After four months, 22 games and 110 minutes of soccer, a trip to the College Cup came down to one kick of the ball.
It was Michigan State sophomore midfielder Giuseppe Barone and IU freshman goalkeeper Trey Muse standing 12 yards apart. IU and Michigan State had battled through blood and sweat, but it would only be one team leaving the field in tears.
Muse dove to his right, and seconds later he was engulfed by the Hoosier Army and his teammates.
IU’s quest for a ninth national title continued.
The Hoosiers advanced to the 19th College Cup in program history by beating Michigan State, 3-2, in penalty kicks, following a 1-1 draw.
“Obviously, super emotional for our team,” Yeagley said. “To be able to win it here with our fans, as I told them in the locker room, that’s an experience that they’ll always have with them. That was an incredible feeling.”
The sixth-largest crowd in Bill Armstrong Stadium history was rowdy all night long.
But in the second minute, Michigan State junior forward Ryan Sierakowski silenced the 5,450 fans in attendance. He put his head on a cross into the box from Spartan junior forward DeJuan Jones, giving the visitors a 1-0 lead.
All of a sudden, IU was put in a place it hadn’t been all season long. It was the first time the Hoosiers trailed in a match this season.
“Sometimes when you score too early, you think things are going to come easy,” Michigan State Coach Damon Rensing said. “Our guys knew this wasn’t going to be an easy game. We told them they had to be committed to 90 minutes.”
As the season went on and IU still hadn't trailed, the big concern was how the Hoosiers would respond to being down.
Based on the amount of shots IU generated, the Hoosiers responded quite well. Yeagley said after his team was able to settle in, IU gained more control in the match.
The Hoosiers didn’t score a goal before halftime, but they were pressing for one.
They had to wait until their 11th corner of the night. Junior midfielder Trevor Swartz said he over hit his previous corners, but got this one just right.
The ball bounced off the ground and into the net in the 60th minute to pull the Hoosiers level.
“When you put the ball across the six like that, good things happen,” Swartz said.
After the goal, it was Michigan State, which had the better chances, but eventually the match went to penalty kicks.
Yeagley said after the match you never want to go to penalties, but there the Hoosiers were.
IU had lost its last three matches that went to penalties. It was 2013 the last time they won by penalty kick shootout.
It was a bit of redemption for the Hoosiers.
“I think the upperclassmen, we definitely know we’ve lost in penalties multiple times,” Swartz said. “To be able to win that one was, in my opinion, more important than all of the other ones.”
When you look at IU soccer, you see the eight stars, the 18, and now 19, College Cup appearances and all of the history associated with the program.
Yeagley said to put your mark on a program like IU is hard for a team.
But this IU team is different. They’ve had a goal in mind since day one.
Now when the team plays in Philadelphia Friday, it'll be just two wins away from earning IU’s ninth star.
“When you come to IU, you always talk about wanting to win a national title,” Swartz said. “The Big Ten Championships are special trophies and we want to win those too, but the ultimate prize is the national championship.”
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