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Sunday, May 19
The Indiana Daily Student

sports men's soccer

New duos forming in Indiana men’s soccer’s win against IUPUI

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Positional partnerships are indicators of a team’s chemistry on the pitch, and this held true for Indiana men’s soccer this past season. But with the turnover the squad faces heading into next season, new partnerships are being formed this spring and were present in Indiana's 3-0 victory against IUPUI on Friday.  

The Hoosiers’ backline was an integral part of the team’s success last season, with senior defender Jansen Miller and former Indiana defender Joey Maher tallying four clean sheets together as a center-back duo. With Maher now at Saint Louis University, the center-back spot next to Miller has opened. Freshman defender Breckin Minzie has filled the role during Indiana’s spring slate of games.  

“Breckin is extremely athletic as you can see, he’s coming around,” Indiana head coach Todd Yeagley said postgame. “He’s a good young player that has a lot of qualities, athleticism being one of them. Height and has good elevation, his technique’s pretty good.” 

The new duo maintained a clean sheet in their first start together against the University of Evansville on Feb. 24, and they kept the net clean once again Friday. Minzie also showed off his versatility in the win, lining up as a right back for the last 30 minutes of the game. Yeagley said his versatility will be useful to the squad, as Indiana has three incoming center backs ready to compete for the spot next to Miller. 

“I think it’s going to be a great battle, and the nice thing is a couple of them are versatile, so if they’re not starting maybe they can help us somewhere else,” Yeagley said. 

Indiana’s has reshaped its frontline with Maouloune Goumballe and Karsen Henderlong graduated, leaving the two striker spots in Yeagley’s 4-4-2 formation up for grabs. Yeagley lined up with freshman forward Lucas Wolthers and sophomore forward Luka Bezerra as his partnership of choice in Friday’s match. The duo had an instant connection in the first five minutes, with Wolthers nearly assisting Bezerra who struck the post with his early shot. Wolthers redshirted last season and is seeing his first action as a Hoosier this spring. 

“Wolthers has been one that we redshirted last year, and it was not an easy decision,” Yeagley said. “Several times last year we thought about utilizing him, but we were like ‘you know if he doesn’t play much, it could be a wasted year for him but not the team.’" 

Wolthers opened the scoring for Indiana on Friday night, which could be a sign of things to come for him and the team. 

“He’s a big body, he likes to get into scoring positions, that was a tough finish with his left foot,” Yeagley said. “He’s one with four years of eligibility and a lot ahead for him.” 

Senior defender Andrew Goldsworthy added Indiana’s second goal while junior forward Sam Sarver finished off the game with a slotted shot in the final moments of the match to solidify a dominant 3-0 win for the Hoosiers.  

Indiana will play its final spring match against the University of Notre Dame on April 19 at the Grand Park Sports Complex in Westfield, Indiana.

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