The loss in the 2022 College Cup championship is still fresh in the minds of returning members of the Indiana men’s soccer team. The quest for the program’s ninth title starts tomorrow against the University of Notre Dame.
Finding the positives in a season with a disappointing ending can be tough, but the Hoosiers had a great season that they can build on. Getting back to the national championship will be difficult after graduating impact players like Daniel Munie and Ryan Wittenbrink, but the Hoosiers have made additions in the hope that they can help cover these holes. Two of these additions include senior defender Hugo Bacharach, who was named to the Top Drawer Soccer Preseason Best XI second team, as well as forward Collins Oduro who was named to the TDS Best XI freshman team.
Indiana is ranked second in the national preseason rankings after their deep run in the College Cup last year, with the reigning national champions in Syracuse University being the only team ranked higher. The Hoosiers are ranked second in the Big Ten Men’s Soccer Preseason Poll, with Maryland being the only team ranked above them.
The Hoosiers defeated Wright State University, Bowling Green University and the University of Louisville in their three preseason matches in preparation for the upcoming season. Indiana will look to continue their winning ways into the regular season opener against Notre Dame.
The Hoosiers will travel to South Bend and take on the always-tough Fighting Irish. Indiana has historically had major success against Notre Dame with a 33-10-3 all-time record. However, the rivalry has been slightly closer as of late with Notre Dame winning five of the 14 matchups since 2010, but they have failed to beat the Hoosiers since their last win in 2016.
Although the cream and crimson have dominated the win column in this matchup since 2017, the scorelines have been very close. Indiana has won five of the last six matches with each of those wins being by one goal, and two of them ending in overtime. The only game Indiana didn’t win in this stretch was a 1-1 draw in 2019.
The Hoosiers’ season opener will start at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, after being moved from its original 8 p.m. start due to high temperatures being forecasted. The game will be played at Alumni Stadium in South Bend and will be televised on ACC Network Extra.