we’re definitely going to keep going.”
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>For the IU men’s soccer team, this week’s Big Ten Tournament will provide a final chance for success in the 2013 season. Starting with Wednesday’s matchup against Michigan, the Hoosiers (6-11-1, 2-4) will attempt to put behind them a regular season that saw a program-high 11 losses and the first losing record in the program’s 40 years. IU Coach Todd Yeagley said the start of the postseason will allow his team a clean slate after a disappointing regular season that saw the Hoosiers tumble out of the rankings from the preseason No. 1 spot. “Right now, everybody’s 0-0, and that’s a fact,” Yeagley said. “It certainly helps with some of the disappointing results we’ve had, but even if we were 18-0, it’s the same scenario. What you did in the regular season doesn’t matter.”The Hoosiers’ experienced lineup will be bolstered by the potential return of two key contributors in freshman forward Tommy Thompson and sophomore goalkeeper Michael Soderlund. Thompson, who is tied for the team lead with five goals scored, underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee Oct. 15. Soderlund has struggled with a hip flexor injury throughout the season and was supplanted in goal by freshman Colin Webb for the Hoosiers’ final regular-season game. “Tommy looks good, and we’re definitely going to use him.” Yeagley said. “Michael is available. We’ll make the goalkeeping decision based on form and how we’re doing.”IU will meet Michigan (8-6-3, 3-3) in the first round of the tournament, the two sides’ second meeting in three weeks. In their first matchup, the Wolverines took a 2-1 victory courtesy of a goal in the game’s final three minutes. In that game, the Hoosiers were not at their best but can learn from the experience, Yeagley said.“It was one of our poorest performances,” Yeagley said. “I like the fact that our guys were not happy with how they played. We were not happy. I think that in it’s own way will allow us to be very physically ready for this game.”In addition to the pressure of attempting to win a Big Ten championship, IU will be straddled with the task of ensuring an NCAA Tournament berth, a task that will necessitate a conference crown. The current NCAA Tournament format allows bids for 48 teams, some of which are automatically given to conference champions. Currently, the Hoosiers sit outside of that 48-team bubble, unranked in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) poll and at No. 62 in the RPI. Yeagley said the experience of his senior-laden squad will allow them to deflect the added pressure of fighting for a spot in the NCAA Tournament. “This team has been through the tournament. They’ve been through win and advance, so it’s not like it’s our first scenario,” Yeagley said. “A lot of teams make the Big Ten, so everybody gets to compete, but this is everything for us. We’re going to rely on that experience.“They’re lively, and they’re ready to go. I think this group’s ready to get after it.” Follow reporter Alden Woods on Twitter @acw9293.
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>The IU men’s soccer teamw swept Big Ten Player of the Week honors this week, with senior midfielder Nikita Kotlov named Offensive Player of the Week and freshman Colin Webb the Defensive Player of the Week.Both players received the honors for their performance in IU’s 3-0 win Friday against Northwestern.In the Hoosiers’ final regular season game, Kotlov scored a goal and assisted on another.Webb recorded his first career shutout in his second start.Webb minded the net in lieu of sophomore Michael Soderlund, who was left out of the lineup with an injury.It is the first career Player of the Week honor for both Kotlov and Webb.— Alden Woods
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>In the moments after IU men’s soccer’s 3-2 loss to Michigan State on Friday, only one player remained on the field. While walking toward the locker room, the Spartans, enveloped in their celebration of a game-winning overtime goal, sped past a row of Hoosiers, who hung their heads as they trudged silently underneath the now-empty bleachers. IU’s Bill Armstrong Stadium had nearly emptied — save for a few stray camera crews and groundskeepers — but senior midfielder Harrison Petts remained, motionless, in front of the net where MSU’s game-winner found a home. A huddle of IU players and coaches broke and made its way to Petts, who waved off the attempted consolation of his teammates. Petts and fellow senior midfielders A.J. Corrado, Nikita Kotlov and Jacob Bushue and defender Matt McKain were honored before Friday’s game, their final regular-season home match. “I was just trying to take it all in, my last game here,” Petts said of his moments after the game. “There have been a lot of good and bad memories, and I just wanted to sit down on the field for one last time and kind of take it all in.”Almost immediately after the senior night honors concluded and the game kicked off, IU found itself in a hole. A goal by Michigan State junior midfielder Kyle Rutz gave the Spartans a 1-0 lead less than four minutes into the game. The Hoosiers responded quickly, with Kotlov leveling the score after a strong solo effort. Kotlov collected the ball in the center of the field, beat his man and fired a left-footed shot from the left corner of the penalty area. His blast froze the goalkeeper and pulled the Hoosiers even. Michigan State would retake the lead before the halftime break, scoring directly from a throw-in deep in Hoosier territory. The Spartan throw was flicked in front