No. 10 IU men’s soccer will host Rutgers on Friday, in its first conference match since losing on the road against No. 22 Maryland.
“Maryland was a big punch in the face,” freshman forward Victor Bezerra said.
The Terrapins’ 3-0 win marked IU’s first loss to a Big Ten opponent in a regular season match since losing to Ohio State in October 2015. Since returning to Bloomington, however, IU has picked up a win and tons of momentum.
IU’s 5-1 victory against the University of Evansville on Tuesday displayed an offense that was ruthless and versatile from its starters to its athletes off the bench. This previous win will now push the Hoosiers to take their second of three consecutive games at Jerry Yeagley Field.
Here are three things to know ahead of the 7 p.m. match against the Scarlet Knights.
Hoosiers hold historical success against Rutgers.
Through 12 games, the Hoosiers are 8-2-2 against the Scarlet Knights. Both Hoosier losses came in Bloomington, while their road record is 6-0-1.
IU has shut out Rutgers in the last three games and holds eight clean sheets overall.
Offensively the program is outscoring Rutgers 20-9 with the largest margin of victory being 5-0 in 2017. Rutgers’ highest goal tally was four, which was the most goals IU has surrendered to a conference opponent since 2013.
Rutgers has some offensive threats.
Sophomore midfielder Pablo Avila leads the Scarlet Knights with six goals, which is the second most in the Big Ten . His two assists have also factored in to the team’s offense, which stands as the fifth-most goals in the conference.
Freshman midfielder Jackson Temple is one goal behind Avila, which is good for fifth in goals and seventh in goals per game in the Big Ten. He leads Rutgers in shots on goal percentage with 56% and is second in shots on goal and shot percentage.
Temple’s second-half go-ahead goals against Drexel University and Manhattan College have contributed to Rutgers’ 7-4-3 season.
IU’s roster still showcases versatile play.
If frequent starters are not scoring, the Hoosiers' bench is deep enough to produce goals.
Weeks ago, freshman forward Maouloune Goumballe contributed a goal and a pair of assists against Northwestern and Penn State.
Junior forward Thomas Warr and freshman forward Joshua Penn came off the bench and scored against Evansville. Additionally, freshman Trey Kapsalis made his season and collegiate debut in that 5-1 win and also scored off the bench.
The defense, with the exception of the Maryland game, has been locked in for weeks. In IU’s last six games, not counting the loss against the Terrapins, only three balls have made it past freshman goalkeeper Roman Celentano.
Celentano’s back line combo of sophomore defender Jack Maher and freshman defender Daniel Munie keeps defenders away while their fellow defender and junior A.J. Palazzolo pressures the midfield line and score goals himself.
IU head coach Todd Yeagley said he has confidence in the team’s depth and feels ready for a season with only conference games on the horizon.
“We’ve got a really tough slate headed our way, and it starts with Friday’s game,” he said.
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