Indiana men’s soccer celebrated Senior Night before its final regular-season home match with Virginia Commonwealth University on Wednesday night at Bill Armstrong Stadium. But it was freshman forward Samuel Sarver who led Indiana to a dominating 4-0 victory.
Sarver scored two goals and assisted on another to give Indiana its seventh-straight win.
“Sammy is just a tireless worker, and it was one of the reasons we inserted him tonight because we knew he could create a lot of havoc in that press,” Indiana head coach Todd Yeagley said after the match.
Sarver scored his goals in the 11th and 52nd minutes, and he assisted on junior forward Victor Bezerra’s goal in the third minute. Junior Ryan Wittenbrink scored Indiana’s fourth goal in the 57th minute to seal Indiana’s winning effort.
Sarver started Wednesday after four straight appearances off the bench and scored a brace in his last start against Trine University on Oct. 9. Sarver and Bezerra lead Indiana with six goals each this season after the team’s win Wednesday.
Indiana head coach Todd Yeagley said Sarver has been up and down this season, but he felt it was a good time to put him back into the starting lineup because he’s been playing well in training recently.
“Getting Sam two goals was really a big moment for us tonight,” head coach Todd Yeagley said after the match. “We thought tonight would be a game to hopefully get him rolling and he rolled.”
Four Hoosiers were honored before the game as part of Indiana’s Senior Night celebration: senior defenders Spencer Glass and Nyk Sessock, senior midfielder Joe Schmidt and redshirt junior Isaac Sarosy. All four saw action and Glass assisted on Sarver’s goal to put Indiana up 2-0.
After putting VCU away early and getting all the seniors on the field, Glass said after the match that he couldn’t ask for anything more. He also said he didn’t mind Sarver taking the spotlight on Senior Night.
“Going into a game where we’re going to need that come Sunday, I love to see it,” Glass said.
The Hoosiers dominated from start to finish Wednesday against the Rams. They outshot the Rams 20-1 and held a 7-0 shot on goal advantage. The Hoosiers also took an 11-0 shot advantage into the halftime break.
VCU put together a 3-2-1 record against ranked opponents heading into its match with Indiana and has been ranked as high as No. 12 in the country this season. Despite Indiana’s important Big Ten match against Maryland on Sunday, Yeagley said Senior Night helped Indiana focus on playing a good team in VCU.
“They were locked in,” Yeagley said. “All that in play I think they did really good. It’s a really excited locker room for the challenge on Sunday.”
Indiana now hits the road for its regular-season finale against Maryland at 1 p.m. Sunday, a match which could decide the Big Ten title.