IU women’s soccer failed to reclaim the Golden Boot from Purdue on Sunday, but the chance to return to the Big Ten tournament still remains in play.
The Hoosiers hold their destiny in their hands. They need a win or tie to qualify for the tournament for the first time since 2016.
The last opponent standing in the Hoosier's way in the 2019 regular season is Michigan State, the last-place team in conference this season. The Hoosiers have an all-time record of 17-7-2 against the Spartans.
All the Hoosiers need is one more point to secure a playoff berth. Here are three things to know about Wednesday’s match that determines if the Hoosiers secure the point or not.
On the road again
This match is actually a rain makeup game from Sept. 27, when the two teams played just 23 minutes before lightning in East Lansing forced the match to be postponed.
The game will also be up in East Lansing, meaning an unusual middle-of-the-week travel day for the Hoosiers. IU did not play a weekday game earlier than Thursday for the regular season, but neither did MSU.
One other thing of note is that in Big Ten play the Hoosiers went 1-1-2 on the road, while the Spartans went just 1-4 at home.
Gone our separate ways
On the topic of records in conference, IU has gone 3-3-2 since the rainout, while MSU has lost six in a row to go 1-6-1.
The Hoosiers' stretch of .500 soccer has been enough to keep them in the postseason hunt, but not winning a couple of winnable games, most notably against Purdue, has left the door open for a wild series of tie breakers.
IU is tied with Purdue, Nebraska and Northwestern at 11 points. If IU can not secure a win or draw, it could lose out on a playoff spot once the final calculations are made.
Lest we forget our rivals to the north and east
There is one other game that could affect the final picture.
Ohio State faces off against conference champion Wisconsin on Wednesday, in a game also rescheduled from Sept. 27.
The Badgers have nothing to play for in the match, but the Buckeyes will be in desperation mode with their postseason lives on the line. The only way to make it in for them is a win.
If the Hoosiers win or tie and the Buckeyes win, both are in. A loss for the Hoosiers and win for the Buckeyes could mean elimination for IU.