Due to a tie and win this weekend, the University of Indianapolis men’s soccer team currently sits at 2-2-2 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference.
UIndy beat University of Illinois Springfield on Sunday, Sept. 25. The Greyhounds won 2-1, with sophomore forward Benji Sierra claiming the game’s winning goal in the last three seconds of play. Freshman Mase Koki scored the Hounds’ first goal.
Neither the Hounds or McKendree University shots found the back of the net on Friday, Sept. 23 during regulation. Despite two overtimes, neither team could score resulting in a 0-0 tie.
Junior defender David Kurz had a game high seven shots while facing off against McKendree. Three of Kurz’s shots were on goal.
In goal for the Greyhounds was sophomore Miles Palmer who fought off two shots.
The Hounds had five shots but were unable to score on any of their attempts.
The previous weekend, the Greyhounds competed against No. 3 Rockhurst University on Sept. 18 and William Jewell College on Sept. 16. The Hounds fell to the Hawks 1-0, but boasted a 3-0 sweep against the Cardinals.
Despite the loss against Rockhurst, UIndy still showed that they are able to compete, according to Head Men’s Soccer Coach John Higgins.
“It’s early in the season, and they’re third in the nation, and I don’t think they’re any better than we are,” Higgins said. “I think the difference between us and them is that they’re winning those close ones right now, and we’re somehow stabbing ourselves in the foot a little bit and somewhat beating ourselves a little bit by not being as clinical in front of the goal and then giving away uncharacteristic soft goals. I don’t think we were at our best. But at the same time, I think that they’ve come and not been at their best, and we’ve allowed them to come in and beat us. It’s disappointing on that end of things, and it’s positive in the sense that we’re every bit as good as them.”
The Hounds fell to the Hawks allowing the lone goal at the 38:34 mark. The goal came after an attempted back pass to Palmer for a clear. Rockhurst capitalized on the opportunity as Palmer was pulled out of position. With a wide open net, the Hawks’ shot found the back of the net.
Prior to the Hawks’ goal in the first half, senior forward Jake Meyer was pulled down in the goal box, which resulted in a penalty kick. Meyer’s shot rang the left post, and the Hounds could not capitalize on the penalty.
Heading into the second half down 1-0, the Hounds had 45 minutes to tie the game.
UIndy’s best chance came from freshman forward Javier Steinwascher as he split two defenders in the 76th minute to fire off a shot that was saved with a dive from the Hawks’ goalkeeper.
As the final buzzer sounded, the score stood at 1-0 in favor of Rockhurst, despite both teams firing off six shots on goal.
Before being swept by the Hawks, UIndy had a sweep of its own over William Jewell.
The Greyhounds found the back of the net 13 minutes into the first half after, a pass from freshman back Andrew Dunkin found Sierra for the first goal of the game.
UIndy would not see a goal again until the second half, when Steinwascher recorded an unassisted goal in the 49th minute. Later as the clock read 85:45, Sierra assisted Meyer for the final goal of the game.
After playing Rockhurst, Higgins reflected on the William Jewell game and how important it is to open up the scoring in a game.
“It was nice for us to score,” Higgins said. “The weekend before, we played some pretty nice soccer, but we never scored. It’s nice for us to be efficient in front of goal, because it was a focus for us in the training going into the week. I thought we trained really well this week, and it was nice for us to execute come game time. On Friday [against William Jewell], we scored early. Typically when we score early, teams have to come out and play us, and it opens up the opposition. It was nice to come off the home opener and start fast.”
According to Kurz, coming out at full potential is the best way to get through the loss and continue a positive season.
“As long as we play as we usually play, nobody in the league can beat us,” Kurz said.
According to Higgins, the upcoming fixtures will be a challenge, unless they stay focused and play at their best.
“Anytime that you go on the road, it is really tough in our league,” Higgins said. “McKendree looks like they’re improved this year, [and] Illinois Springfield looks like they’re fantastic this year. That’s a weekend in years past that would be an easy weekend, and now it looks like a really tough weekend. There are never easy games in this league. And I feel like that if we play up to our potential, and we score goals, we’ll be absolutely fine.”
UIndy’s next game will be against Bellarmine University on Sept. 30. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at Key Stadium.