Andrew Gutman came out of nowhere to score one of the most significant goals he’d ever record in a Hoosier uniform. In that sense, it was an uncharacteristic effort from the senior, because Andrew Gutman shaped a career out of making himself noticed on the field.
Not unlike most matches in the Big Ten, Indiana’s October 12th tilt against Maryland was tightly contested from opening kick. Little did any of us know at the time that it would be the first of three matches between the two sides in 2018, quickly developing one of the strongest rivalries with two of the strongest programs in the country.
In the 32nd minute, Gutman locked up his seventh goal of the season, a header off Austin Panchot’s set piece to give IU the fast start. The 1-0 lead held into the second half until the Terps’ Paul Bin, who returns as a senior this fall and figures to be one of Maryland’s top scoring threats on the wing, knotted it up at one apiece. From there, it felt like Bin and the Terrapins might be able to escape Bloomington with at least a point, as Maryland continued to press deep into the second half.
They couldn’t sustain that press quite long enough.
With 18 seconds remaining in regulation, Gutman yet again demonstrated why he’d be plenty deserving of being named the nation’s best college soccer player when the year finally came to its close. Senior Frankie Moore sent forward a ball to Rece Buckmaster, who with tremendous poise crossed it right into the feet of Gutman, quietly positioned on the near wing, tapping it in near the left post, and sealing Indiana a thrilling 2-1 win. Maryland goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair barely even had time to react.
INDIANA GOAL | @_andrewgutman puts away the game winner in the 90th minute to notch a brace and beat Maryland 2-1.
Hoosiers move to 11-2 overall and 5-0 in the Big Ten. #iums pic.twitter.com/bUJEJ85kqz
— The Hoosier Network (@TheHoosierNet) October 13, 2018
It was a career defining moment for one of the best to ever grace Jerry Yeagley Field; not because of the numbers, or the athleticism, the recognition, or the accolades -- but because at that juncture, Gutman yet again took charge of his team. What Gutman did in the last seconds of regulation against Maryland wasn’t necessarily what his teammates couldn’t do, but it certainly was what leaders of men are supposed to do in those moments.
"I've been here four years and this team has a totally different mentality," he said that night after the win. "Everyone on the field is a winner. Now we just have this extra little bite to us."
What is so remarkable about Andrew Gutman -- and all great leaders, for that matter -- is his ability to do the things that can’t be articulated in numbers or on paper. The scoring, special honors, and success are all part of the end result, but above all, it was Gutman’s sheer presence on the pitch that always compelled his teammates around him to feel and perform differently (and the opposing side, too).
It’s more than deserving of a spot in The Hoosier Network’s top 10. The win helped IU move to a 5-0 record in conference play, for the first time since 2002. For the first time in nearly 14 years, Indiana was finally able to best the Terps; thanks to Gutman’s efforts, and the way the teams battled in two additional matches which followed later in the year, Indiana has a new rival in the Big Ten for years to come.
Andrew Gutman exemplified the exact type of player Todd Yeagley and his father before him have recruited to Bloomington for decades.
At the beginning of the month, it was announced that FC Cincinnati have added Gutman on loan from Celtic in Scotland, where he’s been since graduation. He’ll only continue to perform, because for Gutman, nothing has changed.
Delighted to extend my contract with @CelticFC and complete a loan move to @fccincinnati Special thanks to my guy @RichardMotzkin for always having my back and making this happen. I’m excited to get started and looking forward to meeting everyone! https://t.co/gAkrZwu1rJ
— Andrew Gutman™️ (@_andrewgutman) August 3, 2019
The attention now turns back to Indiana in 2019, and how Yeagley goes about replacing 10 of 11 starters from a season ago. Surely there will be fresh faces, but the key additions of a couple transfers and some promising new kids on the block will keep Indiana competitive, because for IU, there isn’t another option.
Turnover is natural in all college programs. Andrew Gutman has come and gone, but it’ll only take time for the next crop of Indiana stars to emerge. What is most important is that Gutman played in an IU uniform at all. It sets a tone. It continues a tradition. It’s why Indiana Soccer will still open the season as the No. 2 team in the nation despite losing so much talent. It’s why Indiana will once again be appointment viewing this fall at Bill Armstrong Stadium.