Indy Eleven Draws IU 1-1 in Opening Preseason Exhibition
Forward Eamon Zayed Nets Goal for “Boys in Blue” in 9-v-9 Affair versus Hoosiers
BLOOMINGTON, IN (Friday, February 26, 2016) – Indy Eleven opened the exhibition portion of its 2016 preseason with a 1-1 draw against the Indiana University Hoosiers this evening in a 9-v-9 scrimmage played at the Mellencamp Pavilion on the Bloomington campus.
Indy Eleven head coach Tim Hankinson elected to start the match with mostly new additions to the squad, with Brad Ring the only incumbent Indy player amongst the nine players at the start of the game. It was the Hoosiers getting the better of the chances in the first 45 minutes, forcing new Indy Eleven goalkeeper Jon Busch into action on a few occasions in the opening half hour.
However, it was the Circle City side getting on the board first in the 33rd minute on a play started by Ring, as the former Hoosier’s heavy shot from 30 yards was blocked right into the path of Don Smart. The Jamaican midfielder played an early cross to the back post, where a waiting Eamon Zayed leaped to meet the ball eight yards out, nodding home past the recovering IU netminder.
The Indy Eleven lead would last all of five minutes, as an IU attacker found space in the right side of the area and fired a low shot that went through the legs of an Eleven defender and past a shielded Busch to knot things up at 1-1 in the 38th minute. The Hoosiers could have made it 2-1 late in the half if not for Busch, who made a crucial double save at this right post in the 42nd minute to keep the proceedings even heading into the halftime break.
Mirroring the first half selection, Hankinson went with all returning players at the start of the second have, save for new left back Neil Shaffer. It was winger Duke Lacroix proving to be a sparkplug in attack across the second 45 minutes, the second year man out of UPenn first getting on the end of a Wojciech Wojcik cross in the 63rd minute, only to see his nodded shot deflected and cleared from the six. In the 76th minute it was Lacroix playing provider to reward Shaffer’s run into the left side of the Hoosiers area, but his promising, side-winding shot would be blocked right off his foot.
IU wouldn’t be able to test Eleven goalkeeper Keith Cardona much in the second half, but the one time he was needed in the 60th minute he was on the spot, racing well off his line and looking big to deflect a shot out for a corner. Defender Greg Janicki also helped out as well three minutes from time, sliding in to block a shot deep inside the Eleven area as Cardona scrambled into position.
Up next on Indy Eleven’s preseason calendar is a nine-day trip to Casa Grande, Arizona, where Indy Eleven will play three more exhibition games while it camps at the Grande Sports World complex starting on Monday. The next game on the docket comes on Wednesday, March 2, when the “Boys in Blue” will face off against fellow NASL rival Ottawa Fury FC. Visit www.IndyEleven.com/preseason for the full details on Indy Eleven’s preseason itinerary leading up to the squad’s April 2nd regular season opener at the Tampa Bay Rowdies.
INDY – Eamon Zayed (Don Smart) 33’
IU – 38’
Indy Eleven 1st Half IX (3-1-3-1): Jon Busch; Lovel Palmer, Colin Falvey, Nemanja Vukovic; Nicki Paterson; Brad Ring, Sinisa Ubiparipovic (Don Smart 30’), Justin Braun; Eamon Zayed
Indy Eleven 2nd Half IX (3-1-3-1): Keith Cardona; Marco Franco (Don Smart 77’), Cory Miller, Neil Shaffer; Daniel Keller; Dragan Stojkov, Dylan Mares, Duke Lacroix; Wojciech Wojcik (Greg Janicki 67’)