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Three things to know before IU men's soccer opens up Big Ten play


Freshman Andrew Goldsworthy balances a ball on his foot during warmups Sept. 17 at Bill Armstrong Stadium. IU will play Wisconsin on Sept. 20. Sam House

Following a disappointing and record-breaking finish Tuesday, No. 4 IU men’s soccer will look to break a string of ties and overtimes when it begins conference play against Wisconsin.

Since 1973, the most consecutive overtime games played by IU was four, set in 2003. With the recent 1-1 tie against No. 16 the University Notre Dame, IU has now played in five straight extra period matches. 

“All this extra time has been good for us,” IU head coach Todd Yeagley said. “Our scheduling has played out really well to give us as much diversity as five games can give you heading into Big Ten.”

Here are some key background pieces that provide solid context for Friday’s game at Jerry Yeagley field:

Wisconsin struggles against IU.

IU has not lost a match to Wisconsin since 2013 and is 39-5-9 all time against its conference foe. 

In the last 10 matches between the two teams, IU went 5-1-4 and outscored Wisconsin 13-9. 

The Badgers have only defeated the Hoosiers in Bloomington once, and that came in a 1-0 win during November 1993. Since then, the Badgers have been victorious in just three out of 33 games. 

Opponents are shutting down the Badgers.

With the Badgers standing at 2-4 and being on a two-game losing streak, the Hoosiers have a good opportunity to start Big Ten play 1-0.

Through six games, Wisconsin trails 7-4 on the scoring front and was shut out in each of its losses. 

The Badgers are tied with Maryland for least amount of shots taken and goals scored by a Big Ten team this season. They are also in last for corner kick opportunities. 

None of Wisconsin’s athletes rank in the conference’s top 10 for shots, shots per game, goals, or goals per game. 

Consequently, IU is second in shots and corner kicks taken. It is fourth in goals and third in assists. IU also has its junior defender A.J. Palazzolo and freshman forward Joshua Penn in the top 10 for shots, and junior forward Ian Black in the top 10 for goals. 

IU continues to be a second half team.

IU’s scoreless finish against Seattle University was the only game this season during which its opponent did not strike first.

Yeagley’s team played its most aggressive first half all season against the Fighting Irish. Despite dominant ball control, multiple shots generated and strong defensive formations Tuesday, the Hoosiers once again surrendered the first goal of the game.

“It’s Groundhog's day right now with a goal, come from behind and overtime,” Yeagley said. “Going down a goal is not great, but to know that you’ve done it this many times, if there’s a big match later in the season, I don’t think our group will be rattled.” 

Although Yeagley and his players said they want to be active offensively during all portions of the game, their main priority is winning games.

Friday’s home game begins at 5:30 p.m., and IU’s players said they are ready to launch into conference competition.

“We’re pumped and we’re already looking forward to Friday and trying to start off on the right note,” Palazzolo said.

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