SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Goals from Chris Estridge and Alec Purdie gave Indiana its fourth-straight victory with a 2-1 win over Denver (0-2-2) Sunday at the Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament.
With the win the Hoosiers (4-0-1) improve to 4-0-1 and were crowned champions of the tournament. Purdie, Estridge, Jacob Bushue and Kerel Bradford were named to the All-Tournament team.
It is the best start to a season for the Hoosiers since 2005, when they also started the year 4-0-1.
Estridge gave Indiana a 1-0 lead in the seventh minute with a shot from the end line that went across the front of the goal and into the lower right corner. Purdie earned his second assist of the year, bringing the ball through the defense before laying off to Estridge.
It is the fourth time this season the Hoosiers have scored within the first 20 minutes of a match.
Eriq Zavaleta nearly gave Indiana its second goal in the 15th minute when Harrison Petts lobbed a ball over the Denver defense, but Zavaleta was judged to be offsides. Zavaleta also had a header off a throw-in from Jamie Vollmer that was saved by DU goalkeeper Matt Aguirre.
The second goal came in the 23rd minute when Purdie was in the right place at the right time, putting home a misplayed ball by Aguirre. It looked as if the Denver goalkeeper would punch the ball to safety, but the ball looped up and ended up in front of Purdie who put home his fourth goal of the season. It also marks his third goal this weekend.
The yellow cards were flowing early with the Denver bench, Jacob Bushue and the Pioneers’ Kellan Christensen and Joe Eubanks all being singled out in the first 25 minutes of play.
Denver cut the lead in half in the 41st minute when 6-3 Nathan Sackeyfio headed in a ball served from Mark Weigand on the left side to make it 2-1 Indiana.
The stats were even at the halftime break with both teams taking eight shots. Soffner had three saves for IU, with Aquirre stopping two shots for Denver. Each team had one corner kick.
Indiana’s first attempt of the second half was a header from Purdie off a Vollmer throw-in that sailed high. With under 20 minutes to play the Hoosiers were nearly the benefactors of a Denver own goal, but another Denver player managed to head it off the line.
As the clock neared the 15-minute mark in the second half, Estridge had a line drive off a corner kick from Harrison Petts, but he was inches wide of the target.
Denver made it interesting in the waning seconds, bringing the goalkeeper up on a corner kick and getting off two shots that very nearly put the game into overtime.
Indiana continues its four-game road swing next weekend as it travels to the east coast to take on St. John’s (Friday – 8 p.m. ET) and Rutgers (Sunday – 1 p.m. ET).