Nov. 25, 2008

Courtesy of Indiana Athletics

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - An early goal from John Mellencamp led the way for Indiana in a 2-0 win over Saint Louis Tuesday night in the second round of the NCAA Tournament at Jerry Yeagley Field at Armstrong Stadium.

Indiana (13-6-3) advances to the third round where it will play host to Michigan Saturday night at 7 p.m. The Wolverines moved into the third round with a 2-1 win over UC Davis. The match will be streamed live on iuhoosiers.com

"I would like to compliment Saint Louis on a great season," said head coach Mike Freitag. "I was on the edge for most of the game, even though I felt like my team did an excellent job today. Our boys played like IU Soccer players tonight.

Mellencamp gave the Hoosiers all the scoring they needed in the 19th minute with a cross that turned into a goal. He took the shot from 30 yards out and as it bent inside the left post SLU goalkeeper Pat Disbennett misplayed the ball and watched it go over his head for the score.

"It was a shot," laughed Mellencamp when a reporter asked him if he intended for his cross to go in. "I say it was a shot and I am sticking to it."

The goal came six minutes after a prime scoring opportunity for IU as Kevin Noschang crossed the ball into Will Bruin in front of the net. Bruin got a boot on the ball but sent his attempt just high.

The Hoosiers continued to pepper the Saint Louis net in the first half and finished the period with a 9-3 advantage in shot attempts. Andy Adlard had a shot off a free kick saved with 21:08 to play, and less than a minute later Disbennett was forced to make a diving save on another Noschang attempt.

Unlike the luck that was involved in the Hoosiers' first goal, it was a spectacular effort from Kevin Alston that gave Indiana a 2-0 lead at 65:16. Adlard sent in the ball off a corner kick and Alston came screaming in with a beautiful header that Disbennett had no chance of stopping.

"That was the second time we went with that play," Alston said. "The first time I did not have a man on me but the ball never made it (to me). This time, I had a man on me and the ball was played to a spot where it was just he and I and I got on the end of it.

"That second goal helped a lot. It didn't put the game out of reach, but it gave us more breathing room."

"Kevin really flew in on that play," Freitag said. "He saw the ball and just exploded. That was just one example of the team effort out there today. Everyone was focused and played to his potential."

In addition to scoring for the Hoosiers, Alston came up with a key save in the 66th minute. Dado Hamzagic powered in a shot in the box but Alston, who made the stop with his leg from a position on the ground, blocked the ball.

The Hoosiers had a prime opportunity to make it a three-goal lead in the 72nd minute as Noschang broke free and had a one-on-one chance with Disbennett. Disbennett came out and blocked Noschang's first shot, but the ball rebounded back out to the IU forward who put forth another shot that was also stopped. Disbennett finished the game with six saves.

Indiana ended the match with a 15-10 shot advantage, led by five attempts from Noschang. Eric Alexander had three shots from his midfield position.

The match marked the return of defensive midfielder Brad Ring. Ring, who had missed the last five games due to injury, was a force once again in the middle for Indiana.

"He (Ring) is a rock," Alston said. "He is solid in the middle and challenges for everything."

Saturday's matchup between Indiana and Michigan marks the third meeting between the schools this season. The series is tied at 1-1 in 2008 with the Wolverines picking up a 1-0 win in Bloomington during the regular season. Indiana was a 1-0 winner on Nov. 14 in the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament.