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Men’s soccer slays the knights

Posted on 11.06.2013

The University of Indianapolis men’s soccer team defeated the Bellarmine University Knights on Sunday, Nov. 3 at Key Stadium 1-0, advancing to the semifinals of the Great Lakes Valley Conference Soccer Championship Tournament.
The victory for the Greyhounds was the first-ever tournament win for UIndy since 2010, which was the year the Greyhounds advanced to their first-ever conference championship match. Last year, the Greyhounds missed the chance for postseason play, and the team failed to win in the conference tournament the year prior.


Greyhound players fight for the ball in the pink match against the St. Joe Pumas.

In a match that remained scoreless throughout the first half, the Greyhounds finally found the goal that would advance them off the foot of junior forward Ngwese Ebangwese. The 13th goal by Ebangwese on the season came at the 47:26 mark from an assist by redshirt senior midfielder Roger Lee. After the goal, UIndy’s defense kept Bellarmine from successfully finding a goal the rest of the match, claiming the victory.
The Hounds were led offensively in the match by Ebangwese, who had four shots on the day. Redshirt junior goalkeeper Andrew Verhonik claimed the victory in goal for the Hounds, making five saves.
Prior to its match against Bellarmine, UIndy improved its winning streak to nine straight wins in the last three games of the regular season. The Greyhounds wrapped up their regular season with a record of 13-2-2 overall and 12-1-2 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference.
The Greyhounds finished the GLVC regular season with a 5-0 win against the Saint Joseph’s College Pumas on Wednesday, Oct. 30, at Key Stadium.
Referring to the victory, Head Men’s Soccer Coach John Higgins said that the team just had to focus on themselves going into the game Wednesday night.
“We just had to keep the focus on us. We’re a really good team in transition offensively and defensively, and I didn’t want us to get away from that,” Higgins said. “We did what we’ve done all season, and it’s working for us. So why get away from that? It was really just focusing on those small details.”
Verhonik said that the key to the Greyhounds’ success all season has been going into every game with the right mindset.
“It turns into an expectation where you know that going into every game you have the best team on the field,” Verhonik said. “Just trying to keep everybody grounded, so we’re still doing all the things that got us to where we are, is what we try to focus on.”
The weekend prior to Wednesday’s win, the Greyhounds were on the road, claiming victories against GLVC foes Rockhurst University and William Jewell College. The Hounds won both matches, 1-0 in overtime and 2-1, respectively.
Verhonik said that he likes being on the road because he feels that the team is always more prepared.
“Everything’s set. We have a schedule, and we don’t really get off that schedule at all. We’re told what to do and at what time,” Verhonik said. “I think on the road I like how we do everything as a team. And I think it makes us more prepared for every game.”
Higgins said that he thought the Greyhounds’ win over then No. 9 Rockhurst was a special one. It was the Greyhounds’ first victory against a top-25 opponent since 2011, as sophomore Reid Strain scored the only goal of the game in overtime at the 95:22 mark.
“Hands down [it was] the best win in program history, and I think it was good for this team to get that big of a win and give us that amount of confidence at that time of the season,” Higgins said.  “Not even confidence, but just belief and knowledge that we know we can go and do it this year.”
The Greyhounds will advance to take on the Drury University Panthers in the semifinals at Quincy University this Friday at a time yet to be determined. The Greyhounds and Panthers met once earlier this season on Oct. 20 at Key Stadium, when UIndy defeated Drury 3-1.


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