When the Hoosiers needed it most on Senior Night, it was a freshman that provided IU with a 2-1 overtime win against Wisconsin at Bill Armstrong Stadium.
With 1:05 left in the second period of overtime and the Hoosiers needing a winning goal, freshman forward Mason Toye streaked down the left wing toward the Wisconsin goal.
Toye’s jersey was grabbed, and the referee called a foul on Wisconsin senior midfielder Alex Masbruch. The Hoosiers had a set piece with their Big Ten regular season title hopes in the balance.
Before the free kick, Toye remembered a similar moment from earlier in the match.
“I had a free kick like that earlier in the game,” Toye said. “After I hit it, I saw the keeper had cheated to his far post.”
With that in mind, Toye stepped up from 30 yards out on the left flank. He struck the ball with his right foot.
It was placed flawlessly in the top left corner to secure a dramatic 13th win of the season for the Hoosiers.
“When I put the ball down and saw where the keeper was, I was like ‘I’m going to hit it, and see what happens,’” Toye said. “Luckily it went in.”
The emotional swings throughout the 109 minutes were like a roller coaster. The Hoosiers got on the board first after just 80 seconds.
After a free kick deep in its own half, the ball bounced fortuitously off the head of a Wisconsin defender. Right in the path of the ball was freshman winger Griffin Dorsey making a run toward goal. He clinically finished by putting his third goal of the season into the back of the net.
“The guys are really wanting to play for a title next weekend, and we knew a win tonight would be our only chance to be in control of that,” IU Coach Todd Yeagley said.
But in a season where most things have gone according to plan, the plan was momentarily put on hold. Wisconsin applied steady pressure on IU’s backline from the opening whistle. With senior forwards Chris Mueller and Tom Barlow leading the attack for the Badgers, the Hoosiers couldn’t relax.
IU freshman goalkeeper Trey Muse came up with an incredible series of saves in the 68th minute. Yeagley said he doesn’t think he’s seen anything like it before.
Muse wasn’t going to let Wisconsin put the ball into the back of the net, until it happened in the 77th minute.
It wasn’t necessarily a moment of relaxation that caused Wisconsin's goal, it was more a moment of miscommunication, as Lillard put it. Barlow was the Badger who benefited from an IU defensive mistake.
It was the first goal allowed by IU in 966 minutes of play.
“It was a little bit tough just for a little bit, especially the way it happened,” Yeagley said. “It’s unfortunate that it has to come to an end, but we said it, when the goal comes we have to be able to respond. No better way than tonight to get a win to get that behind us.”
While it was the first time a Hoosier opponent had scored since Sept. 13, the Hoosiers didn't waver from their gameplan.
“It’s surreal, I don’t have words for it,” Toye said. “It’s crazy how this season is going. Coming into this, I couldn’t imagine it being like this, going so well. I’m just going to try to live in the moment and enjoy it.”
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