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Indiana men’s soccer dominates in NCAA Tournament opener

Indiana celebrates after Spencer Glass’ goal in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Hoosiers took down UCONN 4-0 behind four goals from four different players (Mark Timko/HN)

With the Hoosiers playing their first NCAA Tournament game since last year’s heartbreaking loss in the national championship, they weren’t looking to leave any doubts.

With that sour taste still in their mouths, they turned in an unrelenting effort from the Hoosiers. That unrelenting mentality seems like a good one to have when trying to make a trip back to the College Cup. It’s also been a goal to not just reach the College Cup, but come home with the hardware in the end.

On the heels of a Big Ten Tournament title last Sunday, the Hoosiers picked up right where they left off. Indiana moved onto the third round of the NCAA Tournament with a 4-0 drubbing of the UConn Huskies.

“These back to back games going back to Michigan at Grand Park,” IU head coach Todd Yeagley said. “We’ve had better 20 minute segments in different games but if you look at the 90 minutes it’s been pretty comprehensive, I’ve been pretty proud and of course you want that at this time of the year.”

Within 20 minutes, the Hoosiers already held a 2-0 advantage and it was complete domination. They had already racked up multiple corner kicks and hadn’t allowed UConn a shot yet. Of course it had to be Andrew Gutman to score the first goal and just minutes later it was Griffin Dorsey with the second.

But just because Indiana scored those two early goals, didn’t mean they were done. Two more goals in the second half by Timmy Mehl and Spencer Glass continued the drubbing. There didn’t seem to be much of a threat from the Huskies, a team that held the Hoosiers to just one goal in their previous meeting back in early September.

“We talked about getting a third without opening ourselves up,” Yeagley said. “We thought the third would really be a tough one for them to deal with and when we got that, that was huge.”

As the Hoosiers move into the Round of 16, another drubbing is unlikely, but definitely not out of the question. When Indiana is playing at the top of their game, there are few teams better in the entire country. And that unrelenting attitude is dangerous for opponents.

It’s no secret, however, that every single player on that field wants to put that ninth star on the crest at seasons end. The Hoosiers know they still have a long way to get there. But there’s something to be said about Indiana’s unrelenting pressure on Sunday along with what they want to do this season. Anything they can do to get that trophy, they seem capable of doing.

Whether it’s winning in penalty kicks, scoring multiple goals, or playing stout defense, it seems like there is nothing this team can’t do.

“With a team as good as UCONN and having them early on in the season where they held us just to 1-0 and just coming out in the first round of the tournament and being able to have that kind of performance through and through,” Glass said. “It just shows how good we are and have good momentum for the next game.”

With campus empty of students for Thanksgiving break, the Hoosiers are quite happy to still be in Bloomington preparing for another match come Sunday. Whether the opponent is Air Force or Denver may not matter for Indiana. If they play the type of unrelenting soccer we saw Sunday, this team will be hard to beat.

“Winning 4-0, I think that sends a message to the country that we’re in great form,” Gutman said. “We’re finishing off plays and you know, you don’t want to be a team in our way right now.”

Josh Eastern

I am a senior from Seattle, Washington majoring in Media. I am formerly of the Indiana Daily Student where I covered Indiana men’s soccer team and women’s basketball. You still can find me broadcasting for WIUX Student Radio and on BTN Student U outside of The Hoosier Network. Former intern at 710 ESPN Seattle and broadcaster for the Falmouth Commodores. Email: jeastern@thehoosiernetwork.com. Follow me on Twitter: @JoshEastern.

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