of net, where junior midfielder Fatai Alashe made his way to it and headed past a stunned IU defense to give his team a halftime lead. Despite controlling play for much of the second half, it looked as if IU would be unable to find an equalizer until IU sophomore forward Andrew Oliver netted his third goal in as many games, putting home a left-footed volley after Corrado split two defenders and found him with a cross. Oliver’s goal sent the game into overtime, where a familiar storyline took over for the Hoosiers.Entering the game, IU had played in five overtime games, losing four and drawing one. A goal with just over two minutes remaining in the second overtime by MSU junior forward Tim Kreutz handed the Hoosiers heartbreak again.A quick succession of shots from a Spartan corner kick found the bottom of the crossbar, but the Hoosiers were unable to clear the danger, and Kreutz’s header was deemed to have snuck across the goal line, giving IU its fifth overtime defeat of the season. The loss was IU’s 11th of the season and fourth in Big Ten Conference play, both program highs. Despite being the Hoosiers’ final regular-season home game — and the senior class’s final of their careers — IU Coach Todd Yeagley said his team’s work at Bill Armstrong Stadium has yet to be completed this season. An NCAA Tournament berth, which will now require a championship in this month’s Big Ten Conference Tournament, would open up the possibility of games hosted in Bloomington.“I told them we’re going to win the tournament,” Yeagley said. “I’ve never felt more confident about it. I told them, ‘Enjoy your last regular season game here,’ and we’re going to be back here. This team deserves that.”Follow reporter Alden Woods on Twitter @acw9293.
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>The 2013 IU men’s soccer season brought with it dreams of glory.The Hoosiers (5-10-1, 1-3 conference) entered the season as the nation’s No. 1 team, attempting to corral momentum from last season’s national championship win.But a historically disappointing season has put a second consecutive title run — or even an NCAA Tournament berth — in doubt.Since the program’s inception in 1973, no IU team has failed to capture one of the NCAA Tournament’s 48 berths.For a team that has not received a vote in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America poll since Sept. 17 and currently sits at No. 75 in the National RPI, a Big Ten Tournament championship and the automatic tournament berth that comes with it might be the Hoosiers’ last remaining hope of continuing that streak. Though the Hoosiers’ season has not gone as planned, the team’s seniors remain determined to end their careers on a positive note.IU will begin its final push for 2013 success Friday against Michigan State in a match that will see the senior class take the field for a regular season game at Bill Armstrong Stadium for the final. Senior midfielder A.J. Corrado said the Hoosiers will look for a win as in any other game, but the senior night festivities will add something special to the night.“Not only is it a big night for the seniors, it’s a pretty crazy thought to know this could be my last game at home,” Corrado said. “But it’s a huge night for the team just in general. We have to go out and get a win.”Corrado, midfielders Harrison Petts, Nikita Kotlov and Jacob Bushue, and defender Matt McKain, compose a five-man senior class that has tallied 44 wins leading up to Friday’s game in addition to the 2012 NCAA College Cup title.IU Coach Todd Yeagley said the quintet of seniors has created a lasting legacy for the program. “I think, ultimately, if you win a championship, you put the ultimate mark on things,” Yeagley said. “Outside of that, they’ve done a really nice job with the culture of the team when it comes to habits on and off the field.“Academically they’ve done a real nice job, and they’ve helped recruit a lot of these new guys. A lot of positives. The future looks bright largely because of their efforts.”A senior night victory will not come easily against a Michigan State squad that has given the Hoosiers trouble in recent seasons. Last season the Spartans took each of two matchups, defeating IU 3-1 in the regular season before taking a 2-1 victory in the Big Ten Tournament en route to the tournament championship. “The guys know they kind of got beat up a little bit (last season),” Yeagley said. “We didn’t necessarily get outplayed, but we got outfought, yet had moments where we played some good soccer. The guys are ready, and they’re ready to prove themselves.”The No. 15 Spartans (8-3-3, 1-2-1 conference) are led by a pair of junior forwards in Tim Kreutz and Adam Montague, who have combined to score 11 goals and assist on eight more this season. Yeagley said the duo will play a large factor in the physical, direct style Michigan State will likely use Friday.“I expect them to be very physical and pretty direct, which is why we’ve been working a lot to combat that,” Yeagley said. “They have a couple guys who can really play, so it’s going to be a battle.“The key for us is can we match them there and play the great soccer that we’re capable of playing? We don’t give up the way we want to play.”The fourth-year coach said the seniors’ final home game will serve as a little extra motivation for his team.“We want to send them out on a good note,” Yeagley said. “I think every player remembers their last regular season home game. We want them to leave on a great note from that standpoint.“We certainly want them to finish off their careers on a good note.”Follow reporter Alden Woods on Twitter @acw9293.
