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SLU vs. Indiana Men’s Soccer Preview

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Freshman Robbie Kristo (18) evades a Charlotte defender in Saturday night’s action. Curtis Wang / The University News

The Saint Louis University Billikens men’s soccer team will face No. 12 Indiana University. The Bills and Hoosiers are two well-known soccer programs and compete against each other regularly. This game will have high attendance due to the spirit competition for the recently arrived freshman class.

Last Two Times Out: Indiana has bested the Billikens the last two times these teams have met. Last year, Indiana defeated SLU 3-1 in the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic. Indiana jumped out to a very early 3-0 lead and never relinquished control of that lead. Indiana’s  Eriq Zavaleta scored in the 19th minute and Alec Purdie scored in the 28th minute. The Hoosiers also received some help by an own goal in the 43th minute. Raymond Lee tacked on the only goal for the Bills in the closing seconds of the first half.

This spring, the Bills and Hoosiers faced off in a spring exhibition game to benefit the not-for-profit foundation Kailey’s Krew. The Hoosiers once again defeated the Billikens 3-2. The Bills tied the game at 2 in the late in the second half, but Indiana quickly responded with a goal by Harrison Pettis who was assisted by Eriq Zavaleta.

SLU: This is the first game of the season for the Billikens. The team has nine starters returning from last year’s squad, most notably sophomore forward Robbie Kristo who had 6 goals and 2 assists last season (14 points). Sophomore Raymond Lee contributed 4 goals and 1 assist last season. Also, William Hidalgo and Nick Maglasang return, both men had lead the team last year with 4 assists. Alex Sweetin returns after sitting out last season with a torn achilles. Goalkeeper Nick Shackelford is back for the Billikens in 14 matches last year he allowed 19 goals and had a 1.28 goals against average. Last season, the Billikens posted a 6-10-1 record, which was the 2nd worst in school history. Mike McGinty is in his third season as head coach for the men’s soccer team.

Indiana: This is also the first game for Indiana this season. Indiana is No. 12 in the pre-season polls and has eight starters returning from last year’s team. The most notable player returning to Indiana this season is Eriq Zavaleta, he is on the Missouri Athletic Club Hermann Trophy Watch List, the highest individual honor for a Division I collegiate soccer player. Zavaleta scored 10 goals and had 5 assists last season (25 points). Goalkeeper Luis Soffner had a 0.82 gaa last season. Indiana is predicted to win the Big Ten Conference title. Todd Yeagley is in his third season as head coach for the men’s soccer team.

Players to Watch for

SLU forward Robbie Kristo: After Mike Roach was hurt last season, Kristo had big shoes to fill as a freshman. However, he handled the role very well and scored the majority of his points last season after Roach’s injury. Now with a year of experience behind him, he is expected to be force and give the Indiana’s defense some problems. Also, Kristo has help with Alex Sweetin returning to the lineup. If the Billikens score tonight, expect the goal to come from Kristo or Sweetin.

Indiana forward Eriq Zavaleta: Zavaleta was a star last season. Now with the national spotlight now on him, Zavaleta is going to have high expectations on him this season. Zavaleta is on the Hermann trophy watchlist for a reason.

 

 

 

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