Indiana Daily Student

Indiana men’s soccer beats Bowling Green 2-0 to advance to the Sweet 16 in NCAA Tournament

<p>IU redshirt junior forward Ryan Wittenbrink celebrates with a teammate after helping to set up a goal during the match against Bowling Green State University on Nov. 21, 2021, at Bill Armstrong Stadium. Wittenbrink helped to set up a play eventually leading to a junior forward Victor Bezerra&#x27;s goal.</p>

IU redshirt junior forward Ryan Wittenbrink celebrates with a teammate after helping to set up a goal during the match against Bowling Green State University on Nov. 21, 2021, at Bill Armstrong Stadium. Wittenbrink helped to set up a play eventually leading to a junior forward Victor Bezerra's goal.

Indiana men’s soccer began its run in the NCAA Tournament Sunday, beating Bowling Green State University 2-0 to advance to the round of 16. Indiana will face the winner of the game between the University of Portland and No. 2 University of Washington.

“We knew this was going to be a dogfight today,” head coach Todd Yeagley said. “We dug in, I thought, into a different level today.”

Junior forward Victor Bezerra created the spark for Indiana in the second half of the match, scoring the first goal in the 47th minute of play. After taking a free kick, Bezerra ran to position himself in the center of the 18-yard box to find a pass from junior forward Ryan Wittenbrink, sending the ball in for a clean goal.

“He’s proven he can change the game,” Yeagley said about Bezerra’s contributions. “We had some good exchanges, I got him going a bit. He responded.”

Almost 15 minutes later, senior defender Spencer Glass put up his first goal of the season and his first since Oct. 22, 2019. With a pass from junior forward Herbert Endeley, the wide-open Glass sent the ball into the right side of the net where it ricocheted off the post into the back of the goal.

“It took me long enough to get it,” Glass said. “Herb did a great job, great layoff. Just happy to contribute.”

With that assist, Endeley leads the Hoosiers at seven on the season. He was a driving force for the Hoosier offense, making solo runs and threatening the Falcons’ defense throughout the game. 

“I loved our second goal,” Yeagley said. “We’ve been asking Herb to use a little more sophistication on that final pass.” 

The match was delayed from its initial noon start time to due to heavy rain in Bloomington affecting field conditions. Throughout the match, the field remained wet and slippery, which changed play for both teams. Glass said the slick field made it difficult to pass balls on the ground through Bowling Green’s high-line defense.

“We saw in the first half there were some long balls, so we kind of had to switch it up,” Glass said. “It was definitely hard to adjust to in the first half based on what our scout was going to be.”

The second half of the match held almost the entirety of the action, as both Indiana and Bowling Green combined for only four shots in the first half. Bowling Green had one shot on goal early in the first half, but it was easily saved by junior goalkeeper Roman Celentano. Celentano would finish with three saves.

After Indiana’s two goals, Bowling Green amped up its offensive press, putting up nine shots in the final 26 minutes of the game. Indiana did not take any more shots after the goal from Glass, instead focusing largely on defense.

“You saw us go much more man-to-man at times, and we took every line away,” Yeagley said. “They were a little frustrated with that and didn’t expect that.”

Sophomore defender Andrew Goldsworthy entered for sophomore forward Nate Ward in the 67th minute, joining junior defender Daniel Munie and sophomore defender Joey Maher on the backline. As the clock ran down, more Hoosiers moved to play closer to the backline, eventually leaving Ward — who reentered for Endeley — as the main player to create any offensive plays.

“When you’re up two goals, you don’t want to give them a fighting chance to put one in and make the game again,” Glass said.

If Washington wins, Indiana will travel to Seattle but will play at home if Portland wins.

“They’re just excited to play,” Yeagley said. “They’re kind of excited to have that opportunity, and the main thing is they’re just excited to play.”

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