It was business as usual for IU in its second round NCAA Tournament matchup.
The failures of the Big Ten Tournament and regular season were pushed aside. As the Hoosiers have talked about in the week leading up to the match, there is now a singular goal for this team: a national title. After a dominating performance over the Old Dominion Monarchs, the Hoosiers are now a step closer to that goal.
IU put together a complete 90-minute performance and advanced to the Round of 16 in the NCAA Tournament with a 3-0 win over Old Dominion.
“It’s nice to start off the tournament with a convincing win,” IU senior defender Grant Lillard said. “In the first half, it wasn’t the best soccer performance by us, but we still managed to find a goal on a restart. Second half, getting the seoncd early goal opened up the game a lot for us, we were able to establish a rhythm and dominated from there on out.”
Lillard said that the start may not have been perfect from them, but they still had chances. They were pushing up the field in the attack and dominating in the back half.
Much like previous matches IU has played in this season, Old Dominion looked content to absorb a lot of pressure. The Monarchs did a solid job for about 36 minutes keeping IU off the board.
Goalkeeper Mertcan Akar, who came up with multiple saves, helped the Monarchs stave off the Hoosiers.
They could only hold IU scoreless for so long. In the 36th minute off a corner swung in by freshman Spencer Glass, senior defender Grant Lillard met the cross with his head and gave IU the lead.
“The restart goal was huge,” Yeagley said. “One, Grant got it, we have not been able to find him on our corners as well as we’d like. So happy for him, we’ve been talking all week about ‘Grant, this is your time.’ And when you’re not playing as well as we’d like, it’s the change during the game. This time of year when it gets tighter, restarts are often the difference."
As the game progressed, Old Dominion never had that great of a chance in front of goal.
It was freshman attacker Mason Toye who ended a four match scoreless drought with his 10th goal of the season in the 49th minute. A few minutes later in the 63rd minute, junior Austin Panchot put the game to bed with IU’s third goal of the afternoon.
IU has still yet to trail this season and Panchot said that helps the Hoosiers.
“It forces other teams to come out of their shell,” Panchot said. “When we’re playing like we are, we’re always confident in our defense. It definitely brings us some confidence.”
Toye later added that the one goal is nice, but they can't just stop there
“We’re not going to just sit back and try to defend,” Toye said. “We’re definitely confident with a 1-0 lead, but if we can get another goal, we want to.”
For the 37th time in school history, the Hoosiers will advance to the Round of 16, a round they have not advanced past since 2012, the last time IU won a national title.
With New Hampshire’s win over the No. 15 seed Dartmouth in penalty kicks, it will be New Hampshire that will travel to Bloomington to face IU Saturday night at 7 p.m.
“Obviously pleased to advance,” Yeagley said. “That’s the most important. Very proud of the fact that we’re at 17 shutouts. That’s a phenomenal number and four goals against, just this team loves putting those numbers up and we’re scoring a lot so really good balance. We’re excited to move on.”
Zain Pyarali contributed to this article.
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