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Saturday, June 15
The Indiana Daily Student

sports men's soccer

Men's soccer 3rd overtime loss drops IU to .500

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Defender Matt Wiet shoved, forward Will Bruin fought and goalkeeper Nemanja Kostic dove, but in the end all that mattered was the nudged goal from Ohio State’s Eric Shrigley.

“There’s just no room for mistakes,” junior midfielder Daniel Kelly said. “You play not really a perfect game, but well enough, and one little mess-up will just ruin your game.”

As a stunned IU soccer team hung its head, its opponent celebrated the overtime victory as Ohio State beat IU 1-0 in the first three minutes of extra time. The Hoosiers are now 1-3-1 in overtime play.

For the fourth time this season, the wrong team has been celebrating on Jerry Yeagley Field.

“I’m not used to this situation – haven’t been in this situation before,” IU coach Mike Freitag said. “Do you scream and yell at them? Are you super positive? I think the real thing is you be realistic, and you talk about the things we do wrong. Where do we need to go do from here on out?”

The loss drops IU back at .500 for the season at 8-8-1. They are now 2-3 in conference play.

“It’s tough,” Kelly said. “We just got to be positive and believe in everybody’s ability. But we should be able to defend for 90 minutes, 110 minutes, whatever it is.”

The two Big Ten teams maintained the conference’s aggressive reputation with pushing, shoving, pulling and the eventual awarding of three yellow cards – two of which went to IU.

It was not much of a surprise that Bruin received a yellow card, because he played with triple-team coverage any time the ball came near him.

“Will’s in a tough, tough situation because our deficiencies are so, we feel he has to be the lone man up top,” Freitag said. “But we should be able to give him support. It’s a big burden on his shoulder to be up there by himself. It takes a special player, but if anyone can do it, he’s the one.”

Although Ohio State dominated possession during the first half, IU came out of the locker room after halftime with more pressure and evened the playing field.

A regulation game was not enough to satisfy the competitive edge of either team.

“I felt like we played really well, and we just can’t seem to get any breaks,” Kelly said.

With the start of overtime and four saves on the day, Kostic stood in goal ready to defend. But he wasn’t ready for the situation that ensued.

“It was an awkward cross in the back post, and somehow the guy got a hold of it, toe-poked it,” he said. “I got a little touch on it, but he was too close.”

The attack seemed to be a replay from two weeks ago when IU lost to Michigan State at home in a double-overtime golden goal.

“I can’t do heart surgery,” Freitag said about his players. “Sometimes you got to have heart, and maybe we lack some of that. I hate to think that. I think most of these guys have it, but right now it’s not showing up.”

With a lack of confidence and a season that could end sooner than planned, a disheartened IU squad now sits scoring the same number of goals it has allowed.

“It’s all about looking at ourselves,” Freitag said. “I told them you all have to go and look at yourself and analyze yourself and what you can do better. Before you start pointing fingers at anybody else or talking about anybody else, did you play a perfect game? Could you have done things better for us to be successful?”

But until the team’s game on Friday against Penn State, the Hoosiers will sit with the sour taste of another overtime goal.

“It happens,” Kostic said. “It’s soccer. It’s just a game ... I guess. It’s hard to lose that way. I’d rather lose 5-0 than lose that way.”

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