FORT WAYNE, Ind. - For the second consecutive preseason the Xavier men's soccer team proved to be too much for the 17th-ranked Indiana Hoosiers, with freshman Darin Kruzich providing the game-winning goal in the second half of a 1-0 victory at the ShindigZ National Soccer Festival.
The win nets yet another high-profile result this fall exhibition season for the Musketeers who improve to 1-0-1 in the preseason. The Hoosiers conclude its preseason schedule with 0-1-1 mark.
"Today was a great, hard-earned and well deserved result. Despite missing some great chances we played a wonderful first half and then played a gritty second half where we managed the game pretty well," head coach Andy Fleming said. "We had great bench play today, with many guys giving us great spurts, including seven newcomers."
Kruzich's goal came in the 80th minute of play when he served a ball from the right side. Hoosier goalkeeper Nate Mitchell initially made the grab on the crossing shot, but allowed his momentum to carry him into the goal for the score.
Xavier sophomore goalie Justin Marshall was sharp throughout the 90 minutes, stopping each of the five on target shots attempted by the Hoosiers. Marshall has allowed one goal, while making seven saves through 180 minutes of preseason play.
Last year Xavier upended the seven-time national champion 2-1 in Bloomington. Junior Luke Spencer netted both goals and Marshall made two saves in the win over the 20th ranked team in the nation.
Up next for the Musketeers will be Div. III powerhouse Ohio Wesleyan at home on Saturday. Game time is set for 7 p.m. at the Xavier University Soccer Complex. It will be the last exhibition game for the Musketeers prior to their season opener against Marshall on Sept. 1 at home.
Earlier this week Xavier tied No. 11 Notre Dame, 1-1, at home just one day after opening fall camp. Fleming said the short turnaround from the beginning of the season and games against two of the region's most prolific soccer programs was handled well by everyone in the program.
"This was a challenging week as we started Monday and played two Top 20 teams while sandwiching two-a-day practices in between," Fleming said. "The guys and staff managed the time well. We'll begin the process of getting our legs back and fine tune some details before our home opener 11 days away."
The Musketeers' offense wasted no time in the first half racking up nine shots, four corner kicks, and to close-in shots from Matt and Will Walker. Indiana surged in the second half offensively, but failed to capitalize.
Sophomore Matt Walker led all players with three shots, and sophomore Nick Hagglund and Spencer each contributed a pair. Three players recorded two shots, while five had one shot on goal for the Hoosiers.
Mitchell was credited with the loss for the Hoosiers playing 21 minutes. Michael Soderlund played the majority of minutes and made one save.
Indiana led the shots on goal battle, 5-2, but the total shots were tied at 11-all. The Hoosiers also led corner kicks, 5-4.