When the draw for the NCAA Men’s Soccer Tournament came out it seemed as if the Hoosiers got the shaft a bit. Sure, they received the fifth national seed in the competition, but at the same time Kentucky was looming as their first opponent.
The same Kentucky team that sat as high as No. 5 in the Top Drawer Soccer rankings earlier this season and also visited Bill Armstrong Stadium in October, playing the Hoosiers to a tough 0-0 double-overtime draw.
It would have been reasonable to expect another low-scoring affair that would have the Hoosier faithful tearing their hair out, but the Hoosier attack came to life. More specifically, Victor Bezerra got hot.
The freshman found a beautiful ball into the box from A.J. Palazzolo in the 20th minute, took a touch and fired a shot past the Kentucky keeper to get the Hoosiers on the board
As if that wasn’t enough considering IU’s stout defense Bezerra did it again just 10 minutes later, this time redirecting a ball from Simon Waever into the back of the net for a brace.
Then, in the 62nd minute, Bezerra hit the coup de grâce, the cherry on top of the win, the chef’s kiss to close out what is likely his greatest performance in the cream and crimson to this point.
LOOK AT THAT ROCKET! The confidence to launch that shot from outside the box through traffic isn’t something that you typically see in a freshman, but he did it!
The win is a statement to the rest of the teams in IU’s regional—watch out. It’s also one that should be remembered now and forever as The Victor Bezerra Game. A true freshman took on the Cayuts in the NCAA Tournament and absolutely destroyed them. That alone should be enough to etch his name in Hoosier lore for years to come.