“You don’t want to be a team in our way right now.”
A simple statement from IU senior Andrew Gutman, but one that teams around the country should pay attention to. On Sunday No. 2 Indiana took down UConn 4-0 behind an offensive explosion.
The Hoosiers got off to a quick start. In the first 15 minutes, they managed to assert their dominance with a flurry of shots and several corner kicks in their favor. Indiana finally broke through in the 17th minute. Trevor Swartz put a ball to the far post on a corner kick and Gutman nodded it in to open the scoring with his 11th goal of the season. They took the lead, but by no means was that the end for the Hoosier attack.
“Once we create a few good chances, we don’t stop,” Gutman said. “It gets better and better. We focus on finishing the match.”
That’s what they did. Just three minutes later the Hoosiers got another goal as Griffin Dorsey blasted home a short pass from Cory Thomas to make the score 2-0. That was their lead at the half, they also led 13-1 in shots and 8-0 in corner kicks—dominance.
They stayed aggressive coming out of the locker room, and it paid dividends. In the 58th minute, the Hoosiers got yet another corner kick. For the second time in the match, Swartz set up and sent a ball into the box. For the second time, Gutman found that ball with his head. This time though, the dynamic duo needed Timmy Mehl to tap the ball in to get the goal.
Just two minutes later the Hoosiers scored again. This time it was Spencer Glass finishing on a cross from Austin Panchot on the left side of the box.
On the defensive side Indiana was superb as always. Goalkeeper Trey Muse didn’t have to make a save until the 88th minute as the Hoosiers rung up their 13th shutout on the season.
One thing makes this win even more impressive—they did it without Justin Rennicks, one of the best attackers in the country. Rennicks, of course, is currently away with the US Youth National Team at the CONCACAF U-20 Championships.
This is what one might call a statement win. “I think just coming out with a team as good as UConn and having them earlier in the season where they held us to just 1-0, coming out in the first round of the tournament and being able to have that kind of performance through and through,” Glass said. “It just helps us show how good we are and have good momentum for the next game.”
Despite that, coach Todd Yeagley insisted that there was no intention of making a statement. “This group, after coming off last year, doesn’t feel like they have to show the nation what they’re capable of,” he said. “It was a really sound performance. There was not any intent to make a statement. If we wanted to do that, we could have gone for more.
Now it’s on the the round of 16 for Yeagley’s squad. They’ll host No. 20 Air Force next Sunday with a national semifinal berth against one of Notre Dame and Virginia on the line. The Falcons had better be ready to roll when they hit the field in Bloomington, because the Hoosiers might be playing their best soccer of the year.