Indiana Daily Student

Indiana men’s soccer looking to bounce back against Northwestern on Tuesday

<p>Senior defender Nyk Sessock passes the ball Sept. 17, 2021, at Bill Armstrong Stadium. Indiana men&#x27;s soccer will play Northwestern at 8 p.m. Tuesday in Evanston, Illinois.</p>

Senior defender Nyk Sessock passes the ball Sept. 17, 2021, at Bill Armstrong Stadium. Indiana men's soccer will play Northwestern at 8 p.m. Tuesday in Evanston, Illinois.

Indiana men’s soccer will take on Northwestern at 8 p.m. Tuesday in Evanston, Illinois. Indiana is coming off a loss in its Big Ten opener against Rutgers on Friday and has a 3-2-1 record this season. 

After the team’s loss to Rutgers, head coach Todd Yeagley said the team didn’t play with spirit or joy.

“We’re not playing as free as we need to play,” Yeagley said in a postgame press conference.

The Hoosiers faced the Wildcats three times last season and posted a 2-1 record against them. The Hoosiers lost the first matchup 1-0 but won the next two games 3-0, including the first round of the Big Ten Tournament. The Hoosiers are 8-1-1 in their last 10 matchups with the Wildcats dating back to 2015 and hold a 33-3-7 advantage of all time. 

This season, Indiana has been outscored 8-7 through six games and given up more goals than it did through 16 games in its national runner-up campaign last season.

“I don’t know if the expectations of ‘job’s not finished’ last year from our returners and the new guys are weighing on them — I’m not quite sure,” Yeagley said. “We don’t talk about it, but in the back of their minds it might be.” 

Northwestern is 2-3-2 this season but has outscored its opponents 7-6, thanks mostly to a 4-1 win against Kansas City University on Sept. 6. Penn State took down Northwestern 2-1 in its Big Ten opener last Friday.

Northwestern’s offense is led by freshman midfielder Paul Son and sophomore forward Justin Weiss with two goals each. Northwestern has put up 61 shots and 24 shots on goal through seven games, compared to 100 shots and 30 shots on goal it's given up. 

Underclassmen have led the way for Indiana’s offense this season. Freshman midfielder Tommy Mihalic scored two goals in the team’s opener, and freshman forward Samuel Sarver and sophomore Joey Maher each have one this season. Mihalic leads the team with 16 shots — 10 more than any other Hoosier — and five shots on goal. 

Junior forward Victor Bezerra, MAC Hermann Trophy runner-up, led the Hoosiers’ offense in the spring with 12 goals and four assists but has put up zero goals and one assist this season. Bezerra was injured in the team’s season-opener and missed the following two games. He’s had three shots on goal saved this season, including one against Rutgers. 

After Indiana’s match against Rutgers, Yeagley said that match would be put behind them by the time it faces Northwestern.

“With regards to Northwestern it’s just ‘go out and play,’” Yeagley said. “It’s as simple as that — just get out and play and compete. Of course we’ll have some ideas of what we’ll try to do against Northwestern, but that’s going to be the emphasis.”

Including Northwestern, Indiana has 11 games left to play before the postseason and seven more Big Ten matchups. Indiana has won the Big Ten regular season and tournament titles in its last three seasons and was unanimously picked to win the conference in the Big Ten coaches’ poll this preseason. 

Indiana’s match against Northwestern will be the first of a two-game stretch on the road. After the team’s matchup with Michigan State on Sept. 26, it will play four straight games at Bill Armstrong Stadium. Tuesday’s game will be broadcast on BTN.

Like what you're reading?

Get more award-winning content delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for our Weekly Recap.

Signup today!
Like what you're reading? Support independent, award-winning college journalism on this site. Donate here.

Powered by Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2022 Indiana Daily Student