Indiana men’s soccer beat Rutgers 1-0 in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals Sunday to move on to semifinals. Indiana struggled at times to capitalize on all offensive opportunities, but still won with solid defending.
“It’s a good win,” head coach Todd Yeagley said in a post match press conference. “I thought we fought hard,” head coach Todd Yeagley said. “We competed — every player.”
A charge from freshman forward Samuel Sarver put the Hoosiers on the board in the 27th minute after Sarver scored on a crossing shot from the right side of the 18-yard box. Sarver leads the team with seven goals on the season.
“I thought the goal was fantastic,” Yeagley said. “A good finish by Sammy.”
Junior forward Herbert Endeley assisted Sarver’s goal, bringing him to five assists and tying junior forward Victor Bezerra at the forefront of the team. Endeley was a part of multiple runs down the field, including solo runs of his own, but was unable to convert any chances for a goal.
The second half, while fast-paced, saw little action around either goal until less than 15 minutes remained in the match. Indiana was able to get close to the Rutgers goal multiple times, but failed to get a shot off.
“I would have liked a few more good chances,” Yeagley said. “I thought we were a little bit slower to recognize a couple other good attacks.”
Indiana finished the match with five shots and two shots on goal compared to Rutgers’ eight shots and three shots on goal. Junior goalkeeper Roman Celentano, recently named Big Ten Goalkeeper of the Year for the second year in a row, made three saves.
Both teams dealt with injuries, collisions and fouls throughout. Rutgers finished with 12 fouls and Indiana finished with 11. Bezerra only played a total of 38 minutes, suffering multiple hits to the head but appearing to recover from each.
Junior midfielder Jackson Temple, who led the Scarlet Knights with six goals on the season, went down in the sixth minute of the game and did not return.
“The game stalled out a bit,” Yeagley said on the injury stoppages. “The game didn’t have a great flow for either team in the second half.”
As the clock wound down, the Hoosiers shifted to focus on defensive play to keep their 1-0 lead, bringing in more defenders and midfielders in place of offensive powerhouses like Sarver and Bezerra.
“We knew they were going to come out firing,” junior defender Daniel Munie said. “We just needed to get under the ball as quickly as possible.”
A total of 17 Hoosiers saw playing time. Only two defenders, Munie and sophomore Joey Maher, played the full 90 minutes.
“I think our depth is going to carry this team,” Yeagley said. “I really believe that.”
With the win, Indiana advances to the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament to face Northwestern on Wednesday in Bloomington. Northwestern, the No. 7 seed, defeated No. 2 Maryland in penalty kicks Sunday to advance.
“We love playing here,” Munie said. “Playing at home is a good feeling.”