PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Goals from Blake Wise and A.J. Corrado were all the ninth-ranked Indiana men’s soccer team needed to remain unbeaten on the season with a 2-0 victory at Rutgers Sunday afternoon at Yurcak Field.
The Hoosiers improve to 5-0-2 on the season, while Rutgers drops to 3-3. Indiana has shut out back-to-back opponents for the first time since the 2009 season when they shut out Louisville and Butler in the NCAA Tournament.
“Good result today,” said head coach Todd Yeagley. “After a poor start, our guys started to come around at the end of the first half. Rutgers was very physical and came at us a bit and we were out of rhythm.
“We addressed it at half time and the guys came out second half and played very well. It was good to see Blake get a goal in that first half when we weren’t at our best. In the second half we really upped the tempo and our possession was much better.”
Blake Wise’s third goal of the season gave the Hoosiers a 1-0 lead in the 40th minute. The play began with Tommy Meyer in the back as he played a long ball up to Wise in the left corner. Wise ran around his defender and unleashed a knuckle ball shot that looped over Kevin McMullen in the Rutgers’ goal into the upper right.
Early in the second half Corrado took a free kick that a Rutgers player headed back and over the goal, nearly resulting in an own goal. The ball was won six yards outside the top of the 18 when Alec Purdie was pulled down. Harrison Petts took the ensuing corner kick but the ball was cleared out.
Corrado’s efforts would not go unrewarded as he netted his first goal as a Hoosier in the 51st minute to give Indiana a 2-0 lead. Wise started the play with a long throw into the box that bounced around. Meyer managed to get the ball back to Corrado, who shot through traffic to beat McMullen for the score.
That seemed to wake up the IU offense as they began pressuring the Rutgers back line. Chris Estridge had a shot that was blocked, and Wise’s long throw-ins into the box were causing problems for Rutgers. Alec Purdie also had a 1-on-1 breakaway but McMullen came out and got his boot on the ball.
With under 18 to play in the second half, Estridge made a great run behind the Rutgers defense receiving the ball from Purdie. He broke free for a shot but McMullen was again in the right place to make a blocking save.
A minute later it was Patrick Doody with the close call as he rocketed a shot off the cross bar, the second Hoosier ball to bounce off the pipe this match.
Goalkeeper Luis Soffner picked up his third shutout of the season and Indiana blanked an opponent for the fourth time in 2011. Soffner finished with a pair of saves.
Soffner’s only real test of the match came with just under nine minutes to play as he went down to his left to save a shot from Kene Eze that was curling toward the lower right. He picked up another save on a soft header from Ibrahim Kamara with under five minutes to play in the match.
Eriq Zavaleta tested Rutgers early in the first half, heading in a Jamie Vollmer throw-in that bounced off the cross bar. Not a lot of linking play early in the match with most balls being played in the air.
The Hoosiers open Big Ten play next Friday when the Penn State Nittany Lions visit Jerry Yeagley Field at Armstrong Stadium at 7:30 p.m. ET.