Indiana Daily Student

IU falls to MSU in its 4th scoreless game this year

Junior forward Andy Adlard fell to his hands and knees, his forehead in the grass.

Freshman goalkeeper Luis Soffner punched the net. Michigan State’s bench charged the field, its screams audible in front of a stunned crowd at Bill Armstrong Stadium.

For the second consecutive home game, the No. 23 men’s soccer team fell to an unranked opponent in double overtime. The Spartans beat the Hoosiers 1-0.

“We obviously should have won the game,” Soffner said. “I think that we were the better team. It just came down to a little lack of focus by me, and in the end it came down to a mistake. It obviously hurt us.”

Michigan State collected its first Big Ten win of the year and handed IU its first conference loss with Sunday’s upset. 

“You’ve got to play every second of every game, whether it’s 90 minutes or 110 minutes,” IU coach Mike Freitag said. “That’s probably the most we’ve ever dominated a Michigan State team. That’s the good news. The bad news is they found a way to win.”

On paper, the Hoosiers won by a landslide. IU recorded 22 shots in the game, eight of which were on-goal. Michigan State, on the other hand, only produced seven shots.

Spartan midfielder Jeff Ricondo’s game-winner about two minutes into the second overtime was MSU’s only shot on goal.

“We just couldn’t put one away,” Soffner said. “That’s just how the game goes sometimes.”

IU is on a three-game losing skid against Michigan State that dates back to Oct. 12 of last year. Included in the streak is last season’s Big Ten title game that the Spartans took 1-0 in Madison, Wis.

This game, Freitag said, belonged to IU.

“I think they just came in to get a tie today,” he said. “I think they would have been very happy with a tie. That’s disappointing that they came out with a win.”

Michigan State surrendered much of the game’s possession to IU, relying on the Spartans’ conference-leading defense. The strategy offered the Hoosiers more than 20 scoring opportunities, but ultimately Michigan State would record its sixth
defensive shutout.

The Hoosiers fall to 7-5-1 (2-1). Their record at home is now 1-3-1.

“I still think that our team is definitely considered one of the best in the nation,” senior forward Darren Yeagle said. “You just have to bring it every game and stay focused.”

Yeagle brought it to the tune of four shots, one of which was a potential game-winner in the second half that went off the left post on a ball that got through the MSU defense. 

“I think good things will happen to this team in the end,” Yeagle said. 

Sunday marked the fourth time the Hoosiers have been shut out this season and the first against an unranked opponent. 

After giving up two recent late game-winners and recording last week’s game-saving block at Michigan, Soffner said he has learned the importance of moving on regardless of the outcome.

“It’s definitely tough,” he said. “Sometimes you come up with a save at the end that helps your team get the victory, but here, just the smallest thing – not catching the ball or doing something right – can also hurt you the same way. We have to look at it both ways and just try to keep the ball out of the net every game.”

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