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Indiana rallies with late-game heroics from more newcomers

Herbert Endeley corrals the ball during Friday’s 3-1 win over Wisconsin in Bloomington. (Bailey Wright/HN)

There’s been no shortage of late-game heroics for Indiana so far in the 2019 campaign. 

With three golden goals and five overtime games, it’s no secret that the Hoosiers shine brightest in the most intense moments. 

So naturally, Friday night’s conference opener against Wisconsin would be no different. 

For once, IU wouldn’t need overtime, as a 79th-minute header from redshirt freshman Daniel Munie and a 90th-minute strike from freshman Maouloune Goumballe gave IU a 3-1 victory over Wisconsin on head coach Todd Yeagley’s 47th birthday. 

“Three points in the Big Ten, no matter where they come or how they come, are important,” Yeagley said. “I’m excited to start off on the right foot.”

From the opening kick, Indiana dominated every facet of the game. Wisconsin only mustered three shots and just one shot on goal in a defensive effort that closely resembled the performances of Hoosier teams past. 

In the first half, IU held 57 percent of the possession and put four shots on goal. The ball seemingly never the Wisconsin half as IU struck early in the game.

Freshman forward Herbert Endeley earned his first start of the season with junior forward Ian Black sidelined with injury. Endeley’s speed and ability to break down the flank makes him a versatile member of Yeagley’s Starting XI. 

He welcomed himself to the show early Friday night, driving into the box and earning a penalty kick after a Wisconsin foul.

A fellow freshman, forward Victor Bezerra, executed from the spot and gifted the Hoosiers a 1-0 lead in the 10th minute. 

“I’m grateful for my teammates for allowing me to take the penalty,” Bezerra said. “I was confident. I know I can hit penalties. Thankfully I was just able to execute it perfectly.”

It was the first time that IU had led the entire season. Each of IU’s victories came in overtime and it never led in either of the two draws. It was a change of pace for a team that had become so accustomed to forcing the attack for the majority of the game.

With a 1-0 lead, IU was gifted the ability to sit back and manage the game, flustering a Wisconsin team that was already without talented forwards in sophomores Andrew Akindele and Noah Melick.

“Wisconsin always felt like they had a goal in them if they stayed patient and didn’t give two away,” Yeagley said. “I felt like at 1-0, I wanted more. To our guys credit, they didn’t get rattled going up one. They made the plays they needed to.

Even with a dominating opening 60 minutes, IU seemingly finds a way to make games interesting. Wisconsin’s only shot on goal the entire game was perfectly executed. A cross into the box led to a header to the right post by Badger midfielder Matthew Comiskey on his first touch of the game to bring Wisconsin level in the 77th minute. 

However, that goal never threw Indiana off. Munie watched as some of the older IU players including sophomore defender Jack Maher and redshirt junior defender A.J. Palazzolo reiterated to the team to just keep pushing forward.

It took the Hoosiers just two minutes to equalize as Munie took a header off a corner to put IU in front for good in the conference opener. 

Goumballe added another first career goal with a race down the right flank in the game’s winding seconds to secure IU’s first conference win and its first regulation win on the young season. 

The goal with just 11 seconds left nearly brought the entire bench onto the field and left a smile on Yeagley’s face.

“I asked for a win tonight,” Yeagley joked after the game. “I wasn’t selfish and didn’t say no overtime. I would’ve been fine if we won in overtime, but it was nice to get a regulation win on my birthday.”

After having a week off, IU is now two games through a stretch of three very quality opponents. 

Up next for Indiana is a trip to the Sellick Bowl against Butler, a game that always seems to have some late-game moments. 

One Comment

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