Another weekend of soccer is down and the Hoosiers remain mostly unscathed. In two games in South Bend IU went 1-0-1, taking down then-No. 14 Denver 2-1 and playing to a draw with Seattle.
The first match against Denver followed a similar pattern to the previous weekend’s exploits for Indiana. The Pioneers took a lead in the sixth minute with a goal off of a corner kick and suddenly the Hoosiers were playing catch-up.
Rather than waiting until the second half to even up the score the Hoosiers got it done before the half. In the 28th minute IU won a penalty kick and Ian Black cashed in on the opportunity. The junior scored his second goal of the season, taking the team lead and tying up the game.
In the 49th minute Denver shot itself in the foot, picking up a red card and having to play a man down for the remainder of the contest.
The Hoosiers couldn’t take advantage of that during regulation, but in the first extra-time period they put away the Pioneers. Once again it was Black as he bagged the golden goal off of an assist from Joe Schmidt to get the win.
The second match of the weekend wasn’t quite as exciting. Neither team was able to get on the scoreboard despite having opportunities. The Redhawks ended the match with 11 shots, three of which were on goal. The Hoosiers had eight shots with just one on goal and six of them came in the second half. That lone opportunity that was on target for the Hoosiers came from freshman Victor Bezerra, who had his shot saved in the 74th minute.
The results leave the Hoosiers at 3-0-1 on the season thus far.
1. Black is Ballin’
Black was the breakout star of the Spring season, as he led the team in goals and looked like he could be a big contributor for the team moving forward. That’s translated to success this Fall.
He had a big goal for the Hoosiers last week and in picking up a brace against Denver he landed himself on the Mike Berticelli Memorial All-Tournament Team. He currently leads the Hoosiers with three goals on the season, the only member of the squad to have more than one at this point in the season. He also has an assist.
Watch to see if his star will continue to rise throughout the remainder of the season. He’s been an important piece for IU so far.
2. Between the Posts
Replacing Trey Muse was never going to be an easy job and we’ve seen a few more goals early in the season than we have in the past, but Sean Caulfield has done rather well so far this season all things considered. He was the hero of the Seattle game, making a trio of saves including two in the second overtime period that allowed the Hoosiers to keep the draw. Like Black, he also joined Schmidt on the All-Tournament Team because of his performance.
The Seattle game marked his first shutout of the season. Keeping a donut on the scoreboard has been a key part of the identity of IU’s teams in recent years, so it’ll be interesting to see if he and the defense can keep that momentum going as the season heats up.
3. Over(and over)time
This team must really love playing soccer. So much so that they refuse to wrap up a game in regulation. The Hoosiers have played four games now, each one going to at least one overtime period before being resolved if not two.
IU undoubtedly wants to break that trend, after all those are extra miles on their legs early in the season and at this pace they’ll add up as the season wears on. Obviously it’s worked out fine for the Hoosiers so far considering that they remain unbeaten.
One of the marquee matchups of the season is up next on the docket for the Hoosiers. On Tuesday, Sept. 17 they’ll host No. 10 Notre Dame in what will assuredly be one of the biggest games in the country as IU is now a consensus top-five team in the nation. That game will be at Bill Armstrong Stadium, so if you’re looking for an opportunity to get out to see the team this just might be the one. It’ll also be on BTN, not BTN+, actual BTN, so if you can’t get out to the stadium you can always watch at home.