It took only 14 seconds for the Indiana men’s soccer team to face an early deficit against Saint Louis.
But the early goal was nothing more than a wake-up call, as the No.16 Hoosiers responded to defeat the No. 8 Billikens 3-1 Wednesday night at Bill Armstrong Stadium.
”It’s always nice beating Saint Louis,” sophomore midfielder Tanner Thompson said. “Especially when they’re having a good year like this, it’s extra special.”
The Billikens (7-2) entered the match having won five straight and only lost one. They appeared to be well on their way to a sixth consecutive victory, too, early on, thanks to senior forward Robert Kristo.
Kristo scored 14 seconds into the match from 35 yards out to put Saint Louis up 1-0 over IU. IU head coach Todd Yeagley said he had just sat down on the bench when Kristo found the back of the net.
”It was a great goal by them,” Yeagley said. “I give Kristo credit. He scores opportunistic goals all the time. Doesn’t need many chances but when he gets them he converts.”
The Hoosiers (6-1-3) wasted no time responding. Junior midfielder Matt Foldesy scored his first career goal for the Hoosiers off a shot inside the box right in front of Billikens freshman goalkeeper Sascha Otte.
”It feels great,” Foldesy said. “It couldn’t have come at a better time. We conceded early, but I knew we could fight back. It felt great to get the first one.”
Once Foldesy scored the equalizer, the floodgates opened for the IU offense.
Less than 15 minutes later in the 22nd minute, redshirt senior midfielder Jamie Vollmer found the back of the net off a cross from senior defender Patrick Doody. Then in the 38th minute, sophomore midfielder Tanner Thompson off a Vollmer shot attempt that was initially saved to put the Hoosiers up 3-1.
”You never want to give up a goal that early,” Vollmer said. “I mean, we knew what we had to do. If you’re going to give one up, that’s rough, but we did alright with it.
Vollmer’s goal gave IU its first lead and was his second of the season, while Thompson’s put IU ahead for good and was his third of the season.
Yeagley said Thompson has been really good the entire season.
”Really like the way Tanner is playing,” Yeagley said. “When he’s on the ball, things tend to come about and we’ve got to continue to find him.”
Thompson was not the only player who played a large role in the Hoosiers maintaining the lead. Sophomore goalkeeper Colin Webb made a diving save in the 80th minute on a shot by Saint Louis freshman forward Raymond Lee to preserve IU’s two-goal lead late in the match.
It was one of four saves Webb made in the match.
”Huge (save),” Yeagley said. “Colin, he doesn’t get rattled, and that’s a big thing with this group. You take a little bit of that mojo from your centerbacks and your keeper. Colin’s been really good for us this year.”
The victory is the Hoosiers’ second win over a top-25 opponent this season. They also knocked off No. 12 Marquette, 1-0 at home on Aug. 31.
”It’s really nice,” Vollmer said. “We’re excited about our team, and I think we’re just excited about the progress we have made. They’re a good team, but it’s good to get a good result.''