After failing to claim a win since beginning its season, the University of Indianapolis men’s soccer team clenched its first match of the 2014 season on Sunday, Sept. 21 in a 4-0 Great Lakes Valley Conference win over the Missouri S&T Miners.
UIndy found success in both halves of their victory, scoring two goals in each.
Redshirt senior goalkeeper Andrew Verhonik kept the Miners scoreless, by making four saves while in goal.
A few days earlier, on Friday, Sept. 19, the Greyhounds dropped its third match of the season to the Drury University Panthers, 1-0.
UIndy gave up the only goal of the match during the 22nd minute of action.
The Greyhounds played a pair of home matches the weekend before, with one on Friday, Sept. 12, ending in a 1-1 draw against William Jewell College, and the other match on Sunday, Sept. 14, ending in a 1-0 loss against Rockhurst University.
In the match against Rockhurst, both teams had not met each other since last season’s Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament championship, which the Greyhounds also lost 2-0. During this year’s match, both clubs played competitively for the first 90 minutes, which forced overtime. After the first overtime period went scoreless as well, the Hawks found the back of the net during the second overtime period at the 107th minute, handing UIndy its second loss of the season.
The Greyhounds were able to hold on in double overtime a few days before, however, in their tie with William Jewell. Both goals by each team were scored in the first half of play in the match, as the Greyhounds’ junior back Julian Shamsaie sent in a ball off his foot during the 14th minute, following an assist from senior forward Ngwese Ebangwese. Just before the end of the first half, the Cardinals found the back of the net and knotted up the score, 1-1.
After the first half, an entire half and two overtime periods of scoreless action followed, resulting in a tie. Verhonik had four saves on the day for UIndy in goal.
Head Men’s Soccer Coach John Higgins said that the game plan versus William Jewell was to control the center of the field because of the formation their team played.
“They’re a little bit different than a lot of other teams because they play two strikers, and a lot of teams only play one striker,” Higgins said. “It makes them quite dangerous when they go forward, but they’ve got a number less in the middle of the park. I think that’s where we were really able to dominate possessions.”
The Greyhounds were able to work the ball to the middle of the field against William Jewell, earning 12 shots on goal in the first half and 28 shots against the Cardinals in total.
Ebangwese said that Higgins trusts the Greyhounds’ back line even though William Jewell played with two strikers.
“They really had no business scoring on us,” Ebangwese said. “But that’s just how the game goes.”
The next match for UIndy will take place on Friday, Sept. 26, when they will travel to take on McKendree University, which is scheduled to begin at 8:30 p.m.