October 23, 2011
Bloomington, IN - The 13th-ranked Indiana Hoosiers (9-3-3, 2-1-1 B1G) were held to a 2-2 draw by the Michigan State Spartans (4-7-4, 1-2-2 B1G) on Sunday afternoon despite outshooting the visitors 27-6 throughout 110 minutes of action. Nikita Kotlov and Jacob Bushue got the home side out to a 2-0 lead, but were pegged back by goals off of restarts from Stephen Lucianek and Adam Montague.
“Throughout the year we’ve struggled with set-pieces, and that’s exactly what happened today,” Kotlov said.
The Hoosiers got off to a strong start, dominating possession from the get-go. Eriq Zavaleta was a constant threat, using his strength inside the box to deliver several dangerous crosses.
A.J Corrado had Indiana’s best chance of the opening half-hour, hitting a half volley on target from 20 yards only to see it pushed past the post by Spartan goalie Jeremy Clark.
The home side would find the breakthrough in the 32nd minute. Jamie Vollmer’s shot was parried behind by Clark, and Corrado found the head of Kotlov on the ensuing corner kick to make it 1-0. The goal was Kotlov’s third in as many games.
“I’ve made good runs, and my teammates have put it on the spot for me to finish,” Kotlov said.
The first half nearly ended with the Hoosiers doubling their lead in the final minute. Zavaleta had a header cleared off of the line, and Bushue was first to react to the loose ball, striking it against the far post. A corner kick came soon after, and Patrick Doody’s volley from 20 yards off of a defensive header tested Clark again, the keeper punching it away from goal.
Bushue found the second goal for Indiana in the 50th minute after good work from Zavaleta. The striker cut inside at the top of the box, finding Bushue with a through ball into the area where he struck it first time to make it 2-0.
The Hoosiers seemed to be heading to victory, but had their lead cut in half in the 55th minute after a long throw in. Lucianek capitalized on a loose ball in the box, poking it under the onrushing Luis Soffner from three yards to bring the score to 2-1.
“Instead of giving up on the play and trying to argue with the ref, we need to just keep fighting,” Soffner said. “We can’t give up easy goals like that.”
Montague scored the Spartans’ second only four minutes later, beating Soffner to another long throw and heading the ball into the empty net.
The Hoosiers looked to break the deadlock in regulation, but could not take advantage of their 11 second-half shots. Alec Purdie and Zavaleta both came close with headers, but found their efforts flying just past the post. Zavaleta also bent a free kick on goal from 25 yards with ten minutes to go, but Clark was on hand to gather.
Indiana held the Spartans to zero shots in both overtimes, coming close themselves when Purdie blazed just past the near post in the second period. Zavaleta almost won it on what was virtually the last play of the game, seeing his header cleared off the line by a Spartan defender with 30 seconds left after climbing highest to get on the end of Vollmer’s long throw.
Indiana will travel to Evansville on Wednesday, October 26, at 8 p.m. ET as it looks to take its win total to double digits.
“We’re going to come back out fighting,” Soffner said. “Obviously this game was tough for us to swallow, and I think that on Wednesday we’re going to show that we’re still up there with the top teams in the country, and hopefully play our best.”