IU soccer opener vs. SMU


FINAL
It might not have always been pretty, but it was a win for Indiana in the season opener. The Hoosiers settled in and controlled most of the second half. If anything, they should’ve put a few more in the net, but those will come. Tommy Thompson might not have scored, but he had a hand in both goals and likely takes the early national lead in fouls drawn. HOOSIERS 2, MUSTANGS 1

SECOND HALF
72nd minute: Indiana was relentlessly attacking throughout the half with several near misses. Hoosiers break through on the foot of Patrick Doody. Tommy Thompson, who has been a nightmare for the SMU defense with his ability to dance around foes all game, was fouled just outside the top of the box. AJ Corrado touched off the ensuing free kick to Doody, whose low, driving, left-footed strike found the back of the net. HOOSIERS 2, MUSTANGS 1

HALFTIME
We’ve reached intermission at Armstrong Stadium, where a slow start and early deficit faced No. 1 Indiana. But the Hoosiers slowly gained control of the proceedings and finally drew even late in the half.

Final stats show the shots even at 5 apiece and corner kicks deadlocked at 1. Soderlund made two saves, one a stellar effort on a 1-v-1 shortly after the early goal, preventing a 2-0 deficit.

Tommy Thompson was the primary danger offensively, dancing through and around defenders, but the final piece of the puzzle was missing until late in the half. Hollinger-Janzen was good after coming on late, but IU will need more out of Nikita Kotlov and Dylan Mares than what was seen in the opening period.

Defensively, teams are going to try to pick on freshman Billy McConnell, who looked to be out of position on the opening goal. Otherwise, solid. HOOSIERS 1, MUSTANGS 1

FIRST HALF
42nd minute: After dominating possession for the final 20-plus minutes, Indiana finally found some final third magic. A lovely give-and-go exchange between Tommy Thompson and Matt McKain resulted in McKain cracking a shot off the crossbar, but the rebound bounded to the left side of the box, where Femi Hollinger-Janzen made the most of his height to head home the follow to the far post as SMU keeper Jaime Ibarra looked on helplessly. HOOSIERS 1, MUSTANGS 1

10th minute: After some early danger from Indiana, largely courtesy of freshman Tommy Thompson, SMU counters quickly as Alfred Koromo is unmarked in the box, settles and beats new keeper Michael Soderlund to the far post. MUSTANGS 1, HOOSIERS 0

PREGAME
The preseason No. 1 and defending national champion Indiana men’s soccer team kicks off the 2013 campaign tonight against Southern Methodist in the IU Classic at Armstrong Stadium.

The all-time series between the teams is tied at 3-3-1, with the Mustangs winning the last meeting in 2006, 1-0.

SMU is in the new American Athletic Conference (former Big East) and picked to finish fourth behind No. 5 UConn, No. 10 Louisville and South Florida.

The Hoosiers return eight starters and 12 players who appeared in the NCAA title game. They’ve also added Louisville transfer Dylan Mares, while freshmen Tommy Thompson and Billy McConnell will likely start.

No. 7 Notre Dame and No. 9 UCLA played to a scoreless draw in double overtime of the opening game here. IU takes on UCLA Sunday at 2 p.m. in the #FilltheBill promotion to attempt to break the attendance record. The game will also be on the Big Ten Network.

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