Tournament awaits Zips

“Although it may be Caleb Porter’s first appearance in the NCAA tournament as a head coach, he is no stranger to December soccer. Porter, who helped Indiana to two national titles during his six year stint as an assistant coach, leads his 14th seeded Zips into their second-round NCAA tournament match against the University of South Florida at Lee Jackson Field Wednesday.”

Although it may be Caleb Porter’s first appearance in the NCAA tournament as a head coach, he is no stranger to December soccer.

Porter, who helped Indiana to two national titles during his six year stint as an assistant coach, leads his 14th seeded Zips into their second-round NCAA tournament match against the University of South Florida at Lee Jackson Field Wednesday.

South Florida enters the match coming off a 2-1 victory over Colgate in the first round of the tourney. The Bulls feature an attack that has scored 39 goals on the season, which puts them in the top-20 nationally.

They have one of the more explosive offenses in the country, Porter said. We need to make sure defensively we pressure them and not give them space to operate.

The Zips have done exceptionally well on the defensive side of the pitch this season. They have only yielded 12 goals on the season, tied for third in the country.

That’s saying a lot, considering the opponents the Zips have faced this year. They have played four teams that made the NCAA tournament, going 2-1-1 in those games.

Porter thinks those games, especially the losses, have played an integral part in the success the team has encountered and could potentially enjoy in tournament play.

The scheduling is huge, he said. You have to play the best teams you can find in order to realistically judge where you’re at as a team.

If we wouldn’t have made those mistakes in those games we wouldn’t have accomplished the success we have. When you play those types of teams it allows you to reach your potential.