Indiana men’s soccer came into its game against Trine University with six victories. In all six, the difference for Indiana had always been one goal.
Indiana would break that streak Saturday night at Bill Armstrong Stadium with a 9-0 blowout victory over Division III Trine. The team took a demanding 8-0 lead into the halftime break.
After the match, Indiana head coach Todd Yeagley said no matter which team they played, Indiana put away well-played goals Saturday night.
“There were a lot of good positive takeaways from tonight, in particular just kind of fine tuning our attacking movement,” head coach Todd Yeagley said at a post-match press conference.
Junior forward Victor Bezerra and freshman forward Samuel Sarver led the way for the Hoosiers, both securing braces with two goals each in the first half.
After not scoring in Indiana’s first eight matches of the season, Bezerra has scored in each of the last three and doubled his season total to four against Trine. Bezerra led Indiana with 12 goals in 16 games last season.
In place of senior defenders Spencer Glass and Nyk Sessock, sophomore Lawson Redmon and junior Brett Bebej played the entire 90-minute game. With Redmon and Bebej leading the back line, the Hoosiers only gave up one shot the entire match and put up their fifth clean sheet this season.
“It was good, my first 90 in a while,” Bebej said. “That was one of the things the coaches emphasize, no matter how many minutes you’re playing you gotta expect to be a 90-minute player.”
The Hoosiers built an early 5-0 cushion less than 20 minutes into the game.
Bezerra, Sarver and freshman midfielder Tommy Mihalic each tallied a goal in the first 11 minutes. Bezerra secured his brace in the 16th minute with an assist from Bebej. In the 18th minute, junior Daniel Munie headed the Hoosiers’ fifth goal into the net off a corner kick from Bezerra.
“A cushion is kind of dangerous sometimes,” Bebej said. “That cushion, we kind of mentally blocked out and focused on our game.”
The families of the Hoosiers took to the field to be honored during the break because it was family night at Bill Armstrong Stadium. In total, 23 Hoosiers saw playing time and six made their first appearances of the season in front of their families.
Yeagley said the highlight of his night was seeing players who normally don’t play for long intervals take the field in front of their families at the end of the game.
“You see the excitement,” Yeagley said. “I just kind of sat back and watched them and let them enjoy that. That was the best part for me tonight was seeing the teammates support one another, get excited for them and to see the joy.”
The Hoosiers came into the game outscoring their opponents 12-11 through 10 games, but extended that margin to 21-11 on Saturday.
After its 2-1 loss to Michigan on Oct. 1, the team dropped to 2-3-0 and Yeagley said he felt for the Hoosier faithful who normally expect a cheerful home game.
Since then, Indiana has won its last two matches at home and improved to 4-3-0 at Bill Armstrong Stadium this season with the win against Trine.
“You see some goals tonight and you’re like ‘That’s a class goal,’ I don’t care who you’re playing against,” Yeagley said. “That to me is a celebration of quality and technical ability, and that I think was fun for the fans.”
Indiana will continue its Big Ten slate with a matchup against Ohio State at 7 p.m. Tuesday, the last of four-straight matches at Bill Armstrong Stadium. The Hoosiers will look to improve on their fifth-place position in the conference standings.
“We’re in the right spot moving forward,” Bebej said. “We’re right there and just fine-tuning some things will be good for us.”