No. 10 Indiana men’s soccer played an almost-perfect game against No. 23 University of Washington on Friday night, but individual mistakes can cost the game against a ranked team.
On a 4-4-2, the Hoosiers took control of the midfield early in the game. In a tough matchup against the No. 1 prospect in the country – Washington senior midfielder Christian Soto – Indiana sophomore midfielder Jack Wagoner and junior midfielder Patrick McDonald distributed the ball to the forwards and rarely gave Washington too much space.
“We dropped a little bit and kind of pressed a little bit from a deeper position which collapsed the midfield,” head coach Todd Yeagley said after the game. “I thought Pat and Jack did really well.”
In a few long balls throughout the game, senior defenders Hugo Bacharach and Joey Maher won their matchups against a tall Washington offense.
Early in the second half, Indiana controlled the game and generated chances for freshman forward Collins Oduro and junior forward Tommy Mihalic.
Not capitalizing on their chances was the Hoosiers' first mistake.
Indiana’s second mistake came 31 minutes into the second half, when freshman left back Alex Barger was caught too high up the field and Washington’s junior midfielder Cooper Brunell made a run behind his back. Bacharach got out of position to cover for Barger and Brunell passed to freshman forward Charlie Kosakoff inside the box, who placed the ball under senior goalkeeper JT Harms.
Despite the crucial error, the Hoosiers’ back line played a great game, limiting the Huskies to just seven shots the whole game. Yeagley said he felt confident about his back line despite the error.
“Barger has been playing really well for a freshman,” Yeagley said. “I think Hugo and Joey are playing in a high level and Bebej had another good game, so I am pleased with our back unit.”
With 14 minutes to go, the Hoosiers tried to press the Huskies, but the Huskies were well posted on defense and didn’t allow any dangerous chances for Indiana.
Despite the loss, Indiana had more shots than Washington, with a 14-7 advantage, and controlled possession for most of the game.
“We know that we conceded some territory and I said, ‘let’s keep it tight,’ and I think we did a good job on that,” Yeagley said.
The Hoosiers fell to 1-1-1 in the season, despite having played well in all three games. Now, they look ahead to Monday’s 8 p.m. game against Seton Hall University at Bill Armstrong Stadium.