On the heels of its first defensive shutout against Seattle University last weekend, the No. 4 IU men’s soccer squad will look to keep No. 10 University of Notre Dame scoreless for the third consecutive year at home.
The Hoosiers defeated the Fighting Irish 1-0 in each of their two previous games at Jerry Yeagley Field. With both teams boasting undefeated records, IU needs these ingredients for Tuesday’s game:
Half the battle is scoring and IU was unsuccessful in its attempts against Seattle University on Sept. 8.
Only one of IU’s eight shots threatened Seattle’s defense and sophomore goalkeeper Akili Kasim. IU was silenced offensively for the first time in seven games, including preseason.
“We had a couple great runs with a couple of decisions that were a little off and that’s the fatigue factor that sets in over a long weekend,” IU head coach Todd Yeagley said. “We rushed a few three-vs-two's where we took a shot from too far and rushed the timing of a sequence.”
The Hoosiers created enough opportunities for shots on goal and had chances to go ahead.
Despite the zero on the scoreboard, Yeagley said the in-state rivalry game will be a different match.
2. Shut down Notre Dame’s Jack Lynn
The sophomore forward has scored in all three games for the Fighting Irish this season. He kicked Notre Dame’s only goal in a 1-0 win against the University of Denver, and he often strikes in the first half.
Aside from last week’s tie against Seattle, IU struggles on first-half defense and needs all eyes on Lynn moving into Tuesday.
“Jack has been really good in scoring key goals, he had a great one against us last year so we gotta keep him in check,” Yeagley said. “We’ll have to be locked in for the entire match and limit the high quality chances.”
The Fighting Irish are outscoring the Hoosiers by just one goal this season. Although these rivals are nearly neck and neck, Yeagley wants IU on high alert.
“Notre Dame is a good attacking team,” Yeagley said. “They have individuals that can beat you off the dribble, counter quickly, score from distance, they can win in different ways.”
3. Maintaining Fresh Legs
Going above 90 minutes and running drills in 90-degree heat puts a major strain on Yeagley’s team. As the season progresses and the minutes add up, IU will rely on its bench to keep the team in the game.
Freshman forwards Victor Bezerra and Herbert Endeley are bringing high energy from the bench and creating solid shot opportunities. While the freshman duo push the ball into enemy territory, junior forward Ian Black and freshman forward Joshua Penn can recharge.
Bezerra and Endeley along with another freshman duo of defender Daniel Munie and forward Maouloune Goumballe, fulfill valuable roles for the team despite the difficulty of having less minutes, according to Yeagley.
“These freshmen have grown up in the sense that they now know that their role may not be 90 minutes, it might have to be 20, and that’s not easy,” Yeagley said.
On the defensive end, the man who truly needs fresh legs is senior goalkeeper Sean Caulfield.
In an interview with Hoosier Network, Black called Caulfield the grandpa of the team. After acknowledging the wear and tear of four consecutive overtime games, IU’s goalkeeper humbly accepted the title.
“The way they are putting us into overtime like this, I may have some gray hairs by the end of the season,” Caulfield said.
Tuesday’s game begins at 7 p.m. and if audiences are wondering about the potential of a fifth straight overtime, Yeagley has an answer.
“Odds are, maybe,” he said
Like what you're reading? Support independent, award-winning college journalism on this site. Donate here.