Indiana University’s Ryan Wittenbrink scored a goal in the 75th minute on Sunday to lead the hosts Hoosiers to a 1-0 win over St. Louis University in the second round of the men’s NCAA soccer tournament at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington , Indiana.
The 13th-seeded Hoosiers (11-4-6) advance against Marshall (11-3-4) in the Sweet 16 next weekend; Marshall knocked out No. 4 seed Virginia (10-4-4) on penalties on Sunday.
SLU, who went into action on Sunday on a nine-game unbeaten streak, ended their season 12-5-3.
“We played in their half of the field for most of the first half; I felt like we had some chances to score but just weren’t able to make a game,” said SLU coach Kevin Kalish. “Obviously we had to put more shots on the frame and be a little more dangerous, but they’re a tough team to break. Then in the second half I think maybe (we) ran out of gas. I think the extra game strained our legs a bit. But give Indiana credit; You made a game at a crucial moment in the game.
In a first-round game on Thursday, SLU eliminated the visit to Memphis 4-2 in overtime. Indiana had a bye that round.
Wittenbrink, a senior with three goals and three assists in his last six games, defeated SLU keeper Carlos Tofern with a shot into the far corner after getting the ball straight into the box. He leads the Hoosiers this season with nine goals and eight assists.
JT Harms was in goal for the shutout, his third of the season.
Indiana overtook SLU 16-11 and had the game’s only three shots on goal. SLU had five corner kicks for the Hoosiers’ four.
For Indiana, Joey Maher (Althoff) and Daniel Munie (Parkway North) played 90 minutes while Jack Wagoner (Marquette) started and played 31. Another regional product, Jansen Miller (Parkway West), came from Hoosier Bank.
SLU’s most notable closing losses now include Atlantic 10 Conference Co-Offensive Player of the Year John Klein. Returning into his fifth season, he led the Billikens in goals that season (seven goals, five assists) and finished his career with 29 goals and 27 assists.
“He was a key contributor to the program,” Kalish said. “We have a great core coming back, the culture is strong and we have a number of top players coming in, our 2023 recruit class is #1 in the country.
“It’s always difficult to see the end of the season – I felt like we could win every game we played at this point in the season – but I’m very proud of this group and our frontrunners.”
Sunday’s game included two of the most iconic broadcasts in NCAA men’s soccer. SLU has won a record 10 championships and made 50 tournament appearances in the NCAA lead. Indiana, which has qualified in 47 of 50 seasons, has won eight national championships.
The Hoosiers, who are 5-0 in the NCAA game against the Billikens, have won the last seven games of the series and have an overall lead of 24-17-5.