FINAL: INDIANA 4, XAVIER 1, NCAA men’s soccer second-round. Nikita Kotlov hat trick. Femi Hollinger-Janzen the other Hoosier goal. Very good result for Indiana against what was often a dangerous-looking Xavier side. Hoosiers finished with an 11-7 edge in shots (it was 6-6 at halftime.) So it was three goals on five shots for IU after intermission. Should take a little momentum into the next match, which right now looks likely to be at Notre Dame, which had a 2-0 halftime lead over Michigan State at last check.
7:05: INDIANA GOAL: Indiana 4, Xavier 1: Hat-trick Nikita Kotlov. This time he just had to guide the ball in off a perfect ground-hugging cross from Jacob Bushue.
10:05: INDIANA GOAL: Indiana 3, Xavier 1. Femi Hollinger-Janzen a running right-footer from 15 along the right side of the penalty area off fine Eriq Zavaleta feed. Got underneath Marshall.
22:13: INDIANA GOAL: Indiana 2, Xavier 1. Nikita Kotlov strikes again, weaving late-season magic for the second straight year. Indiana 2, Xavier 1. A.J. Corrado again involved. Corrado kept the ball alive on the right wing and got off a nifty back pass to Kotlov, who dribbled just inside the 18 and let loose a blast that went off Justin Marshall’s fingertips and into the upper right corner of the net.
Scoring leaders Luke Spencer and Will Walker sat out start of the second half for Xavier, but they came in at the 29:00 mark with fresher legs. IU also subbed Femi Hollinger-Janzen for Eriq Zavaleta at the same time, but obviously Zavaleta will re-enter after a bit of a rest.
HALFTIME: Indiana 1, Xavier 1, NCAA second-round men’s soccer. Musketeers spent a lot of time in the offensive third. Shots even at 6-6. Xavier dangerous on the counter, very quick. Indiana gave up possession too readily in midfield as the half wore on, especially after Bushue and Kotlov exited. Both look to be back to start the second half.
12:40 GOAL XAVIER. Indiana 1, Xavier 1. Musketeers’ sixth corner of the half pays off. It got deflected to Matt Walker just outside the box, leaving IU keeper Luis Soffner no chance. Luke Spencer has looked consistently dangerous for Xavier and the Walker brothers have pace.
27:28 GOAL INDIANA: Indiana 1, Xavier 0. Pretty pass from Harrison Petts to A.J. Corrado sets up the scoring sequence. Corrado with a feed to a streaking Nikita Kotlov on the right side of the box and his diagonal runner from 12 made it past deflecting defenders.
29:58: A hard Luke Spencer drive requires a diving Luis Soffner save on Xavier’s first shot, resulting in a sequence of three consecutive Musketeer corners.
Bushue just took a hard fall and Femi warming up.
33:46: Nikita Kotlov header off the Hoosiers’ second corner of the day, but well high over the bar. First decent chance of the match.
IU’s Jacob Bushue starting despite a torn meniscus (sustained in the Oct. 28 game at Michigan State) and running well. Xavier clearly double-teaming Zavaleta early, so the Hoosiers might need to find another avenue. IU had the only corner so far. No dangerous chances yet for either side. Xavier playing a lot of long ball to target Spencer.
PREGAME: On about as pretty a mid-November Sunday afternoon as one could imagine, we’ll hopefully see some pretty soccer from two talented sides today as Xavier’s Musketeers (14-2-5) are at Bill Armstrong Stadium to take on perennial power Indiana (11-5-3).
The host Hoosiers haven’t won a match since a 2-0 win over Evansville here Oct. 24. That was followed by a 3-1 loss at Michigan State, a 1-1 overtime tie with Northwestern and a 2-1 loss in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals to MSU. None of those last three results necessarily matched the run of play, but today it’s get a winning result or go home.
No. 22-ranked Xavier already has a result in this tournament, Thursday’s 1-0 first-round win at Kentucky, a match the Musketeers dominated. Luke Spencer got the goal, his 14th of the season, off an assist from Matt Walker, who became just the second player in the nation to attain double-double status in goals and assists (10 and 10).
As always, we’ll have updates here on the Scoop and via Twitter at htograham.