Coming off back-to-back Big Ten wins, Indiana men’s soccer will look to continue its winning streak when it plays Michigan at 5 p.m. Friday at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington. The match will be televised on ESPNU.
Indiana has a 5-2-1 record and is second in the Big Ten standings with 6 points. Indiana has posted a 2-1 record in the Big Ten this season, winning its last two matches on the road against Northwestern and Michigan State after losing against Rutgers at home.
“To go on the road like that and kind of grind out two wins, it’s great momentum going into Friday,” senior midfielder Joe Schmidt said.
The Hoosiers have posted a 2-2-0 record at home and a 3-0-1 record on the road. Before their 3-0 loss to Creighton University earlier this season, the Hoosiers hadn’t lost a regular-season home game since 2015.
Indiana head coach Todd Yeagley said he doesn’t get caught up in whether games are at home or away but rather focuses on the performance. Yeagley said there should never be a question if the team left everything on the field in front of the home fans, and he’s not sure that has been the case this season.
“That’s aside of the result, aside from that. That is non-negotiable,” Yeagley said.
Indiana struggled on the defensive end early this season, and it's given up nine goals in eight games this season after giving up just six goals through 16 games all of last season. Schmidt said he takes responsibility for the team’s early struggles, saying as a midfielder it's his job to get the team organized as he tracks back.
“Struggling through a little bit of adversity is a good thing sometimes,” Schmidt said. “I think it makes us stronger.”
Yeagley said a lot of the team’s defensive issues were self-inflicted through lack of communication and technical breakdowns, but he is seeing positive growth and improvement on that end of the field.
Indiana gave up just one goal in its last two road matches, outscoring its opponents 3-1 after being outscored 7-8 through its first six games. The team has recorded three clean sheets this season, including in its last matchup against Michigan State.
“I wouldn’t say we ‘figured it out’ because I don’t think there was a problem, but we’ve just tightened a couple things with our weak side positioning, with how we get our lines up, how connected we are,” Yeagley said. “I think there’s this little fine-tuning that we’ve been doing every week.”
Indiana’s match against Michigan will be the first of a four-game home stand for the team. Michigan is 4-4-1 this season and tied for fifth in the Big Ten standings with a 1-1-0 record. Michigan won its last matchup against Northwestern 3-0.
Indiana has a 8-0-2 record in its last 10 matchups against Michigan and hasn’t lost in the series since 2013. Michigan was ranked No. 11 when the teams faced off last season on March 27, a game Indiana won 1-0 in double overtime.