It took Indiana 26 shots and 84 minutes, but a win is a win and three points are three points. Trevor Swartz saved the day in the 84th minute and the Hoosiers were victorious at Rutgers.
Rafael Pereira put on an absolute clinic in goal for the Scarlet Knights, but the pressure IU put on Pereira’s net made you think the dam was going to break sooner rather than later.
The three points puts IU on the brink of a Big Ten title heading into Wednesday’s match at Ohio State.
Without further adieu, the three takeaways from the match.
Swartz saves the day
The Hoosiers had to have it. They had a season high in shots with 26 and Pereira was making miraculous saves throughout the match. But Swartz, came up clutch and gave IU it’s game winner with his first goal of the season.
— Indiana Men’s Soccer (@IndianaMSOC) October 20, 2018
Swartz has been known as a facilitator all season long, but Friday he gave IU the goal it had to have.
A lot of chances… not a lot of finishes
The Hoosiers out-shot the Scarlet Knights 12-3 in the first half. Overall, the Hoosiers out-shot the Scarlet Knights 26-7. There was plenty of one way traffic in IU’s favor, but still couldn’t find the back of the net. Andrew Gutman, Justin Rennicks and Jack Maher, among others, nearly found the back of the net. It was a mix of close chances and good defense to keep the Hoosiers quiet in the first 45.
Eventually the Hoosiers figured it out, but as the games get more physical and the opponents get tougher, scoring goals will also get more difficult. Indiana needs to find that consistent goalscorer. It may be satisfactory to get through a regular season with scoring by committee, but in the NCAA Tournament, it’s always nice to have a main talisman to lean on.
B1G matches = important matches
It’s been harped on all season long how important Big Ten matches are for the Hoosiers. They know the weight of each match and how they directly correlate with putting them in positions to win trophies. The fact that Indiana still hasn’t lost a Big Ten match since 2015 is very telling and shows how seriously they take these matches.
Now with two matches left, the Hoosiers still control their own destiny. They can clinch at least a share of the regular season title Wednesday at Ohio State. But earning a solo title will be very important for the Hoosiers comes Sunday at home vs. Michigan State.