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Friday, June 14
The Indiana Daily Student

sports men's soccer

Michigan deals IU 1st Big Ten loss of 2008 season

The roller coaster continues, but for the struggling 20th-ranked IU men’s soccer team, the ride has not been thrilling.

The Hoosiers lost 1-0 to unranked Michigan on Saturday, their second straight home loss. The defeat was also IU’s second shutout loss of the season.

IU came into the weekend’s game hoping to build on its 3-2 overtime road victory against Evansville.

But the Wolverines needed just seconds to clinch the win in the second minute, when senior midfielder Alex Morisset sent the ball in to senior forward Jake Stacy. Amid a sea of defenders, Stacy fired the ball in the right side of the net.

IU senior midfielder Brad Ring called Stacy’s finish “lucky.”

“That was the worst start we could have had,” he said. “It made them more alert to the defensive side of the ball. It’s always easier to play with a lead. You can just play safe.”

Saturday marked the Hoosiers’ first Big Ten loss this season, but also Michigan’s first ever win against IU. Before Saturday, the Wolverines hadn’t beaten a Big Ten team since 2006.

Riding a five-game unbeaten streak, the Wolverines continued their upset run after beating No. 8 Notre Dame 3-1.

On the other side of the pitch, despite their recent defeats, the Hoosiers’ confidence remained high. IU coach Mike Freitag referred to No. 4 Maryland’s 4-2 loss to unranked Clemson as an example of another nationally respected team not meeting expectations.

“There’s going to be bumps, mental mistakes,” Freitag said. “We’re trying to get better. We will find ways to win in the future. This team will be good.”

From eye-of-the-needle misses to squandered opportunities, the Hoosiers didn’t catch any breaks. Junior midfielder Lee Hagedorn’s saved shot in the 20th minute awakened the slumbering Hoosiers. They out-shot the Wolverines 11-3 through the first 45 minutes and finished the game with 20 shots to Michigan’s nine. Still, the Wolverines stood strong.

“It’s not about how good you look or how many shots you get,” Freitag said. “It’s about how many you put in the back of the net.”

The game was not without other setbacks for IU. Officials handed Ring his fifth yellow card of the season, taking him out of Tuesday’s match against Butler. Having tallied four of the team’s five total shots on goal against Michigan, Ring’s offensive presence will be missed against the Bulldogs.

The road trip will be a break from Big Ten play, as the Hoosiers return to compete against Michigan State next weekend. Having played 10 games already, the time for excuses has ended, Ring said.

“We’ve been using the word ‘potential’ all season,” Ring said. “But we’re past halfway through the season. It’s time to turn that potential into something. We’ve got to start finding a way to get these wins.”

In a post-game press conference, the Hoosiers were somber. As they reflected on the upset, senior midfielder John Mellencamp asserted that the night’s result would not become a habit.

“All I can say is, you got a bunch of guys on a team that love to win and now we’re not getting it done,” Mellencamp said. “Come practice, we’re going to put the boots down, we’re going to get ready and we’re going to play our ass off.”

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