Things couldn’t have gone any better for No. 6 IU on Friday night. Behind two second-half goals, the Hoosiers cruised to a 3-0 win over No. 22 Dartmouth in the home opener.
Here are three takeaways from IU’s second shutout victory of the season.
The first 20 minutes of the game were a back-and-forth affair. Neither team was able to find much of an offensive groove, but the Hoosiers did look more confident on the attack. But in the 20th minute, senior defender Andrew Gutman took advantage of the free kick opportunity. Gutman deflected in the ball off his shoulder to give IU the early 1-0 lead.
IU’s defense maintained that single-goal lead until halftime, but once the second 45 minutes started, the offense took over. In the 69th minute, Gutman found sophomore midfielder Griffin Dorsey on a beautiful ball to give him the one-on-one opportunity with the Dartmouth goalie. Dorsey beat the keeper in the breakaway to give IU a commanding 2-0 advantage.
Just nine minutes after that goal, senior midfielder Austin Panchot officially put the game out of reach with a ball that went right under the legs of the keeper to extend the lead. The Hoosiers never let up after that first goal and had 10 second-half shots.
“Second half was much more balanced,” IU Coach Todd Yeagley said. “We were more urgent, but yet we still also did a great job of just saying 'you know what, if you’re going just to sit back on our lead, we’re going to take care of the ball and just use the clock.'”
Despite the offense being the one that stepped up, it was the defensive effort from the backline that made life difficult for the Big Green.
The combination of Gutman, freshman defender Jack Maher and senior defenders Rece Buckmaster and Timmy Mehl made the life of sophomore goalkeeper Trey Muse so much easier. IU never allowed Dartmouth to attempt more than one shot in each period and didn’t give up a single look on goal.
Each time it seemed like Dartmouth was in the attacking third, the Hoosiers defense had an answer. In the 49th minute, Dartmouth had a great opportunity to tie the game, but Muse was able to deflect the header off his fingertips to maintain the lead.
“I thought Jack and Timmy both had a really good game,” Gutman said. “Obviously, Trey was strong as ever back there. Rico always does his job. Jack slid in like it was no problem at all. We’re still trying to gel a little bit but we’re really good right now. I like where we’re at.”
Griffin Dorsey steps up
It’s still a question through the first three games who’ll replace the 10 goals that Mason Toye scored last season. So far, it looks like Dorsey could be that person who carries a heavy offensive load.
In the first game against then-ranked No. 5 Wake Forest, Dorsey was aggressive and had the lone goal for IU on four shots taken by himself. On Friday night, he made his single attempt on goal to become the main turning point in the game.
After an impressive freshman year campaign, which saw him score three goals, Dorsey already has a pair of goals through the first three games. If Dorsey is able to maintain this momentum going forward, that would give IU the offensive boost they needed.
“The performances have been good, I think the goals have made them better for sure,” Dorsey said. “Goals change games and in that aspect, I’ve been playing pretty well.”
The Hoosiers will be back in action on Sunday night to wrap up the Adidas/IU Credit Union Classic against No. 18 Connecticut. The Huskies fell to No. 24 Notre Dame 3-0 in the first game of the evening.
“It’s a lot of good things, that’s a good team, a new coach,” Yeagley said. “We knew tonight we had an advantage in our preparation and I know Dartmouth is going to have a really good year. I think this will be a really good win come November."
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