Just like their match on Friday, the Hoosiers gained an early lead. This time, though, they would not relinquish it.
Freshman Michael Riedford’s goal in the 32nd minute gave the Hoosiers a 1-0 victory over No. 12 Marquette Sunday at Bill Armstrong Stadium in the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic. IU clinched a share of the tournament title with No. 1 Notre Dame with the win.
”It’s a big win,” Riedford said. “It’s always a huge weekend for us. To come out here and show that we can compete with good teams, it’s a big step for us.”
The midfielder and Evansville native was in the right place at the right time when sophomore midfielder Tanner Thompson sent a shot right at Marquette goalkeeper Charlie Lyon. The ball deflected off Lyon’s hands to the right of the goal, where Riedford was ready for the rebound.
He knocked it into the back of the net for his first career goal.
“Coach really capitalizes sniffers during practice – that’s what we call them – so rebounds are a big thing we focus on,” Riedford said. “Tanner (Thompson) kind of just looked me off and I knew he was going to shoot, took a deflection, the keeper made a good save. But fortunately I was there, so it worked out well.”
Similar to Riedford and Indiana (1-0-1), Marquette (0-2) had its chances as well. Four minutes before Riedford put the Hoosiers ahead, the Golden Eagles’ C. Nortey intercepted a bad pass by IU freshman defender Grant Lillard.
Redshirt sophomore defender Derek Creviston slid to try and stop Nortey as he approached IU’s goal, but there was not enough contact that warranted a penalty being awarded to Marquette by the officials.
“I was tracking back at the time,” Lillard said. “I think Derek slid and I think he might’ve gotten a little bit of the ball. Obviously he made a good play because the ref didn’t make the call.”
Lillard and Creviston were part of a defensive backline that featured a yet another unfamiliar face. After starting freshman midfielder/defender Trevor Swartz on Friday against No. 9 Georgetown, Yeagley went with sophomore defender Billy McConnell instead.
“It was only a tactical thing,” McConnell said. “It’s nothing against Trevor or anything like that. Just a little more pace up front, so he (Yeagley) just put me in the back.”
While the back line kept Marquette’s forwards in check, it wouldn’t have been possible without the efforts of IU goalkeeper Colin Webb. The San Diego, Calif., native made three saves, each critical to maintaining the lead.
Yeagley said having a young goalkeeper like Webb recording a shutout and playing well is a huge help going forward.
“Really, really good weekend for Colin,” Yeagley said. “I loved his presence, I thought he controlled the game. He managed things well, he had a confidence about him. You need your keeper to make one to two big saves a game.”
Webb’s counterpart, Lyon, on the other hand, had a much busier afternoon. The Hoosier offense was aggressive throughout the match, attempting 17 shots – six on goal – while Lyon recorded five saves.
That kind of aggressiveness is something Yeagley said he and his coaching staff have been emphasizing a lot with their players.
“We’re really giving them the green light to be more aggressive,” he said. “And not just find and blast a goal, but try to pass to the goal and make keepers make saves and be there to finish.”
Yeagley said he was very pleased where his team is.
”It’s good for this young team,” IU head coach Todd Yeagley said. “To come out of the weekend with a win and a draw against two top teams when, again, we had a lot of pieces that were uncertain, I feel good. “