WESTFIELD, Ind. — Senior midfielder Frankie Moore held the Big Ten Championship trophy high and proud while his teammates rejoiced.
The No. 2 Indiana Hoosiers had just completed the second of their three goals they set out to accomplish at the beginning of the season. The Hoosiers defeated Michigan 3-0 to win the Big Ten Tournament — the 13th in program history.
Sunday’s result embodied Indiana’s 2018 season — a 3-0 win behind team play and a clean sheet. Sophomore attacker Griffin Dorsey and senior midfielder Cory Thomas were a headache down the sidelines for the Michigan Wolverines, and IU’s midfield controlled possession for most of the 90 minutes. Sophomore goalkeeper Trey Muse earned his 12th clean sheet of the season in a game where the Hoosier back line didn’t give up many chances.
IU’s three goals came from different goal-scorers each time, too. The selflessness displayed throughout the season was once again put on display Sunday afternoon.
Thomas opened up the game in the seventh minute after senior midfielder Trevor Swartz fired a shot from the top of the box. The shot was blocked, then rebounded by Dorsey and fired at Michigan goalkeeper Henry Mashburn again. Mashburn was able to deflect Dorsey’s shot, but the ball then fell to Thomas, who tapped the ball into the back of the net.
Not even 10 minutes into the Big Ten Championship, and Indiana was already ahead of Michigan. The Hoosiers kept that lead going into the halftime break, and they extended it in the 73rd and 75th minutes courtesy of senior and sophomore midfielders Jeremiah Gutjahr and Spencer Glass.
When the final whistle blew, the Hoosiers were crowned Big Ten Champions — something they couldn’t claim at all last season.
All of 2018, Indiana had three goals to accomplish throughout the season. The Hoosiers wanted to win both Big Ten titles and the national championship. Now with two under their belt, only the last goal remains left to be completed.
“To make this run, and to win today against a good Michigan team, was fantastic,” IU Head Coach Todd Yeagley said. “I’m really proud of the two-for-two, but they know how hard it is to get back to that championship game. This is a confident group that’s really driven.”
Thomas was named the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Tournament and senior Andrew Gutman was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Tournament. Yet, neither seemed too interested in the awards they won. The only thing they wanted to win was the trophy they could hold with the rest of the team.
Thomas said winning titles as a team has been the best part of his season.
“It’s got to be the titles,” Thomas said. “We’ve got two and, honestly, we see it as a failure if we don’t win the next one.”
All year, the Hoosiers haven’t been content with anything they have accomplished thus far. After clinching the Big Ten regular season title, multiple players weren’t satisfied with it. Yeagley said the team has kept its sights on all three goals throughout the year, and they haven’t gotten sidetracked no matter the result of any match.
But now, the Hoosiers can enjoy what they have done so far. Yeagley had one message to the huddle of players surrounding the Big ten trophy after the match.
“Let’s enjoy this one,” Yeagley said.