Indiana men’s soccer will share the Big Ten title following a dominant 4-1 win against Rutgers.
The Hoosiers came into Sunday’s match knowing they needed some help from other squads if they were going to win the Big Ten title. Prior to the match, they sat in fourth place with 11 points and were relying on both Penn State and Northwestern — who both had 13 points — to lose in order to have a chance at winning the conference outright, assuming Indiana won their match.
Northwestern lost its match against Michigan but Penn State managed to salvage a draw against Wisconsin, meaning that the Hoosiers and Nittany Lions will share the Big Ten regular season title this year. This marks Indiana’s 33rd Big Ten title and their first since the 2020-2021 season.
Despite the dominant scoreline, Indiana’s win against Rutgers was a scrappy and physical one. The rain and slippery surface contributed to the dynamic with 25 total fouls being committed in the match.
However, Indiana’s offensive play was unaffected with three goals being scored in the first half. Indiana opened the scoring just five minutes into the match with a goal from senior defender Hugo Bacharach off a long throw-in.
“[Indiana head coach Todd Yeagley] always tells us to be relentless in the box and I was at the right place at the right time,” Bacharach said.
Bacharach said that moments like today are why he chose to come to Indiana.
“Unbelievable feeling,” Bacharach said. “This is why I came here to IU, to win trophies, to win titles and help the team.”
The Hoosiers continued pressing the Scarlet Knights and proceeded to extend their lead in the 22nd minute when freshman forward Collins Oduro tapped the ball into an empty net following a rebound in the box. The Hoosiers looked bound to take a two-goal lead going into half-time, but Rutgers pulled one back after junior midfielder Curt Calov scored with less than a minute left in the half.
Yeagley said that his message to the team after the goal was to get after them, because if they closed out the win they’d win the title.
The team clearly got the message as Indiana went on to play a dominant second half, constantly attacking in Rutgers’ box. The Hoosiers' aggressive approach was rewarded in the final 10 minutes of the contest, as they went on to score two goals to close out the match. Junior midfielder Patrick McDonald scored the dagger in the 82nd minute, while junior forward Sam Sarver added a fourth goal in the 89th minute.
Indiana failed to win its first three conference matches but went on a run that eventually got it the title. Yeagley said he believed his team had a shot despite the slow start.
“I felt we could be in the mix,” Yeagley said. “I felt we were going to be in it if we could take care of business.”
The Hoosiers will now turn their focus to the Big Ten tournament, where they will be the No. 1 seed as they hold the head-to-head tie-breaker because of their 2-1 win against Penn State on Oct. 7. Indiana’s first match will be against Wisconsin on Friday, Nov 3 at Bill Armstrong Stadium. The match will be streamed on Big Ten+.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story misstated the amount of Big Ten titles Indiana has won.