November 25, 2012
Zavaleta, Kotlov lead Hoosiers to Elite Eight with OT win
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Eriq Zavaleta scored in the 102nd minute giving Indiana a 2-1 overtime win over No. 1 Notre Dame Sunday afternoon at Alumni Field in the third round of the NCAA Division I men’s soccer tournament. With, the Hoosiers will make their first trip to the NCAA Quarterfinals since 2008.
|Eriq Zavaleta's overtime goal gave Indiana a 1-0 win over Notre Dame.
Photo courtesy of Indiana Sports Information
The Hoosiers improve to 13-5-3 on the season and will face North Carolina next weekend with a trip to the College Cup on the line. Notre Dame ends its season at 17-4-1.
“What a win for this program,” said Indiana head coach Todd Yeagley. “The team played a complete 90 (minutes) and we took it to a very good Notre Dame team. They were a fantastic team this year and we knew we had to be at our best. Today our discipline and the way we executed our plan made the difference.”
It was the dynamic scoring duo of junior Nikita Kotlov and sophomore Eriq Zavaleta that made the difference for the Hoosiers as the team did a complete 180 from its regular-season performance in a 1-0 loss to the Fighting Irish.
Indiana had the early attack with shots from Harrison Petts and Kotlov saved by Notre Dame goalkeeper Will Walsh.
In the 29th minute, A.J. Corrado took a shot that deflected off a pair of Notre Dame players, but Walsh did well to keep his concentration and smothered the ball for the save
Less than three minutes into the second half, Petts took a shot from just inside the 18 that took Walsh down to his right for the save. The ball began to spill out of Walsh’s hands, but the goalkeeper was able to smother before a lurking Kotlov could take a rebound shot.
Notre Dame took a 1-0 lead against the run of play when Harrison Shipp found Kyle Richard alone at the top of the 18, who then sent a shot to the lower right for the score in the 54th minute.
The lead didn’t last long as Kotlov scored his eighth goal of the year and fourth in two NCAA Tournament games exactly 56 seconds later. Kotlov took a tight-angled shot on a pass from Corrado, who netted his 12th assist of the season on the play.
The back and forth continued when nearly immediately after the goal Notre Dame’s Patrick Hodan sent a shot off the right post.
Minutes later Kotlov had to leave the field as he suffered a leg injury while trying to close down a Notre Dame player.
Femi Hollinger-Janzen had a shot early in the first overtime period that was blocked. The ball fell to Matt McKain, who tried to loop the ball over Walsh but the goalkeeper chased down the attempt on the far post.
Less than two minutes into the second overtime period, Zavaleta ended the match with his 17th goal of the year. McKain served the ball into the mixer, and Kotlov flicked it on to Zavaleta who headed home his sixth game-winning goal of the season.
“I haven’t scored a tournament goal with this team and there isn’t a better moment to have it,” Zavaleta said. “I am so proud of this team. This is the best I have seen this team play in a long time.”
Indiana finished with a 19-11 shot advantage, 10 of which were on frame. Indiana goalkeeper Luis Soffner did not make a save in earning the win. Walsh made eight saves for the Figting Irish.