Indiana 1, Michigan 0



BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - In a battle of wills the Indiana men's soccer team inched closer to defending its NCAA crown by defeating Michigan, 1-0, on Tuesday on Yeagley Field at Armstrong Stadium. IU improves to 15-4-1 overall, while Michigan drops to 11-8-4.

"First of all I would like to commend our opponent, Michigan, our Big Ten rival. I thought they played an excellent game," said head coach Mike Freitag. "They fought hard, had a good game plan, and this is always our hardest game of the tournament. It's always the first game. I think a little bit of it is sitting, not having a game for so long, sometimes hurts. I think it took us a while to get warmed up and get into it. My hat goes off to Steve Burns and Ernie Yarborough, their assistant. I thought they did an excellent job and it was a good hard fought game."

The match seemed destined for overtime as neither squad could get quality chances until the 86:10 mark. Sophomore midfielder Kevin Robson received a pass on the right side of the 18-yard box from junior Brian Plotkin, made a pair of moves to open space and pushed a shot toward the near post. The shot went past the outstretched arms of Michigan goalkeeper Peter Dzubay for the match's only goal and the game-winner. The goal was Robson's first on the season, first in postseason and the second of his career.

"Brian Plotkin collected the ball right around the top of the 18 (yard box) and fired a ball right to me," said Robson of the goal. "There was a guy right in front of me and I felt like I could take him and dribble past him. I was able to do that and then hit a shot. Coach had been telling us all week in practice to pass the ball to goal, and that's what I did."

The second half took a much different shape than the first as both squads gave an all-out effort. The Cream and Crimson was able to get the first chance of the half in the 57th minute. Sophomore forward Jacob Peterson broke free in the Michigan defense on a clearance out of the IU zone. Peterson was able to gather the ball after it skipped by the UM defender. He fired a shot from just inside the 18-yard box but the ball went past the post wide of the net.

One minute later, in the 58th, Michigan was able to counter with a chance of its own. Forward Knox Cameron lofted a pass from his own midfield to Mychal Turpin. With IU defender and M.A.C. Hermann Trophy semifinalist Drew Moor on his left side, Turpin was able to get a shot from 10 yards out on the right side of the box, but senior goalkeeper Jay Nolly was able to punch it wide. Nolly collected three saves in notching his ninth shutout of the season and 28th in his career. The clean sheet places him in a tie for fifth all-time with Cary Feld.

"Mychal Turpin and Knox (Cameron) are excellent players. If they get turned on a play and if they get just a little edge, they are going to take a shot," said Nolly. "Luckily we have been working a lot with defense, staying clicked in."

Indiana had one of its best scoring opportunities in the 67th minute as sophomore midfielder John Michael Hayden corralled the ball in the midfield and dribbled for 25 yards. He dished to freshman Greg Stevning on the right side of the 18-yard box. Stevning fired a shot, but was denied as Dzubay made the save.

The game began sluggishly for both programs as possession was split. Michigan got the first real opportunity in the 30th minute when an Indiana foul led to a free kick. Cameron took the free kick a fired a shot from 30 yards out, but Nolly saw the shot into his arms ending the chance.

The 42nd minute saw Michigan's second opportunity as Turpin fired a shot from the left side of the 18-yard box with Nolly gathering for the save.

The Hoosiers will look to move one step closer to defending its title when they face the No. 15 seed Boston College Eagles on Sunday. The match will begin at 2 p.m. EST on Yeagley Field at Armstrong Stadium.

-- Courtesy University of Indiana