After a three-game road stint, Indiana will return to Bloomington to face the Northwestern Wildcats for the Hoosiers’ second Big Ten matchup of the season.
IU is currently riding a seven-game winning streak and is coming off a dominant 5-0 win over Evansville last Friday.
With Big Ten play resuming for IU, the competition will get tougher as the season goes along. Northwestern will be one of the early tests the conference has to offer.
Let’s dive in to this week’s edition of Tale of the Tape.
Wildcats Looking for First Big Ten Win
Northwestern is currently 0-1-1 in the Big Ten after losing to Maryland and drawing against Ohio State last week. The Wildcats struggled against Maryland — only getting two shots on target from starters and failing to control the majority of possession. Northwestern was outshot 20-4 against the Terps, and things will only get harder offensively against IU’s sound back line.
The matchup against Ohio State was much tighter than Northwestern’s first Big Ten game. Both teams only mustered up two shots on target each, and as the score line says, they both settled for a 0-0 draw in double overtime.
In the Midst of a Tough Stretch
Northwestern is currently in the middle of a rough stretch of soccer against quality opponents. The tough road started with their matchup against Maryland, and after traveling to Bloomington, the Wildcats will return home for a four-game home stand against Notre Dame, Michigan, Penn State and DePaul.
Indiana is catching Northwestern at the right time during this patch of games, and hosting the Wildcats at Bill Armstrong Stadium will bode well for a team who prides themselves on having a tough home crowd.
Jeremiah Gutjahr vs. Camden Buescher — Indiana has done well in dominating the midfield recently, and the game might be won in that same position Tuesday night. Gutjahr has been as consistent as anyone so far this season. One midfielder who has thrived this year for the Wildcats has been Camden Buescher.
Buescher can make you pay in many different ways whether it is his passing, vision or shot. It’s also hard to stay under the radar when your last goal makes it on SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays.
— Northwestern MSoccer (@NUMensSoccer) September 15, 2018
One to Watch
Ty Seager — Although he isn’t Northwestern’s leading goal-scorer, Seager is still a dangerous threat up top. He hasn’t scored in three games after scoring the winner against University of Missouri-Kansas City. Seager is a bit of a streaky scorer, so it will be tough for him to get on the scoresheet against the Hoosiers if he isn’t clinical.
— Northwestern MSoccer (@NUMensSoccer) September 10, 2018
IU is a team that doesn’t make too many mistakes along the back line, and it will be the best defense Seager has seen so far this season. Along with scoring goals, Seager has also dished out two assists this season so if he can’t get on the scoresheet, he will look to put up an assist.
This isn’t going to be a game like Evansville was last week. Northwestern doesn’t give up too many goals on a consistent basis, so IU will have to take advantage of any chances it has. That being said, Northwestern also isn’t the toughest team in the Big Ten either. They’re usually a team that doesn’t find much success on the road, and with the way Indiana is playing right now, it’s hard to bet against them at this point.