Indiana men’s soccer beat Wisconsin 1-0 in double overtime Sunday afternoon at Bill Armstrong Stadium off a golden goal from freshman midfielder Tommy Mihalic in the 106th minute. With its sixth-straight win, Indiana moved to 11-3-1 and regained its first-place position in the Big Ten standings with 15 points.
Junior defender Brett Bebej jumped to keep the ball inbounds in the box off a cross from junior forward Ryan Wittenbrink to set up the goal. Junior defender Daniel Munie received the ball and dumped it off to Mihalic, who maneuvered into position and headed the goal away.
“That was a great ball by Witt, Bebej got on the end of it, back-post floater over to Munie,” Mihalic said after the match. “I knew once Munie got the header it would fall to me and I was there at the right time.”
Mihalic moved into a tie with junior forward Victor Bezerra for the team lead in goals with his game-winner, and Indiana moved to 2-1-1 in overtime games this season. Mihalic took three shots against Wisconsin and found the back of the net on his only shot on goal.
Of his five goals this season, Mihalic said this goal was his favorite.
“To win the game, there’s nothing bigger than that,” Mihalic said.
Junior forward Herbert Endeley nearly ended the match in the first overtime, but Wisconsin sophomore goalkeeper Carter Abbott made a jumping save to keep him off the board. Endeley took two shots against Wisconsin and Abbott made two saves.
Indiana picked up the pace after a slow first half where Wisconsin led in the shot category 5-2. Indiana outshot Wisconsin 13-4 in the second half and overtime. Indiana also led in shots on goal after the first half 3-2, but overall Wisconsin held the advantage 4-3.
Indiana’s back line and junior goalkeeper Roman Celentano secured its sixth-straight clean sheet. Celentano made four saves in the match and hasn’t conceded a goal since Oct. 1. Celentano made his most difficult save in the 26th minute on a one-on-one against Wisconsin senior forward Andrew Akindele.
Akindele intercepted a pass from Indiana junior defender Joey Maher which was intended for Munie, who struggled to get back and challenge the shot. Akindele put the shot on goal, but Celentano dropped down and caught the shot.
Maher, who has played most of Indiana’s matches from start-to-finish, was replaced by Bebej in the second half and played just 64 of the 106 minutes. Indiana head coach Todd Yeagley said the coaching staff has been trying to get Maher some rest, but had yet to pull him out this season because of how reliable he has been.
“I just needed more pace in the back and Joey was a little bit, he just looked tired, and when you’re tired you’re a step off in his position,” Yeagley said. “That was probably the best thing tonight that happened. We got Joey some rest, it showed our versatility with Bebej at center back.”
Indiana’s bench and fans were frustrated with a no call in the 78th minute. After tracking down the ball inside the 18-yard box, sophomore forward Nate Ward tried to send a cross in near the goal but was taken down by a Wisconsin defender.
The referee didn’t give Indiana the call and stopped play as Indiana’s players complained over the no-call. Yeagley said he wasn’t too upset about the call and the official thought Ward may have flopped to sell the foul.
“Nate Ward’s not flopping, so whether it’s a penalty or not those are big calls,” Yeagley said. “I wasn’t really upset.”
Indiana is down to its last two games of the season following the win Sunday. The team will face Virginia Commonwealth University at 7 p.m. Wednesday night and then play its last Big Ten matchup at 1 p.m. Oct. 31 on the road.
Maryland plays Penn State on Tuesday night. If it wins, it will move back into first place in the Big Ten standings with 16 points heading into its match with Indiana.
“All the math adds up, right? It’s a title game in Maryland,” Yeagley said. “We’ll know a lot more Tuesday on what everything is, but I believe we control our own destiny with a win. That’s a good feeling.”