Indy Eleven Starts Final Preseason Push with 1-0 Win vs. Butler
Forward Eamon Zayed’s 18th Minute Tally Stands Tall in Victory at Grand Park
WESTFIELD (Wednesday, March 23, 2016) – Indy Eleven gained some momentum to start the final push of its 2016 preseason tonight against Butler University, using a goal from forward Eamon Zayed in the first half and a stout defensive effort throughout to post a 1-0 victory at Grand Park.
The Bulldogs came out and stood toe-to-toe with Indy Eleven for about the first 10 minutes, including a pair of decent looks in the eighth minute that put the pro side on guard, before ceding the bulk of the possession and quality chances to the “Boys in Blue.”
It was Zayed putting Indy on top in the 18th minute, the play starting with midfielder Sinisa Ubiparipovic’s through ball that split the Butler center backs. The Irish striker took it from there, pushing a low shot from 20 yards inside the left post to put the Eleven up early. Less than a minute, later trialist Jair Reinoso almost doubled the advantage after the ball worked its way around to him in the left side of the area, but the Bulldogs goalkeeper alertly cut down the angle early and blocked the Colombian’s shot out for a corner.
Indy Eleven ‘keeper Jon Busch had some work of his own to do a little after the half-hour mark, first coming off his line in the 33rd minute to get a piece of a near-angle shot that defender Nemanja VukoviÄ‡ swept over to clear out of the six-yard box. Three minutes later, Busch shuffled over to his left post and leapt to grab a shot from distance that threatened his frame. In between, VukoviÄ‡ had a couple of chances himself, but both a free kick and shot from open play, each from roughly 30 yards out, were saved.
Both teams were limited to shots from distance and half chances through the start of the second half, the first real look of any danger coming from Indy winger Justin Braun’s near-post effort from the left side of the area in the 71st minute.
Substitute midfielder Duke Lacroix injected some life into the Indy Eleven attack across the final 15 minutes with a handful of lengthy forays into the final third, but he’d find his shots saved or passes for runners inside the area cleared away. Zayed had one last chance to find a second in stoppage time after again being slipped into space by UbiparipoviÄ‡, and while his far post effort beat the goalkeeper it couldn’t stay inside the right post.
A main area of focus for Indy Eleven, now 11 days out from its NASL Spring Season opener on April 2 at the Tampa Bay Rowdies, was getting players 90 minutes fit. Head coach Tim Hankinson was able to get the bulk of his charges just that, as eight of the 11 starters would go the distance on the windy evening in Westfield.
Indy Eleven’s final preseason exhibition match comes in just two days’ time on Friday evening, when “Indiana’s Team” will head down I-65 and cross into Kentucky to square off against the University of Louisville Cardinals. Kickoff from Cardinal Park on the UofL campus is set for 7:30 p.m. ET, and fans can follow live updates as they happen via the @IndyElevenLive Twitter feed and additional Indy Eleven social media outlets.
Visit www.IndyEleven.com/preseason for the full details on Indy Eleven’s preseason itinerary leading up to the team’s third season of NASL play, beginning next weekend in the Sunshine State against the Rowdies (7:30 p.m. ET, live on ONE World Sports & ONEWorldSports.com). Indy Eleven kicks off its home slate at IUPUI’s Carroll Stadium a week later on Saturday, April 9, against 2015 NASL Championship finalist Ottawa Fury FC. Season, single game and group tickets for the 7:30 p.m. kickoff at “The Mike” can be purchased at IndyEleven.com or by phone at 317-685-1100 (Mon.-Fri., 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. ET).
IND – Eamon Zayed (Siniša UbiparipoviÄ‡) 18’
Indy Eleven XI (4-2-3-1, L -> R): Jon Busch; Marco Franco, Greg Janicki (Brad Ring 25’), Colin Falvey, Lovel Palmer; Nicki Paterson (Dylan Mares 73’), Nemanja VukoviÄ‡; Justin Braun, Siniša UbiparipoviÄ‡, Jair Reinoso (Duke Lacroix 58’); Eamon Zayed