Indiana did not overlook its opponent on Saturday night in Bloomington.
Division three Trine University traveled from Angola, Ind., to play only their second match ever against a Division one opponent. Struggling to contain IU’s offense, Trine fell 9-0.
The Hoosiers scored early and often. All-American striker Victor Bezerra and freshman Sam Sarver opened their accounts in the 9th and 10th minute, respectively. Then, the floodgates opened.
Dominant and superior for the full 90 minutes, Indiana netted eight goals throughout the opening 45 minutes. In fact, the time between IU’s 7th and 8th goals — Herbert Endeley and Sarver, respectively — spanned just 11 seconds, the second-shortest duration between goals in program history.
Following a grueling victory over Omaha last Wednesday, IU had two days to collect itself and prepare to face a seemingly outmatched opponent. Arguably the Hoosiers’ most important week of the season awaits, featuring conference meetings with Ohio State and Penn State.
Head coach Todd Yeagley thanked Trine for scheduling the game, calling it a “unique” opportunity to play an in-state non-conference opponent. More importantly, he told the IU players how they should approach it.
“The most important thing you can do is go out and get after this game,” Yeagley said.
And did they ever.
Bezerra blitzed Trine for two goals in just 25 minutes of action. Ditto, Sam Sarver, who recorded his first career brace in a half-worth of minutes. Daniel Munie, Joe Schmidt, Tommy Miahlic, Endeley and Ryan Wittenbrink also joined in on the scoring bonanza.
Prior to Saturday’s match, though, IU hadn’t held a lead larger than one goal at any point in the season. On Saturday night, there wasn’t any need for breath holding or nail biting.
The sizable first-half cushion granted IU an opportunity to showcase its youth, too. In total Indiana deployed 21 players, with Luka Boha, Andrew Goldsworthy, Isaac Sarosy, Trey Kapsalis, Bryant Pratt and Alex McGill each seeing action for the first time this season.
“To get so many guys in the game…these can pay dividends,” Yeagley said.
Freshman forward Sam Sarver had a career-high two goals and one assist to continue his impressive campaign. Victor Bezerra followed up his golden-goal against Omaha with two goals and an assist himself.
Two new faces were placed in the Starting XI: Lawson Redmon and Ben Yeagley made their first starts of the season. Leading 8-0 at the intermission, Yeagley used the second half to play more of the youth on his squad, getting them extended time they might not see in more competitive matches.
Yeagley said the final 10 minutes of the match were his favorite as he watched players that don’t often see game action finally come on as substitues.
“I loved the ending,” Yeagley said. “…I just kind of sat back and watched them enjoy that.”
Lawson Redmon stood out, starting in place of star left-back Spencer Glass who sat for rest. Redmon played all 90 minutes while giving Indiana a much needed spark.
“Lawson did a nice job…I was pleased with what [he] did,” Yeagley said. “I think it will really help us in these games ahead.”
While the week ahead presents challenges for Indiana, this is still a championship program. Yeagley and his players understand the importance of a comfortable win heading into a week of Big Ten matches.
Yeagley called the match a “building block” for the rest of the season.
If the joy IU played with Saturday night is maintained, that positive mindset should result in a productive end to their year.