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Tuesday, June 18
The Indiana Daily Student

sports men's soccer

Indiana men’s soccer scores golden goal with 21 seconds left to take down Omaha 1-0


Indiana men’s soccer beat the University of Nebraska Omaha on a rainy Wednesday at Bill Armstrong Stadium thanks to junior forward Victor Bezerra’s golden goal.

There were 21 seconds left in the second overtime when senior defender Spencer Glass crossed the ball into the 18-yard box, and Bezerra found the back of the net to give Indiana the 1-0 win. 

Indiana improved to 6-3-1 this season and 3-3-0 at home with the win. 

“Those kinds of goals are the best, they feel the best and it’s just a sigh of relief for the whole team,” Bezerra said in a post-game press conference. “It’s part of the game, you get chance after chance, and if people don’t put them away we’re not going to win games.”

Bezerra led the way for the Hoosiers, putting up five shots and two on goal against the Mavericks. The Hoosiers totaled 15 shots and five on goal, compared to eight shots and three on goal from the opposing side. 

Bezerra has found the back of the net in each of the team’s last two games after going goal-less and missing two games with an injury through the first eight games of Indiana’s season. When he wasn’t scoring earlier in the season, he said his confidence was high, and his focus is doing whatever he can to help the team win a national championship. 

“I think the positive aspect of tonight was we created a ton of chances,” Bezerra said. “We were off by centimeters and these are things that on the right day the ball will bounce the right way. I don’t think the team is complacent or the technique is off, I think it’s very small margins as we saw tonight.” 

Related: Bezerra’s golden goal gives Indiana men’s soccer 1-0 overtime win against Omaha

Indiana had a number of dangerous looks through the first 100 minutes of play but were unable to find the back of the net in regulation or the first overtime. Indiana and Omaha readied for the second overtime tied 0-0, but Indiana had controlled the action for much of the evening. 

Head coach Todd Yealgey said it would have been great to get an easy 3-0 win, but winning a close one on a late score is what the team really needed.

“They earned it,” Yeagley said in a post-game press conference. “It was a good performance against a good team. I felt all day that it was coming, I felt the group could kind of smell it a little bit. There was a sense of urgency but not panic throughout the game.” 

Field conditions played a factor a number of times Wednesday night. An artificial patch of grass was placed near the half-field line after the Indiana women’s soccer team’s last matchup, which ended in a draw in the first overtime due to poor field conditions.

Related: Defense keeps Indiana women’s soccer near top of Big Ten with draw against No. 17 Michigan

Omaha freshman goalkeeper Nathanael Sallah slipped in the 78th minute while attempting to boot the ball downfield. The ball rolled toward the goal past Sallah’s foot, but an Omaha defender was able to clear it before Indiana sophomore forward Nate Ward could track it down.

“The grass is not good right now,” Bezerra said. “I think they’ve done a great job for it even to be playable, but it did make a difference.” 

Indiana defender Joey Maher also slipped while trying to control the ball, giving possession to Omaha’s Hugo Kametani in the 30th minute. Kametani dribbled around Maher and had a look at goal inside the 18-yard box, but Indiana junior goalkeeper Roman Celentano saved the shot. Celentano saved three shots and recorded his fourth clean sheet of the season. 

After giving up nine goals in its first seven matches, Indiana’s defense has allowed just two goals in its last three. 

“We’ve been good all year in the back line for the most part,” Yeagley said. “We’re seeing an improvement every game.”  

Indiana looks ahead to its next matchup, and will play its third of four-straight home matches Saturday against Trine University — a Division III school located in Angola, Indiana — at 7:30 p.m. at Bill Armstrong Stadium. The game will be broadcast on BTN Plus. 

Yeagley said the Trine game offers Indiana the opportunity to play some players who haven’t seen many minutes this season a chance to play and allow him to tinker with the lineup. 

“Gotta get a win, and we’ll make sure that happens,” Yeagley said. “Trine’s going to come in here, this will be a Super Bowl for them. We get it.”

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