Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
Wednesday, Nov. 29
The Indiana Daily Student

sports men's soccer

2-1 win for Hoosiers sends conference leader stumbling

On a day full of pomp and circumstance, the IU men’s soccer team was able to resuscitate its season with a 2-1 upset of Big Ten-leader No. 25 Penn State on Friday.

The win earned IU (9-8-1, 3-3) the No. 4 seed in the Big Ten Tournament, where the Hoosiers will play Wisconsin. More importantly, however, the Penn State upset guarantees IU will finish with at least a .500 record, which makes it eligible for an NCAA bid.

“It was good to win,” coach Mike Freitag said. “We had our backs against the wall, and we came out and fought.”

The loss dropped Penn State to 10-6-2 (3-2-1).

After falling behind 1-0 midway through the first half, senior midfielder Lee Hagedorn was able to punch in the game-tying goal off a corner kick by junior midfielder Andy Adlard.

Forty seconds into the second half, junior midfielder Daniel Kelly beat Penn State goalkeeper Warren Gross to put the Hoosiers up for good.

Despite the offensive production, however, senior back Ofori Sarkodie said the second yellow card and ejection of sophomore defender Tommy Meyer fueled the Hoosiers’ second half shutout.  

“I honestly thought the red card is what brought us together late in the game,” Sarkodie said. “Guys knew that they had to do extra, and they weren’t looking for somebody else to do the job. That pushed them to find the potential in themselves to come out and perform.”

Meyer’s red card cost him a one-game suspension, which must be served Thursday against Wisconsin.  

The Hoosiers spoiled Penn State’s Big Ten regular season championship hopes on a day that seniors Hagedorn, Sarkodie, Eric Alexander and Nemanja Kostic were honored, as well as former coach Jerry Yeagley, who is a member of the most recent class in the IU Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame.  

“We get some momentum going forward into the Big Ten Tournament,” Hagedorn said. “We know the goals we want to achieve and we set out at the beginning of the season, and we knew we had to win this game to set ourselves in a good position to achieve those goals to give ourselves a chance. It really was a big sense of urgency.”

Ohio State finished as the Big Ten regular season champion and awaits the winner of IU’s matchup with the Badgers.

Friday’s win was the first against a ranked opponent since taking down then-No. 13 Kentucky. The Hoosiers had since gone 0-3 against ranked foes.

“The margin for error is very slim in college soccer,” Freitag said. “We just have to learn from this game how it feels. You should be this tired; you should be this mentally drained.”

The margin for error becomes even slimmer starting Thursday as an NCAA bid is still not guaranteed for the Hoosiers.

Although now technically eligible for an NCAA berth, the Hoosiers said they prefer to earn an automatic bid to the tournament by winning the Big Ten Tournament this weekend rather than depending on a selection.

“We don’t want to leave it up to a selection committee to say whether we’re going to get in or not,” Hagedorn said. “We haven’t had the type of season we wanted, so we really know to make sure there’s no question about it by winning the Big Ten Tournament.”

Get stories like this in your inbox