One of IU’s greatest rivalries was renewed on Wednesday night as the Hoosiers hosted the No.16 Kentucky Wildcats at Bill Armstrong Stadium.
The match was a thriller as each team found a few chances at goal but ultimately neither team could find the back of the net as it ended in a 0-0 draw after 110 minutes. The Wildcats got off 14 shots in the match with four of them going on goal. The Hoosiers were just a bit behind with 12 shots overall and two on goal.
With the draw, the Hoosiers’ record now sits at 7-1-3 on the season. They’ve gone unbeaten in their last four matches.
1. Herbert Endeley
The true freshman was the most potent offensive threat for the Hoosiers in this one. He made runs up the right wing throughout the first half and was able to find a few through balls into the final third that allowed him to create chances. He moved around a bit more in the second half, playing through the middle as either an attacking midfielder or a striker. He wound up taking four shots though none of them were on goal. He also came close to capitalizing on a few counterattack opportunities, but Kentucky was quick to shut them down.
2. Backline Play
As you would expect in a scoreless tie the defense was solid on both ends, particularly through the middle of the pitch. Both teams allowed runs on the wings which is where a majority of the teams’ scoring opportunities came from, but the center backs were rather good. For IU it was Jack Maher and Daniel Munie who started and played in those roles for much of the match. They were able to handle practically whatever Kentucky threw at them, shutting down counters, stepping in front of runners and intercepting passes or making tackles to regain possession for the Hoosiers. The duo was also rather proactive for the team in attack. Throughout the match they each were not only able to provide solid support for teammates in need of an outlet for a backpass, but also aggressive enough to play some long balls forward into the attacking third. They weren’t always successful, but they did provide a different element to the Hoosier attack that we haven’t always seen in recent years.
IU’s full-backs were solid as well. Spencer Glass and Simon Waever were more impactful in attack than defense. They each had moments where it looked as if they might have a hand in breaking the tie as Glass played a beautiful cross to the near post from his spot on the left wing. A.J. Palazzolo was in the neighborhood but couldn’t nod it into the back of the net. Waever flew up the right wing late in regulation and ripped a shot that curled high, left and ultimately away from the goal.
3. No Place Like Home
This marks the 32nd consecutive home match in which the Hoosiers haven’t been defeated. They’ve either won or tied every match they’ve played at Bill Armstrong Stadium since their 2016 NCAA Tournament loss to Virginia Tech. IU brags about having one of the strongest home-field advantages in the nation and they’ve continued to back that up.
This match almost wraps up IU’s non-conference slate for the season as they have just one match left. That means it’ll be nearly all Big Ten matches through the rest of the regular season. Up next for the Hoosiers is a date with the Michigan Wolverines on Sunday in Bloomington. It should be a good one as Michigan has one of the stronger programs in the conference. The Wolverines sit at 6-2-3 on the season and they’re undefeated in the conference with a 2-0-2 record. That’ll be televised nationally on ESPNU at 3 p.m. if you’re interesting in watching.