The University of Indianapolis men’s soccer team ended their season with a close loss in the final game of the Great Lakes Valley Conference tournament against Rockhursts University.
UIndy took the lead early when freshman midfielder Ben Rohder scored 12 minutes into the first quarter. 10 minutes later, senior forward Jake Meyer made another attempt at the goal with a header, but the shot just missed the goal. In the final minutes of the first half, Rockhurst rushed up the field to make their first goal of the game, evening the score.
In the second half, neither team allowed a goal, leaving the score 1-1 going into overtime.
The Hounds ended the game with a loss due to 4-3 penalty kicks in favor of Rockhurst.
Previously, UIndy defeated the 20th nationally ranked University of Southern Indiana in the semifinals on Friday night at Indianapolis’ Carol Stadium. The Hounds did not allow a single score by the Screaming Eagles and racked up two points for the shutout.
Neither team scored in the first half, despite UIndy’s multiple attempts at the goal. The first point came from redshirt senior midfielder Casey Zimmerman who scored in the 71st minute. A foul by USI put the ball outside the 18-yard box, and Zimmerman scored off of a free kick from junior midfielder Brad Shaw.
The second score came from freshman forward James Jenkins 13 minutes later, after taking a pass from senior midfielder Evan Smith. UIndy held USI to one shot attempt in the second half and totaled a 14-6 lead on the shot clock to end the game.
In preparation for the semifinals, the team took a trip downtown to the Indianapolis Carol Stadium the night before game day for a practice on the field where they would play.
This would be the first time there has been a neutral site chosen during the GLVC tournament, according to Head Men’s Soccer Coach John Higgins. In the past, the game would have been held at Rockhurst University in Missouri. Playing downtown was much closer for both UIndy and the University of Southern Indiana.
For the first time, the GLVC network posted films of each team playing, which the Hounds used to their benefit. During film sessions, the team had the ability to watch the games each of their competitors have previously participated in and study the way each team had played. According to junior midfielder Josh Ling, it provides an advantage to competitors as well, since they can see the most recent film of UIndy which gives insight in the way the Hounds set up their plays.
Prior to the game, Higgins commented that the Screaming Eagles would be a good match for the Hounds.
“You’ve got to respect the fact that they [Southern Indiana Screaming Eagles] have won 13 games,” Higgins said. “So we’re hoping that we’re more experienced for the occasion. If it comes down to a pure soccer match, our talent versus their talent, I think we could beat them.”
Previously, the Hounds began their run in the GLVC tournament with a 1-0 win last Sunday against Missouri S&T University.
Both the Greyhounds and the Miners defended during the first half, holding the score 0-0.
Coming into the second half, sophomore midfielder Brett Langley scored his first goal as a Greyhound in the 70th minute off of an assist from Rohder. The goal slid through the hands of the Miner’s goalkeeper, propelling the Hounds to the lead with a 1-0 score. This lone goal went unanswered by Missouri, giving the hounds the win.
“There’s a reason they’re second in the league, and they’re ranked 16th nationally,” Ling said. “It was a really tough game, and we stuck to our jobs defensively. Everyone played really well. It was a tough game, but we came out with a win.”
Higgins said the team took strides in practice to prepare for the games against Missouri and Rockhurst.
“The main focus was us creating opportunities for ourselves,” Higgins said. “That’s been our biggest challenge this season. They [the Missouri S&T Miners] are a very disciplined team and a very good defensive team, so a lot of our buildup was to try to break them down and create scoring opportunities for ourselves.”
The Hounds ended their season with a winning 10-5-5 record.