In Indiana’s 9-0 win on Saturday night, it did just what head coach Todd Yeagley wanted.
In a press conference Wednesday, Yeagley said he saw the team’s matchup against Division III Trine University as a chance to give more players playing time and tinker with strategy.
“There were some class finishes tonight,” Yeagley said of his team’s goals. “I thought the confidence we gained from this game — with some individuals and collectively — will really help us move forward.”
Scoring was lopsided. Indiana scored eight goals in the first half and only one in the second, and finished with 30 shots and 18 shots on goal.
The Hoosiers defense stood strong in the second half and prevented the Thunder from getting any shots on goal. Junior goalkeeper Roman Celentano wasn’t called upon to make any saves, as Trine only put up one shot in the match.
“I thought the way we communicated tonight was excellent,” Yeagley said. “I thought the way that we handled a few moments where they were kind of about to get through we handled very cleanly.”
Few moments displayed the success of Indiana’s offense more than the final minute of the first half, when two goals came within 11 seconds of each other. Goals from junior forward Herbert Endeley and freshman forward Samuel Sarver, who both took advantage of the jumble of players around the goal, put Indiana up 8-0 going into halftime.
Sarver’s goal in the 44th minute marked his second of the game after making his first in the 10th minute. Junior forward Victor Bezerra got Indiana going in the 9th minute with a relatively undefended shot, quickly followed by Sarver and freshman forward Tommy Mihalic less than two minutes later.
Bezerra put up his second goal of the night in the 16th minute with a shot that ricocheted off the left goalpost into the right-hand corner of the goal, marking his fourth goal of the season.
“Vic had a couple class finishes tonight,” Yeagley said. “You’ve got to get the stroke right. You’ve got to get that feeling back so I think that was big for Victor.”
Senior midfielder Joe Schmidt recorded his first goal of the season on a penalty kick in the 36th minute, rocketing a shot into the left-hand side of the goal as Trine’s junior goalkeeper Luis Rodriguez dove to the right.
Ryan Wittenbrink, who entered the match for Bezerra in the 25th minute, put up four shots before scoring a goal in the 61st minute to put the Hoosiers up 9-0. Wittenbrink led the team with six shots and three shots on goal in the match.
Wittenbrink would have the last goal for the rest of the match, but Indiana continued to dominate possession, later adding eight shots and seven shots on goal. A total of 23 Indiana players saw time on the field Saturday night.
“I just kind of sat back and just watched them and let them enjoy that,” Yeagley said. “That was the best part for me tonight.”
Only two Hoosiers, junior defenders Lawson Redmon and Brett Bebej, played the full 90 minutes.
“It was my first 90 in a while so it was good to get my fitness up,” Bebej said. “That was one of the things coach emphasized, no matter how many minutes you’re playing, you have to expect to be a 90-minute player.”
Yeagley said he was happy to give so many players an opportunity Saturday night and have quality communication and goals throughout the match.
“These are building blocks in the season,” Yeagley said. “To get so many guys in the game — these can pay dividends for the way we train and all the investment our team puts in can fill your team with a lot of fulfilment and joy.”