The IU offense’s struggles continued in another 0-0 draw Friday at Rutgers, and although senior goalie Colin Webb has been a brick wall in goal and two fill-in starters have kept the back line strong, the Hoosiers might not be able to get away with similar issues in their next contest.
No. 6 IU welcomes No. 7 Butler to Bloomington for an in-state top-10 matchup Wednesday. The Hoosiers will look to defeat the Bulldogs for the first time since 2012 after a loss and two draws in the past three matchups.
IU Coach Todd Yeagley admitted IU’s offense has been less than stellar lately but said the Hoosiers are confident they will be able to finish in the final third against the Bulldogs.
“It’d be different if we didn’t create chances and were really questioning, ‘Boy, can we create enough?’” Yeagley said. “I’ve been on a lot of teams that goes in waves, and it’s hard to explain. It’s the nature of our sport and we have to continue to be cognizant of the final pass and the finish.”
IU leads the nation in shots per game with 18.67, and Yeagley has said it’s just a bounce here and there that has been the difference. Senior defender Derek Creviston said the players are frustrated about their inability to score goals recently.
“If anything, it pushes us to score goals,” Creviston said. “Everyone is frustrated, but it makes us work that much harder to get one in the back of the net.”
The matchup with the Bulldogs will give the Hoosiers another chance in a non-conference game to reestablish their offense. IU has had more luck scoring against opponents outside the Big Ten. The Hoosiers found the back of the net eight times in five non-conference matchups compared to just three goals in four conference games.
IU’s positive outlook on its ability to attack has remained consistent throughout the season because it has produced good chances, Yeagley said. It’ll be tough to get back on track against a schedule that increases in difficulty with No. 7 Butler this week and No. 2 Notre Dame the next.
Putting the ball in the back of the net will relieve some pressure on a backline that IU has relied upon heavily in recent contests.
“We play a tough schedule, so when we play at this time of the year where the games are bigger, our players are in a good position and feel confident,” Yeagley said. “Butler has some fantastic attackers, but we’ve seen some similar players.”
One of those fantastic attacking players is senior David Goldsmith, who leads the Bulldogs with seven of their 21 total goals. Alongside Goldsmith is freshman Lewis Suddick, who has six.
The Bulldogs come in to Wednesday night’s match with a 7-0-1 record and have won seven consecutive matches after a draw against Louisville to open the season. IU’s backline will have its work cut out for it with the attacking options Butler has.
“Most teams have a couple, but this team has more than a few,” Yeagley said. “We have to continue what we’ve been doing. Nothing changes, we just know the tendencies a little bit more and what they like to do and focus on that.”