This is it, the big one. On Tuesday night Todd Yeagley’s squad will head up to South Bend to take on No. 8 Notre Dame in a top 10 matchup with in-state bragging rights on the line.
The Hoosiers (4-1) come into this one riding a four game winning streak that’s propelled them back to the No. 2 national ranking that they held in the preseason. In their last game they dismantled VCU’s defense (insert link) to pick up a 5-0 victory.
The Fighting Irish (3-0-1, 1-0- ACC) have yet to be defeated in 2018, with their lone draw coming against Saint Louis last month, but IU will be their toughest test yet. They’re coming off a 3-2 road win against Syracuse on Friday.
Notre Dame has been among the better attacking teams in the country so far this season, and scoring nine goals total and at least two goals in every game except for the draw with Saint Louis.
They’ll have to compete with a prolific IU defense led by seniors Andrew Gutman and Timmy Mehl that has allowed just two goals total all season, both in their loss to No. 1 Wake Forest. Since they the Hoosiers have played 360 straight minutes of shutout soccer.
Patrick Berneski will be the player to watch for the Irish. The senior center back and team captain has scored four goals for them this season, all off of set pieces which are a big part of the Notre Dame attack. He was also named the Most Outstanding Player of the Adidas/IU Credit Union Classic when the Irish traveled to Bloomington to play UConn and Dartmouth.
The man taking those set pieces will be just as important as the man finishing them. Senior full back Felicien Dumas has four assists and a goal thus far as a set piece specialist for the Irish, with three of those assists being to Berneski.
IU’s lineup features one of the best players in the nation in Gutman, but it could be their depth that helps them pull this one out. So far this season the Hoosiers have gotten goals from seven different players which means they won’t have to rely on just one player to lead the way in attack.
The Hoosiers will once again have to deal with the absence of Griffin Dorsey. The IU attack seemed to fare well without him against VCU, but Notre Dame is a tougher opponent and he could be missed as he’s in Florida with the US U-20 National Team.
The match kicks off at 7 p.m. on ACC Network Extra.