Hoosier fans better buckle up. After a 1-0 win over No. 14 Michigan on Sunday IU is in the driver’s seat on the road to a Big Ten regular season championship.
The top of the table contest opened with a back and forth first half, neither team able to gain an edge before heading to halftime with a scoreless draw.
In the 56th minute the Hoosiers (10-2, 4-0 Big Ten) finally opened the scoring. Sophomore Griffin Dorsey made a run up the middle of the pitch before playing the ball to Rece Buckmaster on the right side. The senior defender beat the Michigan (8-2-1, 3-1-1 Big Ten) keeper with his right foot to give IU a 1-0 lead.
Following the goal the Wolverines pushed for an equalizer. Over the remainder of the game they took 6 shots, but couldn’t match IU.
With the win the Hoosiers vault to the top spot in the conference standings. As the only team remaining without a Big Ten loss IU controls their own destiny and as long as they keep winning they’ll continue to do so, which is important for this team. After barely missing out on a Big Ten regular season title in 2017 the Hoosiers don’t want to rely on anybody else to help them down the road, they’d rather just do it themselves.
The win also adds to IU’s postseason resume. This is their fifth win of the season against a ranked opponent, they’ve also defeated North Carolina, Dartmouth, UConn, and Notre Dame. These wins could be huge when it comes NCAA Tournament time, they could help Indiana get a more favorable set-up for a College Cup run.
Now the Hoosiers will head down the home stretch. They have five regular season games remaining, four against Big Ten opponents. IU should be able to take care of business against Maryland and bottom of the table foes like rutger and Ohio State, but the final game of the season could be a huge one. Todd Yeagley’s squad will host No. 13 Michigan State in a rematch of last year’s national quarterfinal matchup that ended on penalty kicks and sent IU to the College Cup. The stakes won’t be quite as high this time around, but there could be important Big Ten implications in the balance.
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves though. Before any of that comes into play the Hoosiers need to get a result against Maryland on Friday night when the Terps come to Bloomington.