Sophomore midfielder Justin Rennicks had his celebration picked out after landing it the first time he tried.
In the 22nd minute, Rennicks blew past multiple Virginia Commonwealth University defenders and found the left corner to score the second goal of the match.
Once he found the back of the net, he ran away from his team and put out his hands to make sure his teammates knew not to hug him yet. Then, as he came to a complete stop, he gathered himself quickly and backflipped to celebrate the first goal of his career.
“I didn’t know what he was going to do,” Coach Todd Yeagley said. “He just kind of said get away, and I was worried. He’s athletic so it didn’t surprise me, and I just told him that maybe we can change that up in the future.”
Within an 18-minute period, the No. 4 Hoosiers had five different players find the back of the net in the first half en route to a 5-0 shutout victory over VCU on Friday night.
After a quiet start to the game, IU scored three goals in the span of four minutes and 41 seconds to quickly put the match out of reach.
The first came in the 19th minute as an IU player used his left foot to deflect the ball off a VCU defender and score the first goal of the evening. A little over a minute after Rennicks scored, senior defender Andrew Gutman picked up his third goal of the season and gave the Hoosiers a 3-0 lead after launching a shot from 15-yards out.
“Whether it was a 3-0 or 5-0 win, it’s the shutout that counts,” sophomore midfielder Spencer Glass said. “We want to let people know that they aren’t going to score easily on us this year.”
Right before a corner kick, sophomore midfielder AJ Palazzolo subbed in. On his first touch of the night, he had a header that pushed behind the keeper off a cross from senior midfielder Trevor Swartz.
Then, despite being known for his defense, senior defender Rece Buckmaster capped off the scoring onslaught with a finish from a cross that came three yards out. It was his first goal since his freshman season all the way back in 2015.
The Hoosiers didn’t score any goals in the second half and didn’t need to. IU held VCU to only two shots in the first half with only a single shot on goal for the entire game to cap off the team's fourth straight shutout victory.
After the dominating performance against VCU, things will get much tougher in the next match for IU. The Hoosiers will travel to South Bend on Tuesday to take on No. 12 Notre Dame, who will be the third ranked opponent IU will play on the road.
“I do think the guys have a little tough taste in their mouth,” Yeagley said. “We have a lot of respect for the program. It’s one of the most respected rivalries you can find. It’s a resume builder for the both of us and I know we’ll get a great performance on Tuesday.”
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