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Gutman cracks Buckeye defense, Hoosiers win 1-0 to clinch B1G title

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Hoosiers Joe Schmidt (16), Timmy Mehl (5), and Trevor Swartz celebrate a goal scored by Andrew Gutman (15) against then No. 18 UConn on Sept. 2, 2018. Gutman scored the winning goal against Ohio State with a header, it was his ninth goal of the season.
Auston Matricardi

In 2017 IU men’s soccer was one of the best teams in the country. Grant Lillard and Mason Toye helped lead the team to a one seed in the NCAA Tournament and a national runner up finish in a season that saw record books rewritten. On Wednesday night this year’s Hoosier squad did something that the 2017 team couldn’t—win a trophy.

In their next to last game of the regular season the No. 2 Hoosiers (14-2, 7-0 B1G) needed a draw, just one measly point, to clinch the Big Ten regular season championship outright. Not only did they get what they needed, they did one better. They beat Ohio State 1-0 to extend their winning streak to five games.

The two teams went back and forth early, trading shots before IU finally broke through. In the 28th minute Francesco Moore played the ball to Spencer Glass on the left wing. The sophomore created some room between himself and his defender then sent a cross to the near post where Andrew Gutman was making a run. The star senior put the Hoosiers ahead 1-0 with a quick header.

”I just saw Spencer get down the line. I kind of just waiting for Spencer to get the ball and obviously he plays a phenomenal ball, I just made a near post run,” Gutman said, “He put it right at my head and I just had to redirect it. It was a great ball by Spencer, a great team goal and it ended up being the winner and got us a championship.”

In the second half the Hoosiers allowed just one shot to the Buckeyes, and it was the only shot on goal the scarlet and gray would get all night. Ohio State midfielder Xavier Green found the ball just outside and launched a shot in the 65th minute. Hoosier goalkeeper Trey Muse made a spectacular diving save to keep the Hoosiers ahead.

With the win the Hoosiers clinched the program’s 15th overall Big Ten regular season championship, and their first since 2010. They also continued an unbeaten streak against Big Ten opponents, winning their 35th conference match in a row.

The season isn’t over quite yet for Indiana. On Sunday they’ll host No. 12 Michigan State for their regular season finale and another chance to make history. The Hoosiers will have the chance to become just the second team to go undefeated in the Big Ten since the conference expanded to nine teams in 2014. Currently the only team that has accomplished this feat is Maryland, the Terps did so in 2016 with a 7-0-1 record.

”It means a lot. We haven’t lost a Big Ten game in a while but we haven’t won a trophy in a while. Winning it this year shows how much hard work we’ve put in and the difference of mentality that we came into the year with,” Gutman said, “We have a special group and this is one trophy, but we want two more so it’s not done yet.”