Eleven Defeat Athletic & Mother Nature for Fourth Straight Win
Indy Eleven braved the elements tonight, defeating Hartford Athletic by a score of 1-0 despite multiple rain delays at IUPUI Carroll Stadium. The game kicked off nearly 45 minutes late due to a severe weather alert, and halftime lasted almost 90 minutes due to a second stoppage, but night’s irregularities didn’t seem to be an issue for the Boys in Blue. Captain Ayoze’s goal in the 40th minute proved to be the deciding one thanks to Indy’s first clean sheet of the 2022 season, the result pushing the Eleven’s win streak to four games and its undefeated run to six.
The win keeps Indiana’s Team moving up the Eastern Conference, as the squad’s 14 points from a 4W-2L-2D record has them within three points of second-place Detroit City FC (17 pts) and third-place Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (16 pts). The squad’s six-game unbeaten stand marks the longest such streak for the Boys in Blue since a seven-game run between the 2019 and 2020 seasons.
Indy Eleven had to manage a change even before kickoff, as defender Bryam Rebellon sustained an injury during warm-ups, elevating Alex McQueen into the starting lineup. Despite this, Indiana’s Team got things going early, as Raul Aguilera’s corner in the 8th found the head of Manuel Arteaga, who nearly knocked in an early goal in his first start of the season. However, Hartford remained competitive themselves, nearly connecting on a header of their own in the 20th minute of play through Ariel Martinez.
While conditions weren’t conducive for much offense, there was no shortage of physicality in the first half. Pushes, tackles, aerial duels and matching yellows wrote the story on both sides for the first half, with neither team able to create many quality chances. That narrative would change in the 40th minute, as Stefano Pinho’s flick found a streaking Ayoze, whose low shot snuck inside the far left post to open his 2022 account and give the Boys in Blue a 1-0 lead heading into halftime.
Unfortunately for fans in attendance, the start of the second half was just as tumultuous as the first. Lightning, rain, and hail fell over Indianapolis, and a subsequent severe weather alert was implemented. The second half finally began at 10:00 pm sharp, and when the whistle blew Indy Eleven began with a bang as Pinho found himself alone galloping towards the attacking zone, but his shot was belted into the face of Hartford goaltender Jimmy Slayton.
Ayoze got another chance in the 57th minute, as he danced through four Hartford defenders and booted a shot from 12 yards into the chest of Slayton. Hartford responded swiftly with a few chances of their own, including a close shot off a corner from fresh substitute Rashawn Dally in the 62nd minute that flew over the crossbar. Dally got another chance in the 70th, but his deflected shot was stopped by a recovering Elliot Panicco at his near post.
The Boys in Blue were unlucky to not double the lead in the 74th minute, as an incredible rebound chance by substitute Nicky Law couldn’t be steered on goal after his initial effort went off the heads of two Hartford defenders inside the six-yard box. Another shot wouldn’t take place until the 84th minute when Hartford defender Joel Johnson’s redirect off a corner was saved up close by Panicco. Hartford again earned a chance late off of Modou Jadama’s free kick in the 89th minute, but his shot too sailed over the head of Panicco. Four minutes of added time elapsed without note, and Indy Eleven finally managed to hold off both Hartford and mother nature.
Indy Eleven will enjoy a rare bye week next weekend and return to action on Saturday, May 14, when Indiana’s Team travels south to take on Memphis 901 FC (8:00 p.m. ET kick, live on ESPN+). The Boys in Blue return home on Saturday, May 21, when New York Red Bulls II invades Carroll Stadium for a 7:00 p.m. kickoff. Tickets for that 7:00 p.m. ET kickoff – and all Indy Eleven regular season contests – are available starting at just $15 and can be purchased online at indyeleven.com/tickets.
Details on that evening’s Gone to the Dogs Night and other future promotions at Carroll Stadium can be found at indyeleven.com/promotions. Fans who cannot make it to The Mike can follow the action on MyINDY-TV 23, Exitos Radio 94.3 FM/exitos943.com, and the @IndyElevenLive Twitter feed, presented by Central Indiana Honda Dealers.
2022 USL Championship Regular Season – Matchday 8
Indy Eleven 1 : 0 Hartford Athletic
Saturday, April 30, 2022
IUPUI Michael A. Carroll Stadium – Indianapolis, IN
IND – Ayoze (Stefano Pinho) 40’
IND – Raul Aguilera (yellow card) 21’
HFD – Joel Johnson (yellow card) 38’
HFD – Younes Boudadi (yellow card) 50’
IND – A.J. Cochran (yellow card) 74’
IND – Jonas Fjeldberg (yellow card) 90+1’
Indy Eleven lineup (4-4-2): Elliot Panicco; Neveal Hackshaw, A.J. Cochran, Jared Timmer, Alex McQueen; Ayoze (Jonas Fjeldberg 63’), Justin Ingram, Raul Aguilera (Aris Briggs 87’), Noah Powder (Nicky Law 63’); Manuel Arteaga, Stefano Pinho
IND substitutes: Tim Trilk (GK), Bryce Warhaft, Rodney Michael
Hartford Athletic lineup (4-4-2): Jimmy Slayton; Tom Brewitt, Younes Boudadi, Modou Jadama, Joel Johnson; Ashton Appollon, Conor McGlynn, Andre Lewis, Ariel Martinez (Peter-Lee Vassell 32’, Rashawn Dally 61’); Corey Hertzog (Mitchell Curry 81’), Danny Barrera
HFD Substitutes: Austin Pack (GK), Walid Yacoubou, Jeciel Cedeno, Luka Prpa