At the beginning of the season IU seemingly had three big goals. To win the Big Ten regular season, to win the Big Ten Tournament, and to win the program’s ninth national championship.
They accomplished the first last month, so they’re on to the second goal and certainly haven’t had it easy so far.
The No. 2 Hoosiers seemingly dominated Northwestern in every facet of the match on Sunday afternoon, but still needed an overtime goal to move on in the Big Ten Tournament.
In the first half, Indiana led the Wildcats in both shots (13-0) and corner kicks (3-0). What did that do for them? Bubkes. At the half the two teams were tied 0-0 despite the large difference in opportunity.
That trend continued in the second half with Indiana outshooting Northwestern to no result until late in the match.
In the 80th minute Spencer Glass dribbled deep into the box before sending a low ball toward the middle of the field. The ball moved through traffic to find a streaking Rece Buckmaster who barely beat a defender to stick it in the back of the net.
”We had good chances,” Buckmaster said. “We knew something would come eventually, and it finally did. We had to keep going and going. We had to keep grinding.”
The excitement didn’t last long for the Hoosiers, as the Wildcats scored a stunner with just 1:24 left to play.
On the brink of elimination, Northwestern sent a long ball into the box from just across the midfield line. What happened after that? It’s probably better if you see it because I don’t know if words can do it justice, though IU coach Todd Yeagley said it was a “world-class finish”.
”Northwestern always gives us a tough time,” Glass said. “Having that happen, it shows you have to play a full 90 minutes. It was a great shot.”
In extra time it didn’t take the Hoosiers long to bounce back and take the win.
In the 97th minute Francesco Moore took on a pair of Northwestern defenders on the right side of the box. Moore’s initial attempt at a cross was blocked and a scramble for the loose ball ensued, ending up with Moore regaining possession on the goal line. The senior chipped the ball to the far post and Glass was there to nod it home for the golden goal.
The Hoosiers stretch their unbeaten streak against Big Ten opponents to 37 matches, their last loss coming on October 10, 2015 against Ohio State in Columbus. IU has also won seven matches in a row since losing to No. 3 Kentucky just over a month ago.
Todd Yeagley’s squad will also advance to the Big Ten Tournament semifinals for the sixth straight season, they’ll take on the Maryland Terrapins on Friday at 1:00 pm.