There was a lot on the line for Indiana men’s soccer Tuesday night. This was the second time this season the team faced the possibility of losing two regular season games in a row — something that hadn’t happened since 2013.
Indiana extended that streak with its 2-1 win against Northwestern, marking its first Big Ten win of the season.
Despite a difficult start with an aggressive Wildcat offense and the wind in the faces of the Hoosiers, the team grew into the game and adjusted their strategy to pull out the win.
The Wildcats struck fast and early against the Hoosiers, scoring in the sixth minute of the first half. Junior midfielder Vicente Castro seized control of the ball, facing oncoming junior goalkeeper Roman Celentano as he charged out of the goal in an attempt to stop the ball early.
Castro maneuvered past the lunging Celentano to score his first goal of the season and put Northwestern up 1-0.
Northwestern continued to dominate the ball and control the speed of the game as the half continued. The left side of the offense put pressure on Indiana’s defensive back line to record three shots in the half.
Indiana finished the first half without a shot on goal.
During the half, the Hoosiers ran head-on into the Lake Michigan wind, which seemed to influence the way they played. After the teams switched sides for the second half, so did the flow of the game — the Wildcats were then faced with the wind, while the Hoosiers had it in their favor.
Two minutes into the second half, Sarver started the momentum for Indiana by recording the equalizer off a pass from junior defender Daniel Munie that went off the head of a Northwestern defender.
Five minutes later, in the 51st minute, junior forward Herbert Endeley gave Indiana the 2-1 lead.
Endeley, assisted by forwards Victor Bezerra and Ryan Wittenbrink, was able to net an easy shot against graduate student goalkeeper Miha Miskovic, who was alone at the goal. No Northwestern defenders were close enough to pose a challenge for the Indiana trio.
Play centered close to the Northwestern goal as the second half continued, with Indiana’s offense a more cohesive unit than in the last half. A different Indiana player put up each of Indiana’s seven total shots, showing the versatility of the team.
Senior defender Spencer Glass was a key force in the success of the Indiana defense throughout the game, pushing against the Northwestern offense and preventing shots from coming close to Celentano.
Indiana finished the game with seven shots and three shots on goal to Northwestern’s five shots and two shots on goal. Indiana also had 10 corner kicks to Northwestern’s one.
Indiana looks to improve its Big Ten record to 2-1 in its second road match in a row against Michigan State at 3 p.m. Sunday in East Lansing, Michigan.