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Indiana’s offense continues to struggle with execution in 1-1 draw to Notre Dame

Overtime is the new standard for Indiana men’s soccer.

In five straight games to start the season, the Hoosiers have played in five overtime competitions. Tuesday night’s 1-1 draw after two overtime periods between No. 4 Indiana and No. 16 Notre Dame kept the theme going.

“I think we grew as a team tonight, I thought we played really well but it feels like a loss,” junior midfielder A.J. Palazzolo said.

The in-state rivalry between the Hoosiers and Fighting Irish is known for producing some close battles. Turn the page to just a season ago when Indiana won 2-1 in overtime and beat the Irish again 1-0 in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament.

Indiana’s Thomas Warr scored three goals in the preseason, but has yet to find the back of the net in the regular season. (Ross Abdellah/HN)

Despite the expectation of a close battle, this was a game Indiana let go through numerous missed opportunities, particularly on the attack.

Indiana put up a total of 25 shots with eight of them on goal. Notre Dame had eight shots for the entire game, three of them being on goal.

“To generate 25 shots against a good Notre Dame team is a very good positive,” Indiana head coach Todd Yeagley said. “It’s disappointing because you feel like you did enough to win the game.”

Out of all of those chances, Indiana could only muster a header in the 66th minute from freshman Herbert Endeley. Additionally, the Hoosiers had 13 corner kicks, none of which found the back of the net.

Capitalizing on its chances is something that has troubled Indiana’s offense thus far, especially early on in games. For the season, of Indiana’s eight total goals, only one has come in the first half.

Making the most of its early chances is something that Palazzolo and the team is wanting to change.

“It’s huge getting off to a better start,” Palazzolo said. “That’s something we’ll work on as the season goes on and I think that’ll come.”

Many of the scoring opportunities that fell flat for Indiana were prevented by Notre Dame senior goalkeeper Duncan Turnbull. The 6-foot-7 standout of a keeper kept the Hoosiers in check all night with six saves for the game.

“The keeper was very good,” Yeagley said of Turnbull’s performance. “His anticipation on a couple of our finishes were excellent.”

When looking to capitalize more on their opportunities and to turn the page offensively, more effective corner kicks could be the answer. The Hoosiers average a little under eight corners per game.

Yeagley drew attention to the 13 corners against Notre Dame and said he feels as if could be a strength for the offense and the team as whole as the season progresses.

“As the season grows, we’ll have a few more modifications to be able to look at what they’re giving us for the night,” Yeagley said. “The serves were a little off tonight where we were looking to go.”

Other than the offense, Indiana had everything else down pat against the Irish. The Hoosiers only accounted for four fouls, had no offsides penalties and senior goalkeeper Sean Caulfield made two saves.

Continuing a stout defensive effort as seen Tuesday against the Irish, with the offensive growth and potential Yeagley sees, could be how this Hoosier team takes the next step.

Through all of the comebacks and overtime contests, the younger squad has shown a lot of potential.

“To know that you’ve done it this many times so later in the season if it’s another big match I don’t think the group will be as rattled,” Yeagley said.

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