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Tuesday, June 25
The Indiana Daily Student

sports men's soccer

Men's soccer looks to snap losing streak

spIUMSvsWV

Moments after the IU men’s soccer team lost its third consecutive overtime game Sunday — a 5-4 thriller against West Virginia — Bill Armstrong Stadium had gone quiet.

The crimson-clad crowd, which had witnessed its team repeatedly claw back into a game that was seemingly lost multiple times, had filed out of the bleachers. Both benches had cleared. The Hoosiers trudged to the locker room, burdened by a rare three-game losing streak, while their opponents celebrated a stunning victory.

In the midst of the dejection and the celebration, a lone figure sat on the IU bench.
Senior midfielder and team co-captain Jacob Bushue, who had scored a goal and contributed two assists in the match, hung his head, remaining on the bench well after his teammates had reached the locker room.

“Honestly, I don’t even remember (what I was thinking),” Bushue said. “It’s been a tough three games, losing three games in overtime in a row. Everything about that game was summing up what’s going on right now. It’s just a frustrating time.”

Bushue and the Hoosiers will attempt to avoid the program’s first four-game losing streak since 1985 when CS Bakersfield (2-1) comes to Bloomington Friday night. That game will be followed by a clash with UC Irvine (2-1-1) Sunday afternoon.

IU has yet to play either of the weekend’s opponents in the program’s 40-year history.

IU Coach Todd Yeagley said his team has responded well to the recent struggles, and he saw “a lot of positives” despite the losses.

“I’m not concerned one bit about this team,” Yeagley said. “We’re four games in, so even if we were 4-0, which we easily could be, we’d be having the same conversations in the locker room.”

IU will enter the weekend at full strength, as sophomore goalkeeper Michael Soderlund is expected to return to the starting lineup. Soderlund missed last Sunday’s game against West Virginia with a hip injury.

Friday’s opponent, CS Bakersfield, enters the weekend on a two-match winning streak. The Roadrunners are coached by seven-time Coach of the Year award winner Simon Tobin, now in his 27th year with the program, and led by sophomore midfielder Eduardo Caldaza, who has tallied three goals this season.

The UC Irvine Anteaters will come to Bloomington as the final stop of a four-game road trip. The pairing of forwards Enrique Cardenas and Lester Hayes III has netted three goals for Coach George Kuntz’s squad.

Yeagley said he expects each team to have a style of play distinct from one
another, but his focus is situated on his own team.

“Both teams are going to be very different,” he said. “Bakersfield will be a very technical team, a little bit smaller. They’re going to want to play, which is great. Irvine, I think will be a technical team, but maybe a little bigger, and will vary their attack.

“We’re really focused on us. The approach stays the same. We don’t make drastic changes because of results, we look at performance and we move on to the next game.”

Follow reporter Alden Woods on Twitter @acw9293.

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