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Tuesday, June 18
The Indiana Daily Student

sports men's soccer

Reigning champs return to play

spIUMSpreview CAROUSEL

After stitching the eighth championship star on its jerseys last year, the IU men’s soccer team goes to work tonight on the ninth star.

The Hoosiers play Marquette in an exhibition match tonight in Ft. Wayne as part of the National Soccer Festival. IU will also play rival North Carolina Saturday in its final preseason tune up before the regular season.

Marquette enters as the preseason No. 12 team in the nation, while the Tar Heels come in at No. 4 nationally. Both schools can look up the table at IU, who sits at No. 1 in the preseason poll.

IU was also voted the favorite to win the Big Ten in the preseason coaches poll, released Wednesday.

IU Coach Todd Yeagley said he will look to “experiment” with his team in Thursday’s game with Marquette, a matchup in which the fourth-year head coach said he won’t worry about the score.

“We’ll have two or three specific things, one being personnel, depth and where we try out some young guys,” Yeagley said. “It’s a freebie game. Do you gain a little momentum? Yeah, a little more than in the spring.

“I’m not worried about the result. I’m worried about performance, about how we are with two or three experiments.”

Among the things Yeagley might consider are determining the best combination of midfielders and picking a starting goalkeeper.

The midfield is clogged with depth: seniors Harrison Petts, Jacob Bushue, Nikita Kotlov and A.J. Corrado figure to be near-automatic starters, leaving Louisville transfer junior Dylan Mares and freshman Tanner Thompson to either establish a starting role
on the front line or face time on the bench.

In goal, the battle for the starting position is between sophomore Michael Soderlund,
freshman Colin Webb and sophomore Sean

Weidman. All three could see time in the Marquette match.

The Golden Eagles finished the 2012 season with a record of 16-4-1, falling to eventual NCAA College Cup finalists Georgetown in the Big East Conference semifinals and narrowly losing to Northwestern in the NCAA Tournament’s second round.

Bushue, who will serve as one of the Hoosiers’ captains this season, said his team is ready for the challenge.

“We have a tough schedule, but we have a tough schedule every year,” Bushue said. “I think we’ve played in the environments, we’ve played in the big games and I think all the players, no matter where it’s been, have proven we know how to play at this level.

“We’ll prove it again this year.”

Follow reporter Alden Woods on Twiiter @acw9293.

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