IU's freshman class continued their impressive play Sunday against Ohio State.
IU's first goal of the game came on a strike by freshman attacker Mason Toye after freshman attacker Griffin Dorsey found Toye behind Ohio State's backline.
It would be the first of the two goals scored in the game, and the first goal of Toye’s brace en route to his seventh and eighth goals of the season and a 2-0 IU win.
“It was an awesome pass from Griff,” Toye said. “He made it really easy for me by freezing the center back with his pass, and all I had to do was make a good first touch and win a one-on-one situation. I know I’m going to score those, but it really all started with Griff.”
Toye’s second came from junior defender Andrew Gutman’s cross from a few yards to the left of the post, which was then tapped in by the striker while fending off a Buckeye defender from behind.
It would be the only two goals the No. 1-ranked Hoosiers would need to get their fourth conference win of the season. The Hoosiers slide back into second place in the Big Ten with one game in hand against first-placed Maryland.
Toye has been the most consistent striker for the Hoosiers so far this season, and he said he’s noticed he’s been more comfortable as the season has progressed.
“I really don’t have to worry about us giving up a goal,” Toye said. “Coach is giving me some more minutes each game because I’ve been able to earn it, but I’m getting more and more comfortable with this team and this system every game.”
IU Coach Todd Yeagley praised his striker after the game and said he really liked the way Toye played outside of his two goals he scored.
“He kept fighting for balls in the air,” Yeagley said. “I thought he held the ball up a bit better today against some big center backs, and that enabled us to get some more bodies forward. He made some really nice runs, and I thought he had a really nice game outside of his two goals. He loves scoring, and he’s learning that all goals are nice, no matter how you strike them.”
It was the eighth straight victory and clean sheet for the Hoosiers, extending their program record of consecutive shutouts in the process. IU hasn't given up a goal in nearly 780 minutes.
Junior midfielder Francesco Moore said the team remains focused on its goals, no matter how many wins or records they accumulate.
“We’ve won 12 games, tied two, and haven’t lost yet, but they don’t hand out trophies for going undefeated through 14 games,” Moore said. “We want to win the Big Ten regular season, we want to win the Big Ten Championship, and we want to win the National Championship. Every single game is a stepping stone to get to that point, and staying focused and locked in training and giving every team the same respect will help get us to our goal.”
As the regular season nears its end, the postseason is on the horizon for the Hoosiers, and according to Moore, they can feel it coming up because of how cold it’s getting. Even though it’s starting to get chilly in Bloomington, Moore said the team loves it and is fueled by it in a way.
“We love it because in the past few years Sunday afternoon games have been extremely hot, so having these cold games, or ‘run all day’ weather is what we like to call it, makes us run around and make tackles,” Moore said. “We love cold weather because it means the postseason is right around the corner.”
The Hoosiers had another element to feel good about after Sunday’s win. Freshman attacker Justin Rennicks made his 2017 season debut after being sidelined with a foot injury throughout the year.
“He’s a really talented player,” Toye said of his striker teammate. “He’s getting back into the groove of things, but just his movement on and off the ball, you can see that all he needs to do is get his game fitness back, and he’ll be back to the way he was before his injury.”
Like what you're reading? Support independent, award-winning college journalism on this site. Donate here.
More in Sports
With Ian Thomas gone, the Hoosiers will have to select his replacement from a relatively inexperienced group.
The 29th-round draft pick will begin his professional career with the Cleveland Indians.
The U.S. Men's National Team will be watching this year's World Cup from home. Here are some popular bandwagons to jump on.