Head coach Jerry Yeagley gets his first crack at his 500th win today as the men's soccer team plays Butler at Bill Armstrong Stadium. The game begins at 7 p.m.\nThe Bulldogs come into tonight's game 2-5-0 after defeating Western Kentucky in their last match. IU holds a 10-1 career series edge against Butler, outscoring the Bulldogs 36-6. \nDespite IU's dominance overall against the rival, Yeagley said he does not think his 500th win will come easily. \n"You can throw out the records when we play Butler," Yeagley said. "The Bulldogs are our in-state rival and they certainly are not intimidated by us. It scares us that they are coming in here after scoring five goals in a game. They seem to have their offense clicking."\nPowering the offense for Butler are junior forwards Michael Mariscalco and Nick Pantazi, who each scored two goals last weekend. Last year, Mariscalco led Butler with 25 points, while Pantazi finished with 24 points. \nOn the Hoosier offensive side, junior National Player of the Year candidate Pat Noonan has been scoring everything in sight. Noonan registered 12 points in the last three games, putting in five of his nine attempts. For the third consecutive week, Noonan was named Big Ten's Offensive Player of the Week, the first time anyone has earned the award three consecutive times.\n"Our offense is coming around because we are more confident," Noonan said. "We are going out there knowing that we can score. Our midfield has done a nice job. Phil Presser and Vijay Dias are pushing the ball and are much more active in the offense."\nCombing with the offenses recent surge, the IU defense has been solid all year, allowing only four goals. In the second half, the defensive unit of seniors Ryan Hammer and Josh Rife, and junior John Swann along with senior goalie Colin Rogers have not allowed a single goal.\n"Last year our defense was questioned," Swann said. "This year we have been playing as one. We know each other so well, and our confidence is high. Right now we have the mind-set that we can shut out the best teams in the country."\n"Our whole team defends," Rogers added. "It starts out with (freshman Mike Ambersley) and (Noonan) up top, and then we defend all the way back. We are playing great defense right now."\nYeagley stressed that his 500th win is not just his accomplishment.\n"When I reach 500 victories, it will be 500 victories for Indiana soccer," he said. "All of the coaches, former players and staff that worked with the program should celebrate 500 wins, not just Jerry Yeagley. And those members of the club team that nearly 80 games before soccer was a varsity sport are a big part of these 500 wins. They were the pioneers that set the foundation for this program"
Get stories like this in your inboxSubscribe
More in Sports