The Eastern Michigan University soccer team won its second consecutive game Sunday, with a 2-0 victory over the Indiana University Hoosiers at Scicluna Field.
The Eagles last played the Hoosiers on Sept. 6, 2013 – leaving with a 1-0 loss.
Coach Scott Hall was impressed with his team’s shutout win.
“These are the teams we prepared ourselves against last year – didn’t get some results, and it’s nice to see that our hard work has paid off,” he said. “Some of the kids – every year – circle these games. They want to test themselves against the best and Indiana is a great team. It’s a great win for us.”
Junior goalkeeper Megan McCabe was the focal point of the shutout – stopping all five shots on goal she faced. In addition, she made several plays to break up Indiana’s scoring chances.
“It feels great,” she said. “We came out really wanting to beat Indiana after last year – last year we didn’t play so well against them – and so I think we just came out and showed them who we are as a team and how much potential we have.”
Hall praised the play of his goalkeeper.
“Megan McCabe gets better every practice, every day,” he said. “The kid has got great work ethic. The hard part is we’ve got two great goalies. Scary enough is we’ve got another one who’s just as good and who is training behind her – waiting for her chance, too. That’s good news for us – it’s just hard to find, to plan who gets into what games. Those are the tough decisions that we have to lose sleep over, but they’re good ones.”
Senior forward Angela Vultaggio (24’, 25’) scored both goals for the Eagles (2-0, 0-0 Mid-American Conference) – 53 seconds apart.
“It felt really good [to score both goals],” she said. “I had a breakaway in the first 10-15 minutes and I missed that breakaway, but I never gave up and knew I would have more opportunities – I was able to put the other two away when I had the opportunity.”
Hall said the senior is a threat when she sees scoring chances.
“Vultaggio comes up in big games,” he said. “We’ve got to keep her mentality good – keep her fresh. She can do damage, but we’ve got to keep that mentality for 90 minutes … when she gets chances, she can score.”
For the Hoosiers (1-1, 0-0 Big Ten Conference), Sara Stone had two saves in four shots on goal.
The Eagles hit the road for their next four games.
EMU will take on the Michigan State University Spartans, Friday, in East Lansing, Mich. After that, the Eagles travel to South Bend, Ind. for a “home” matchup against No. 17 ranked Texas Tech University, Aug. 31, before going to the west coast for games against the University of Oregon (Sept. 5) and Oregon State University (Sept. 7).
Hall says that playing the bigger teams competitively will help earn his team some respect.“We’re a team that always looks for respect,” he said.
“People cast stones at Eastern Michigan, I think sometimes,” he said. “I think we’re trying to get some of that respect by playing games [against large conference teams] that we think we can compete against these teams – it’s just now can we do it consistently – and going on the road, it’ll be a bit harder for us – the pressure changes a little bit.”
The game against MSU is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m., while the Texas Tech matchup is slated to be an 11 a.m. start.
Follow Al Willman on Twitter: @AlWillmanEcho