The #7 Hoosiers travel to Notre Dame for the Berticelli Classic after the Irish managed to win the Hoosiers Adidas/IU Credit Union Classic. Let's hope that provides the Hoosiers (3-0-1) some fire to play a couple of undefeated teams: #4 Akron (2-0-1) on Friday (in a possible College Cup preview?) and Oregon State (2-0-1) on Sunday. The Hoosiers are coming off one of those frustrating 0-0 OT games against San Diego State wherein they dominated the shot count 29 to 10, and shots on goal 13 to 4, but came away empty. There's no reason to push the "they-can't-finish" alarm, because the weather was terrible. What stings is that they beat Clemson 3-0, and had a lot of good chances versus SDSU, and because none of them went in, Notre Dame walked away with the Classic title.
Some quick notes on the Hoosiers below the jump:
Eriq Zavaleta - is certainly settling into a starring role, notching five goals already. It's unlikely that torrid pace continues, but if does... whew. He's taking 4.5 shots a game, and generating 2.5 shots on goal per game as well. The fact that he's doing this as the Hoosiers' most well-known threat and as the only striker is quite remarkable.
Luis Soffner - posting an incredible 90.9 save percentage. One goal allowed in four games, and has come up big in the rare times an improved defense has needed him.
Femi Hollinger-Janzen - This underrated frosh is providing a very nice spark off the bench. Only has one assist so far, but has been a nice standout in a very deep midfield corp.
Kyle Sparks - Speaking of "Sparks off the bench" this redshirt freshman has not only notched his first goal for the Cream and Crimson, but has also put all five of his shots on frame.
Andrew Oliver- This star-recruit hasn't been bad by any stretch, but also doesn't have a lot to show for four starts.
Nikita Kotlov - I'm a Nikita fan, and he's an incredibly dangerous player - he's already generated 10 shots! However, he's just one of them on frame, and recorded just one assist. It's early, but that's pretty weak.
Harrison Petts- Petts has also not finished particularly well, putting just 2 of his 7 shots on frame, and recording no assists or goals. It's early, but the Hoosiers need Petts to generate goal-scoring opportunities.
Overall, it's early, but the Hoosiers are looking promising. The awaiting test of a game with #4 Akron at a neutral site should tell us a lot more about the character and the potential of this team. It'll be interesting to see where the Zips head-space is at, given that beloved former Hoosier Caleb Porter just announced his move to the MLS, although he is notably finishing out the season with his team (and good on him for that decision). I liked Caleb a lot as a former classmate, and you could tell even as a young man that he lived and breathed soccer (he once stopped me outside of our Soc class to ask where I got an issue of Soccer America), and I'm happy he's moving up. Still, I do hope that Hoosiers can beat his Zips this weekend.