Another one up, another one down. On Sunday IU (9-1, 3-0 Big Ten) won their ninth game in a row by beating Penn State (2-6-1, 1-2-1 Big Ten) 2-0 at Bill Armstrong Stadium despite star senior Andrew Gutman sitting out after taking a nasty spill against Northwestern.
Spencer Glass slid into Gutman’s normal spot in the lineup at left back and contributed early. Just before halftime the sophomore played a ball up the left side to Ian Black, who sent a cross to the nest post for Austin Panchot who found the back of the net to give the Hoosiers a 1-0 lead.
In the 68th minute it was once again Glass making a play. He found IU right back Rece Buckmaster with a cross for another assist. Buckmaster headed the ball in to extend the Hoosier lead to 2-0. Glass made what was a highlight play seem so simple.
“Rico was free on the back, so someone yelled back post,” Glass said, “I saw Rico coming in hot, so I put it to the back post.”
After recording four assists and a goal in 18 games last season Glass has kicked it up a notch. In 2018 the player said to have the best left foot in college soccer by multiple teammates has already improved on his freshman numbers—he has six assists and a goal through 10 games.
“We knew his time was coming for more minutes,” coach Todd Yeagley said, “We felt he could play on both lines, midfield and in the back, and today we needed him in the back line and he did a great job.”
Glass’ success helped the Hoosiers win on Sunday, but it also gave a look at what that left back spot could look like once Gutman moves on to the pros after this season. Where IU has an attack-minded defender that can give opposing back lines fits while also linking up with teammates now, they could very well have a player of the same mold next year without much of a drop off in skill if Glass continues to build off this run of good form.
The win also keeps the Hoosiers on track to sit atop the Big Ten standings. They’re currently just one point behind Michigan with a game in hand on the Wolverines.
IU will face tough competition as they try to match the 2003 squad by winning 10 straight games. On Wednesday they’ll hit the road to take on No. 7 Kentucky.