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The Indiana Daily Student

sports men's soccer

Steady defense, wing play lead Indiana men’s soccer to first win in home opener

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Indiana men’s soccer defeated DePaul University 2-0 Tuesday night following important performances from the backline and wingers. 

Defensive stability 

Indiana’s backline was a big reason it was able to comfortably win this game. Its ability to maintain a high line and not concede chances or goals was critical in Indiana’s win against DePaul University.  

Senior defender Hugo Bacharach played a large role in keeping the Hoosiers steady defensively. Bacharach’s experience and instincts were seen heavily throughout the match, as he consistently cut off DePaul’s pass attempts.  

Bacharach and senior defender Joey Maher kept the Hoosier net clean throughout the night and limited the Blue Demons to one shot on target in the match. Head coach Todd Yeagley mentioned that the two center backs have a noticeable understanding between them.  

“The partnership between those two is quickly forming,” Yeagley said. 

Bacharach’s ball playing abilities were also on display in the win, as he consistently made progressive passes and carries under pressure. Bacharach even found himself in DePaul’s box a couple of times after successfully carrying the ball through the lines.  

“Hugo has some special skillsets,” Yeagley said. “He can surge forward, you saw him get in the final third and he has really good feet. Very rare player for that size with agility with the ball, and that’s why he’ll translate to the next level."

Wing play 

Freshman forward Collins Oduro and junior forward Sam Sarver created many chances from the wide areas throughout the game.  

The Hoosiers’ first goal came from a cross from Sarver which Oduro then headed in at the back post. Sarver dribbled past his man and was able to float a precise cross onto Oduro, who got it past the Blue Demons’ junior goalkeeper Gandhi Cruz, who made seven saves in the match.  

The Hoosiers created many chances from wide areas with no success before the goal and frustration seemed to mount, but Sarver knew a goal was imminent.  

“We were all very positive at halftime; we knew one was coming,” Sarver said. “I told the team ‘When I get the ball, someone just stay back post. I’ll beat the defender you just got to tap it in.’”  

Sarver assisted Oduro for Indiana’s first goal against the University of Notre Dame, and history repeated itself Tuesday night.  

“I love that kid,” Sarver said. “I joked with him before the game saying I’d get him another assist today and that he would just have to finish it."

Oduro finished that chance, marking two goals in two games to start his college career as a Hoosier. 

Heading the ball is a skill that not all players possess, but head coach Todd Yeagley said he has been impressed by Oduro’s heading ability this early in his career.  

“When we see him in training, he’s one of the better freshmen I’ve coached with his heading ability for a guy that size,” Yeagley said. “We have a lot of young talent that come in and struggle with their heading.” 

Indiana will continue its homestand Friday night when it faces off against the University of Washington.

Follow reporters Leo Paes (@Leordpaes) and Jovanni Salazar (@jio_duz_it) for updates throughout the Indiana men’s soccer season.

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