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Second ranked Hoosiers head to Kentucky

Star full back Andrew Gutman is expected to return to the lineup for a primetime matchup in Lexington

Andrew Gutman leads IU with six goals and should be a key player in tonight's matchup with No. 4 Kentucky.
Auston Matricardi

After several premier matchups early in the season, No. 2 Indiana faces another one tonight when they play No. 4 Kentucky on the road.

The Hoosiers (9-1, 3-0 Big Ten) are riding a nine-game winning streak into this one, most recently dominating Penn State at Bill Armstrong Stadium. Kentucky (8-0-1, 3-0 SEC) has yet to be defeated this season, they’ve won four straight after playing to a scoreless draw against Xavier. Their most notable result of the season is a 3-0 win over No. 6 Louisville in Lexington last month.

“Kentucky’s undefeated, they’re playing really well, they have a really good homefield setup there with their fans,” coach Todd Yeagley said, “I told the guys it’s gonna be exciting to come in there and have some fun on Wednesday.”

Hoosier fans will want to watch out for the starting g lineup leading up to this one. Star senior Andrew Gutman didn’t play in Sunday’s match after taking a spill against Northwestern, but should be ready to go for this rivalry match. His status either way will be huge for the Hoosiers, as he’s one of the most impactful players in the country both offensively and defensively and seemed to be chomping at the bit to get into the Penn State game.

On the flip side one player to watch for the Wildcats is JJ Williams. Standing at 6’4” the junior forward has been a troublemaker for opposing back lines all season thanks to his size and strength. He currently leads Kentucky with seven goals on 36 shots and also has a pair of assists to his name. Hoosier centre backs Timmy Mehl and Jack Maher should be tasked with limiting his chances on set pieces.

Despite potent offensive players on both sides this could be a defensive struggle. Indiana and Kentucky are both among the best defensive teams in the country, with the Wildcats allowing just three goals on the season and the Hoosiers allowing five. Kentucky keeper Enrique Facusse has seven clean sheets since the start of the 2018 campaign and his IU counterpart Trey Muse has four.

The Hoosiers have dominated this series historically, but the Wildcats are no joke this time around. This is yet another big game for IU in a high pressure environment.

“This team wants that,” Yeagley said, “The bigger the game, the bigger the atmosphere, the more they’re ready to play.”

Quick Facts:

• Indiana leads the all-time series with Kentucky 25-1-3.

• The Hoosiers have won four-straight matches in the series and are undefeated in the last 20 games, posting a mark of 17-0-3.

• Indiana’s last loss to the Wildcats came on Sept. 10, 1995 in Bloomington.

• The Hoosiers have outscored UK 98-14 in the series.

• Indiana is 9-0-2 against Kentucky in Lexington all-time.

• Last year IU beat the Wildcats 2-0 in Bloomington behind goals from Timmy Mehl and Rashad Hyacenth.