Indiana men’s soccer dropped its regular-season Big Ten opener to Rutgers on Sept. 17, its second of three home losses to begin the season. On Sunday, Indiana came back to beat Rutgers 1-0 to advance to the Big Ten Tournament semifinals, its eighth win in nine games and its seventh-straight victory at home.
Freshman forward Samuel Sarver scored the game-winning goal in the 27th minute off an assist from junior forward Herbert Endeley. Endeley placed a through ball past the Rutgers defense to Sarver, who shot it across his body past Rutgers junior goalkeeper Oren Asher to score the goal.
With the goal, his seventh of the season, Sarver broke a tie with junior forward Victor Bezerra and gave him the team lead in goals this season. He now has seven goals and four assists this season, good for a team-leading 18 points.
“I thought the goal was fantastic, good finish by Sammy,” head coach Todd Yeagley said after the match. “I thought we fought hard in response to last Sunday. We just didn’t compete hard enough in that game.”
Maryland snapped Indiana’s seven-match win streak Oct. 31 with a 2-0 victory, but Indiana responded against Rutgers on Sunday with the win.
Rutgers led in shots 8-5 and shots on goal 3-2, but three saves from junior goalkeeper Roman Celentano gave Indiana its eighth clean sheet in the past nine games. Indiana has outscored its opponents 22-2 since its 2-1 overtime loss to Michigan on Oct. 1.
Senior defenders Spencer Glass and Nyk Sessock, who are regular starters for the Hoosiers, started on the bench against the Scarlet Knights. The pair combined for 107 minutes total and Sessock shifted into the midfield in relief of senior Joe Schmidt in the second half. Junior Brett Bebej and sophomore Lawson Redmon started in their place Sunday.
Yeagley said he sat Glass because he didn’t give the effort Indiana needed from him against Maryland, which Yeagley said was inexcusable. He also wanted to build Redmon’s confidence so Indiana can rotate its wide backs more often, he said.
Indiana men's soccer: Indiana men’s soccer beats Rutgers 1-0 to move on to Big Ten Tournament semifinals
“It wasn’t too different,” junior defender Daniel Munie said. “We know whoever is going to go in there that they’re going to do a good job.”
Indiana, the No. 3 seed in the tournament, will play the No. 7 seed Northwestern on Wednesday in Bloomington. Northwestern upset the No. 2 seed Maryland on penalty kicks 3-2 on Sunday. Maryland had an opportunity to tie but missed the final penalty kick.
With its win against Rutgers, Indiana has won 10 straight games in the Big Ten Tournament dating back to 2018 and will look to win its 11th on Wednesday at Bill Armstrong Stadium. Indiana beat Northwestern, which finished 3-5 in the Big Ten, 2-1 on Sept. 21 in Evanston, Illinois.
“That’s pretty awesome, we love playing here,” Munie said. “It’s just an extra thing not having to travel and playing at home. It’s a good feeling.”