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>After 24 days between victories and five consecutive losses, the IU men’s soccer team captured an elusive win Wednesday night, defeating Evansville 4-2.On a frigid night at Bill Armstrong Stadium, the Hoosiers capitalized on a strong and diverse goal-scoring attack, fending off two late goals to earn the program’s 16th consecutive victory over the Purple Aces.Senior midfielder Harrison Petts’ second goal of the season gave IU the lead more than 20 minutes into the first half. A cross from the left wing found senior midfielder A.J. Corrado, whose headed pass found Petts inside the penalty area.Taking one touch to put the ball on his right foot, Petts fired a low shot across net and just inside the left post. The goal ended a 222-minute drought for the Hoosiers that dated back to their Oct. 11 loss at Wisconsin. IU Coach Todd Yeagley said the goal brought positive energy back to his team.“It felt good. It was a good way to get back on track in the goal category,” he said. “You knew it was going to happen, you just didn’t know where, when or who. It was nice to get that goal because it was exactly what we had been lacking with a little composure around the box.”After the opening goal, the Hoosier attack sprung to life.IU created no fewer than five chances in the half’s final 20 minutes, but could not extend the lead, and Petts’ goal stood unaccompanied at halftime. The Hoosiers were able to extend the lead with almost back-to-back goals from a pair of unlikely goalscorers early in the first half.Junior defender Patrick Doody’s 59th-minute blast — the second of his career — doubled the Hoosiers’ lead after junior midfielder Jamie Vollmer broke through the Purple Aces’ defense.Vollmer snared a cross in the penalty area and laid the ball off to Doody, whose left-footed strike curled around UE junior goalkeeper Eric Teppen and into the back of the net.Just one minute and 21 seconds later, sophomore forward Andrew Oliver extended the lead, slotting home a deflected cross from senior defender Matt McKain.McKain streaked down the left flank and sent his cross in front of the Evansville goal, where it was deflected away from the net and towards Oliver.The sophomore corralled the ball and took a quick shot, giving his team a three-goal advantage.The goal was Oliver’s first of the season and third of his career.Yeagley said the goal was a result of a concerted effort to get Oliver more involved in the team’s attack.“Andrew’s been one that we’ve been trying to get into a rhythm more and giving him an opportunity,” Yeagley said. “He’s been training really hard, and he did some very good things besides getting the tap-in, though I wouldn’t call it a tap-in because we’ve missed some of those this year.”Sophomore midfielder Kyle Sparks added a fourth goal in the game’s 75th minute that appeared to seal the game, but the Purple Aces were not ready to concede.Two goals in the game’s final five minutes gave IU flashbacks of this season’s previous blown leads, but they were not enough to truly put the game in jeopardy.Yeagley said his team put in a dominating performance despite the two late goals, which made the scoreline “more flattering than it was on the field.”“We could have had four or five more (goals), and we held a pretty dynamic Evansville team to very few chances,” he said. “I told the team you don’t leave a game defined by the last four minutes. We played 86 minutes of a comprehensive defensive effort in addition to scoring four goals. It was a very good performance.”Follow reporter Alden Woods on Twitter @acw9293.
