IU women’s soccer senior defender Caroline Dreher took a corner kick in the 16th minute. Instead of finding one of her teammates, Dreher found the back of the net with her left foot.
They call it an Olimpico goal. Where whoever takes the corner puts the ball in the goal without it making contact with anyone else.
In simpler terms: it’s rare, it’s cool and it was flashy.
Fast forward nearly two hours later and IU men’s soccer sophomore forward Justin Rennicks dazzled the crowd. A defender at his back, Rennicks took a smooth touch to spin around the defender and out-ran the last man on the VCU backline and fired a shot into the lower left corner of the net for the first goal of his career.
In celebration, Rennicks told his teammates to back off and did a back flip. Yes, a back flip.
It was rare, it was cool and it was flashy.
That’s just one example how each team put on a show Friday night at Bill Armstrong Stadium.
The women played Kentucky at 5 p.m. and took care of the Wildcats with a 5-1 victory. It was the first time since 2013 the Hoosiers had scored five goals in one game.
The men followed suit at 8 p.m. against VCU. They poured on five goals in the first half, which hasn’t been done in one half for IU since 2005, and finished off VCU 5-0.
Each team scored five goals. Each team had five different goal scorers.
But, the one goal allowed still haunts Coach Amy Berbary.
“I’m still mad we gave up that goal,” Berbary said.
Despite the sour taste of that goal, Berbary couldn’t help but talk about how strong her back line was. Yeagley was the same way.
Defense turns into offense.
Rennicks and sophomore midfielder Spencer Glass, who also scored a goal in the game, said the team prides itself on the defense.
From the scoreless streak a year ago that now stands as the fourth longest in NCAA history — 966:28 minutes — it feels as if IU wants to replicate that again. Having the commanding 5-0 lead at the half, Yeagley said he told his guys he wanted them to finish the shutout in the second half. They did. The scoreless streak this season now stands at 360 minutes.
It’s a four-match win streak for the men now after dropping the season-opener to Wake Forest in double overtime on Aug. 24.
For the women, they lost Aug. 26 to Clemson, and since then have won three-straight, outscoring their opponents 9-3 in those three victories.
Big Ten play is right around the corner for both teams and last season, the women struggled there. This season, however, Berbary’s squad seems more confident on the pitch and stronger on both ends of the field.
It’s all about the #destINation for the women.
The men, on the other hand, are still in search for the #Q49. So far, it seems like the No. 4 Hoosiers are on the right path for a deep postseason run once again.
Whether it’s about the destination or the quest for the ninth national title, this is looking like a good year for IU soccer.