Chicago, IL– Illinois Tech Men's Soccer let a one goal lead slip to fall 2-1 to Indiana Tech in a feisty encounter at Stuart Field.
The first half saw very few chances created with a tight arm wrestle in the midfield restricting production in the final third. A lucky deflection saw Indiana Tech get in behind the Hawks backline but debutant goalkeeper, EJ Yang, made a sharp save to deny the visitors.
The Scarlet Hawks looked more fluent in possession and were far more determined in defending than in previous matches. Sophomore utility Sam Smith had the best chance of the half on the 33 minute mark with the substitute finding space in behind the Indiana Tech defense. However his effort was blocked by the visitors' goalkeeper, Reece Richardson, who got down early and managed to get a strong right foot to the ball, deflecting it out of harm's way.
However, Smith made amends 2 minutes before the interval when he managed to charge down an ill-timed clearance by Richardson. The ball popped up favorably for Smith who calmly slotted into the empty net. The goal was nearly identical to the one scored by Roman Zwarycz 2 nights earlier.
The home side took the lead into halftime and came out looking to outdo what was by far their best half of soccer all season. The game restarted where it left off with both sides stepping up the physicality of the contest. Illinois Tech was made to pay for some lax defending however, when Indiana Tech's, Adam Knight, found himself on the end of a cross to head home and even up the scores at 1-1.
Despite showing much resolve, the home side appeared to tire and was again caught on the counter-attack. This time Knight turned provider for teammate Zachary St. Aubin who picked up Knight's cross first time and curled it into the top corner to give the visitors the lead with 12 minutes remaining.
Despite committing men forward, the Hawks were unable to find an equalizer. While the result was disappointing, the performance was easily the best of the season against a disciplined Indiana Tech side that remain perfect at 4-0-0 on the season.
The Scarlett Hawks will look to build on Sunday's performance when they travel to Indiana to take on Anderson University on Saturday, September 21st at 3:00 pm CST.