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>Mired in the worst stretch of performances in program history, the IU men’s soccer team has not walked off the field with a victory in 24 days. The team’s last win came in a 2-0 defeat of Ohio State on Sept. 29.This unprecedented run has seen IU lose five consecutive matches, the longest losing streak in program history. Of those five matches, IU has been shut out four times, and opponents have outscored the Hoosiers 12-3 in the process. The Hoosiers’ (4-9-1, 1-2 conference) recent struggles have guaranteed the defending national champions their first regular season with a losing record in IU men’s soccer history. IU Coach Todd Yeagley said the lack of positive results has been frustrating for his team.“It’s tough to play well and not find results,” Yeagley said. “Our guys have put in dominating performances, and they’re just not being rewarded for it. They need to be rewarded.”The Hoosiers will attempt to snap the losing streak and return to their winning ways when the University of Evansville visits Bill Armstrong Stadium Wednesday night. IU will look to continue its domination of the all-time series against Evansville, a matchup that has seen IU win 25 of its 32 matches. The Hoosiers haven’t lost to the Purple Aces since 1990, a streak of 15 consecutive games without a loss to their in-state rivals.The Purple Aces (8-4-1) come to Bloomington on a string of solid performances, winning seven of their last nine games.UE Coach Mike Jacobs’ squad has had little trouble finding goals this season, netting 27 times in 13 games. Much of that attacking prowess comes from the duo of sophomore midfielder Mark Gonzalez and sophomore forward Faik Hajderovic, who have combined for a total of 32 points on the season: Gonzalez’s 7 goals lead the Aces, while Hajderovic’s 14 assists place him in the upper echelon nationally in that statistic. Yeagley said the two Aces are talented, but the Hoosiers’ difficult schedule has prepared his team for any opponent.“They’re good, but we schedule so tough so we’re prepared for anybody,” he said. “We respect those players, but there’s not a player we’ll see tomorrow that we haven’t faced before. But those are some fantastic stats.”Yeagley, who has overseen three victories in three chances against Evansville during his IU tenure, said the Purple Aces will present a challenge to the IU defensive line with their attacking arsenal. “This is probably the best attacking team I’ve seen from Evansville. They’ve been fairly direct, but they’re technical and athletic,” he said. “Our backs have to be really keyed in defensively. They can create chances.”Despite the record-breaking lack of success this season, Yeagley said he will not let the Hoosiers relax in the final stages.“We’re staying on task,” he said. “I think some teams would be shattered, the way some of the untimely things have happened. I think they’ve been extremely resilient. We’re in a position to win games.”Follow reporter Alden Woods on Twitter @acw9293.
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>The IU men’s soccer team entered the 2013 season looking to make history. As defending national champions, the Hoosiers were attempting to become the 10th team in NCAA history to win back-to-back NCAA College Cups.Tuesday night’s 3-0 loss to No. 7 Louisville made a different kind of history: the loss was IU’s fourth in a row, the program’s first four-game losing streak since 1985. Playing without freshman forward Tommy Thompson, who underwent surgery for a torn meniscus in his right knee earlier that day, the Hoosiers (4-8-1)struggled to create chances offensively and were smothered by the nation’s leading defensive team. The shutout was Louisville’s seventh of the season and fifth in its last six games.Louisville junior defender Daniel Keller scored the only goal of an uneventful first half that saw neither goalkeeper make a save. After Louisville freshman defender Taylor Curtis’ well-struck shot was cleared off the line by senior defender Matt McKain, the Cardinals lined up for their second corner kick of the half. Sophomore forward Ricardo Velazco took the corner, swinging it in front of the IU net. Keller was able to get enough of his head on the ball to lift an arching shot over a sea of Hoosier defenders and into the upper corner of the net. After the goal, the first half returned to its sluggish ways, and the Hoosiers entered halftime facing a 1-0 deficit.IU Coach Todd Yeagley said the Cardinals’ goal was a shock to his team, as he felt they had controlled much of the first half.“The untimely goal, it’s tough,” he said. “When you control the whole first half and we feel like we had everything under control, then we get hit on a restart, which we had talked about and worked on, it’s hard because it hits you right where it hurts.”Louisville’s Marlon Hairston doubled the Cardinal lead with 16:42 remaining in the second half.After a brief skirmish in front of IU’s net, Louisville forward Zack Foxhoven found space and worked his way to the endline and laid the ball off to an unmarked Hairston. The sophomore forward sent a rocket over IU sophomore goalkeeper Michael Soderlund’s head and into the back of the net for a 2-0 lead. The Cardinals put the game away just two minutes and 25 seconds later with their third goal, with Hairston and Foxhoven linking up again.Hairston weaved through the Hoosier defense, beat his man, and laid the ball off to the left for Foxhoven, whose left-footed strike effectively ended the game with 14 minutes and 17 seconds remaining. The loss continued a losing streak that has seen the Hoosiers shut out three times in four.Yeagley said he remains unconcerned about his team’s composure despite the season’s difficult circumstances.“We just need to stay positive, and that’s a really difficult thing to do right now,” he said. “You keep telling them what to do, and they do so much that you want them to do, and they’re not being rewarded. That’s really hard, to keep going and to keep digging. There was no die in this team tonight. Even 3-0 down, they kept playing. I’m not worried about that; they just need to be rewarded.”Follow reporter Alden Woods on Twitter @acw9293.
