The Indiana Hoosiers Men’s Soccer team defeated the Clemson Tigers 3-0 at Armstrong Stadium on Friday night.
The Hoosiers roared out to a quick 1-0 lead after Eriq Zavaleta nailed in a header in the very first minute. When asked about the goal, Zavaleta humbly deferred to his teammate, “I gotta give credit to Nikita [Kotlov]; he threw a perfect ball in, and there was pretty lackadaisical defense from the beginning from [Clemson].”
Indiana goalkeeper Luis Soffner did not give up a goal, and his play was highlighted by a remarkable save in the 9th minute. Clemson had a great opportunity to score in the 27th minute, but Clemson midfielder Ara Amirkhanian’s shot hit the post and caromed out.
In the 71st minute, after some nifty passing, freshman Femi Hollinger-Janzen fired a shot and the rebound was put in the net by Kyle Sparks to put the Hoosiers up by two.
After the second goal, there was a long stoppage in play as Indiana’s Dylan Lax made a tackle on Clemson forward Iain Smith, whereupon Smith suffered a foot injury that required him to be taken off on a stretcher. Lax was initially given a yellow card after the hit, but as trainers tended to Smith, the official gave him a red card, ejecting him from the game as a result, and forcing the Hoosiers to play a man down. Indiana head coach Todd Yeagley was confused by the official’s decision, saying that “It was one that I didn’t quite understand.”
Despite being a man down, Indiana netted another goal in the 73rd minute—another Zavaleta strike after Nikita Kotlov’s shot hit off the crossbar—Zavaleta’s fifth goal in three games.
Yeagley said after the match that his team plays “good, disciplined soccer, and we create good chances for some goals.”
Indiana improves to 3-0-0 on the season and will host San Diego State on Sunday at 2 p.m. at Armstrong Stadium.