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Monday, March 4
The Indiana Daily Student

sports men's soccer

IU men’s soccer looking to continue winning streak against Creighton Friday


No. 1 ranked IU men’s soccer will take on the Creighton University Bluejays, the team’s first out-of-state opponent of the season, at 8 p.m. Friday at Bill Armstrong Stadium. The matchup is one of four being played in Bloomington as part of the Adidas/IU Credit Union Classic.

Bill Armstrong Stadium will also play host to games with Ohio State University and Xavier University as the four teams compete over Labor Day Weekend. IU is set to face Xavier Monday.

The Hoosiers are going into Friday night with a 2-0 record on the season while the Bluejays are 0-2. The two teams last met in 2012 and have split their eight matchups. 

“Creighton’s going to have a lot of creative players,” IU head coach Todd Yeagley said in a press conference Tuesday. “They’re going to want to control tempo.”

In Creighton’s losses to the University of Tulsa and Saint Louis University, the team struggled defensively. The Bluejays allowed a total of 39 shots with 22 of them being on goal while only putting up 19 shots with seven on goal.

Creighton senior goalie Paul Kruse made 15 saves in two games but gave up six goals.

The Bluejays have 22 returning players from their squad last season, including senior forward Diego Gutierrez who led the team with 16 total points in the shortened 2020-21 season. In the 150 minutes he’s played this season, he has only recorded one shot. 

In its match against Butler University Tuesday, IU displayed a much stronger back line defense than against Notre Dame on Aug. 27. After allowing two shots on goal within the first five minutes of play, the Hoosiers adjusted and limited the Bulldogs to one more shot on goal for the rest of the game.

Freshman forward Tommy Mihalic, who was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week, continued to persistently push into the Butler defense and put pressure on the back line, despite not scoring. Offensive charges from two starting freshmen, forward Samuel Sarver and midfielder Patrick McDonald, supported Mihalic’s performance.

Some of the Hoosiers’ older and most aggressive players did not play against Butler. Junior forwards Victor Bezerra and Ryan Wittenbrink, as well as senior midfielder Joe Schmidt were all sidelined with minor injuries. Yeagley said he could see all three reappearing over the weekend but didn’t give any more specifics.

“I think they’re very close, and that’s a good thing,” he said. “We don’t want a 70 or 80% player on the field. That’s not good for us, not good for them.”

Yeagley said he knows Creighton is going to come to IU looking to take down the best team in the country, especially after losing their first two games. However, he remains confident the Hoosiers will come out on top.

“They’re going to be hungry,” he said. “I just feel like if we play well we can still take care of a team at their best, but we’re going to get a really emotional response from Creighton.”

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