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No. 8 Hoosiers win back-to-back games

IU has responded well to its first loss of the season, taking down Sacramento State and Northwestern

Hoosiers (L to R) A.J. Palazzolo, Jack Maher and Aidan Morris celebrate a goal against UCLA.
Auston Matricardi

Just over a week ago the IU men’s soccer team traveled to Butler and lost. That wasn’t a great loss, but it was certainly something that the Hoosiers could recover from. They’ve begun to do just that, winning their last two games.

On Friday IU took down Sacramento State 1-0. The difference in the match was a goal from Joshua Penn in the 75th minute. The finish was great — it was a nice, strong strike to the bottom corner of the net — but the more impressive part of the sequence was the way the goal was set up. In the video watch the way left back Spencer Glass sees Maouloune Goumballe making a forward run and curls the ball so it meets him on the opposite side of the defender without ever being in significant danger of being intercepted. After that watch the way Goumballe shields the ball from the defender while finding a teammate and making a perfect entry pass into the middle of the box.

Passing like that deserves and Italian chef’s kiss.

On Tuesday the Hoosiers hit the road to take on the Northwestern Wildcats. Once again Goumballe was one of the key cogs. This time, however, the freshman was the one scoring the goal rather than the one setting it up. In the 37th minute he bagged his second goal of the season unassisted.

The Wildcats weren’t done. They answered in the 40th minute as Ugo Achara Jr. bagged his second goal of the season, matching Goumballe to make the score 1-1 heading into the locker room.

The second half was all about the Hoosiers. In the 58th minute they were threatening to score again and they came through in an unconventional way. Joshua Penn sent a cross to the far post from the left side of the box only for a Northwestern defender to accidentally deflect it into his own goal and putting the Hoosiers up 2-1.

In the 66th minute IU struck again. This time it was Goumballe setting up fellow freshman Aidan Morris for a goal with a nice pass in the box. It was the first career goal for the defensive midfielder.

Another important note from the Northwestern match was that it was the collegiate debut of goalkeeper Roman Celentano. He replaced Sean Caulfield in the lineup and made a pair of saves while allowing one goal.

With the wins the Hoosiers now sit at 6-1-2 on the season and 2-0-0 in the Big Ten. They’ve won their last 10 regular season conference matches and are undefeated through their last 30 regular season conference matches (21-0-9).

The Hoosiers will return to the pitch on Sunday when they travel to State College for a matchup with the Penn State Nittany Lions.