BILL ARMSTRONG STADIUM (IUSTV Sports) – On a brisk November evening at Bill Armstrong Stadium, the top-seeded Indiana men’s soccer took care of business defeating the pesky eighth-seeded Wisconsin Badgers, 2-1.
Much like Sunday’s match vs Rutgers, Indiana got off to a quick start offensively scoring in the 13th minute when Collins Oduro, who was recently named to the Big Ten All-Freshman team drew a foul near the end line on the near side of the pitch leading to a penalty kick for the Hoosiers. The call on the field went to replay review and after an elongated review, the call on the field stood and it was a penalty for IU.
It was then up to senior Joey Maher, who had already scored from the penalty spot a couple weeks ago against Ohio State.
“The VAR check was a little longer than I honestly wanted it to be,” Maher said. “The preparation is the same, just trying to block away all the other noise.”
Maher converted his second penalty kick of the season by out-guessing Wisconsin goalkeeper Nate Crockford to give the Hoosiers the early 1-0 victory.
Indiana was not nearly as dominant as they were in the first half of the September 15th match between the two teams in Bloomington as it was back and forth for the majority of the first half. Todd Yeagley’s squad limped into the half clinging onto a 1-0 at the break.
“We could have created a little bit more and been much more efficient,” said Indiana head coach Todd Yeagley. “It was a bit stagnant in the first 20 some minutes.”
In the first quarter hour of the second half, it seemed like the Hoosiers were bound to take over the game, especially when Sam Sarver drove down the sideline and found Maouloune Goumballe inside the six yard box for a tap in goal to double their lead.
The senior’s goal was his first against a Division I opponent this season after getting his first against Division III Trine last week.
“It really boosts confidence,” said Goumballe. “It’s good that I’m getting to this point in the season because that’s when it’s most important.”
For the next twenty minutes, the game was controlled by the Hoosiers until a header from all-Big Ten freshman team member Ryan Quintos found the top shelf of the netting, scoring his first collegiate soccer goal to cut the lead in half.
After the goal, Wisconsin spent the final fifteen minutes badgering the Indiana defense with three shots on goal, all of which Indiana keeper JT Harms kept in front of him.
“He won’t get rattled,” Yeagley said of his senior goalkeeper. “JT came up huge at the end.”
In the waning moments of the match, Crockford made his way into Indiana’s 18-yard box in search of a miracle to equalize, but were unable to convert and the Hoosiers survived the upset bid by a final score of 2-1.
Indiana advances to play for a spot in the championship match for the eleventh consecutive season when they host the fifth-seeded Michigan Wolverines, who beat Northwestern 1-0 in Evanston last night, at Yeagley Field.