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Three things to know before IU opens up Big Ten play



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Then-junior, now senior midfielder Austin Panchot fights for possession of the ball during the Big Ten Championship match against Wisconsin last year. IU opens conference play against Wisconsin on Sunday at 4 p.m. Sofia Hay Buy Photos

In the first Big Ten match of the season, the No. 2 Hoosiers have a chance to get revenge.

IU will travel to Wisconsin to take on the Badgers in a rematch of the Big Ten Tournament championship game last season. The Hoosiers fell 4-2 in penalty kicks to Wisconsin before rebounding to make a postseason run to the National Championship game.

The match will start at 4 p.m. Sunday and will be streaming live on the Big Ten network. 

Here are three things to know before the conference opener.

Close matches 

The matches between IU and Wisconsin in recent history have been close.

In three of the past four meetings, including last year in the Big Ten Tournament championship game, the matches have finished as draws.

Last season, IU defeated Wisconsin in the regular season in double overtime after Mason Toye found the top-left corner of the net from 30 yards out with less than two minutes remaining in the match. Sophomore midfielder Griffin Dorsey also scored for the Hoosiers in that match.

In the Big Ten Tournament championship game, IU had 24 shots with eight on goal, but was unable to find the back of the net on any of them.

Offensive struggles

Wisconsin has struggled to score this season.

The Badgers have scored two or more goals in a match just once, and have been shutout in three out of the six games.

Last weekend, Wisconsin was shutout in both games against Bradley and Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville. 

Four different players have a goal to their names but not a single player has more than one goal. Freshman forward Andrew Akindele leads the team with three points and is the only player with at least one goal and one assist.

Wisconsin will have a tough task going against an IU defense that has shutout four out of six opponents.

Opportunity to start off strong

IU could have a strong offensive performance against Wisconsin's backline.

In three of the past four matches, the Hoosiers have scored at least two goals and had five goals against Virginia Commonwealth last Friday night.

For the season, IU averages 2.17 goals scored per game. Senior defender Andrew Gutman and sophomore defender AJ Palazzolo lead the way with three goals apiece.

Against SIUE, Wisconsin gave up three goals in the second half, including one that came from 30 yards out on a free kick. SIUE was also able to earn six shots on goal against the Badgers.

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