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>Dylan Mares said he will approach Tuesday’s game against No. 11 Louisville as he would any other, though he knows the players on the other side of the ball may not. Mares, who played for the Cardinals for two seasons before transferring to IU this spring, will square off against his former team for the first time as the IU men’s soccer team welcomes Louisville to Bloomington Tuesday night.The junior midfielder said his transfer may add fire to what could be one of IU’s most fiercely competitive games all season.“I expect some of them, mostly the ones I know, to have a little more ‘oomph’ or push to them,” he said. “I’m sure there’s some players who are going to be a little bit more aggressive going into tackles or something. I just have to be aware of it.”Leading the Cardinal attack in 2010 and 2012, the Zionsville, Ind., native made 41 appearances for the Cardinals, tallying 15 goals and 10 assists.After Louisville fell in the quarterfinals of the 2012 NCAA Tournament, Mares announced his decision to become a Hoosier, citing “personal reasons” as the motivation for the transfer.He quickly earned a spot in IU Coach Todd Yeagley’s preferred lineup and has recorded one goal and an assist in his first season at IU.Mares and the Hoosiers will attempt to snap their second three-game losing streak of the season and avoid the program’s first streak of four consecutive losses since 1985 when the Cardinals arrive at Bill Armstrong Stadium.They will more than likely have to make that attempt without two of their standout performers, as senior midfielder Harrison Petts and freshman forward Tommy Thompson were held out of weekend practice and have been deemed “doubtful” for Tuesday. Petts injured his hamstring in the final minutes of last Sunday’s game against Penn State, and Thompson is dealing with an injury to his right leg. At time of printing, the extent of Thompson’s injury was unknown.Yeagley and the Hoosiers have become well-acquainted with Louisville, having faced the Cardinals 20 times since 1981.IU dominates the all-time series record at 16-3-1, aided by 14 consecutive victories from 1981-2006 to open the series. All three of Louisville’s victories have come since 2007. A Todd Yeagley-coached IU team has never defeated the Cardinals.The Cardinals (8-2-1, 4-0) have stifled their opponents this season, outscoring them by a 20-6 margin. Only once this season Louisville allowed an opponent to score multiple goals, recording six clean sheets in the process.Sophomore forward Ricardo Velazco has given Cardinal opponents fits, netting five goals and assisting on five more this season. He leads a diverse attack that has produced 11 different goal scorers for the team’s 20 total goals.Louisville will bring to Bloomington a squad almost wholly different from that of last year. Nine players who started 10 or more games for the 2012 squad have left the program due to graduation or transfer.Yeagley said he and his team may not have seen many of Louisville’s players before, but they know the system and how the Cardinals will intend to play.“They’re going to want the ball, and they’re going to build quite a bit,” he said. “They’re very dynamic, but have a lot of new faces this year, so it’s a little bit harder to predict.They’re in real good form right now. It’s another IU-Louisville battle.”Despite IU’s struggles this season, the fourth-year head coach dismissed the idea that Tuesday presented a “do-or-die” situation for his team.“There’s no do-or-die games,” he said. “We have to get a win. If it’s not this game, it makes the next one that much more important. They’re going to leave it on the field and play from a sense of playing from confidence, not from a fear of failure. This team knows how to win games in big moments, and they know it’s a big game. It’s not the end of the season, win or lose.”Follow reporter Alden Woods on Twitter @acw9293.