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At #12 Notre Dame recap: the dreaded 0-0

IU Men's Soccer 0, Notre Dame 0 (OT)

A pretty thorough (if upbeat) recap & box score can be found at IU's official site. Notre Dame's recap (which refers to themselves as #9, btw) seems to support my original reading-between-the-lines narrative of the game: it was contest of ebbs and flows, the Irish had a lot of shots (although not that many actually at the goal - both keepers only had 5 saves) and played much better than IU in the first half, then the Hoosiers came back and played well in the second half, and then both teams got tired in OT and not much happened.

What's hilarious about IU coach Todd Yeagley's video interview is he's clearly ticked that his guys tired out and didn't even start out matching the effort and execution of Notre Dame. But he can't say it to the media, and is searching for positive post-game things to say.... so he praises Notre Dame and praises the result. Which, I will agree, is a positive. Indiana went into a hostile in-state rival field against a ranked opponent and came with a tie. The level of play was not encouraging at this point, though, so I don't relish being IU player next week in practice.

A couple of surprises in the match (and the preseason) line-ups:

1) Eriq Zavaleta is starting at forward. I haven't seen the kid play, but since this high school All-American came in known as a defender I can only assume young Yeags is trying to get back a big presence up front to catch and hold long passes.

2) Justin Vollmer is starting on the back line. I expected him the Butler transfer to see some PT, but I figured IU to have a loaded back line this year. Still, in the first game and exhibition recaps, I see his name attached to a lot of quality chances.

3) Nikita Kotlov is coming off the bench. Kotlov didn't play in either exhibition game, so I'm not sure whether he's coming off the bench for physical or *ahem* mental recuperative reasons. Harrison Petts may be the best two-way player for returning Hoosiers, but Kotlov was the most dangerous offensive player coming back.

Slight surprises were the starting of redshirt freshman Kerel Bradford at midfield, and expected impact freshman Jack Coleman sitting on the pine throughout an entire OT match.

IU kicks off its home season opener in the annual Adidas/IU Credit Union Classic against its old rival Saint Louis on 9/2, this Friday night at 7:30pm.