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'I thought we were the better team tonight': Indiana gives Notre Dame everything it can handle in 1-1 draw

Indiana freshman midfielder Aidan Morris waited with the ball under his foot early in the second half. 

He motioned at the defender to come play the ball. Almost as if he was telling the defender, “bring it on.”

Morris has embodied IU’s mantra of never backing down from a challenge. IU always plays a tough schedule and gives everyone it plays a fight. 

Naturally, No. 16 Notre Dame got all it could handle from No. 4 Indiana on Tuesday night in an in-state derby where you can expect anything. From the get-go, IU threw everything it had at Notre Dame, firing 25 shots, including eight on goal through 110 minutes in a match that ended in a 1-1 draw. 

“We grew as a team tonight, I thought we played really well,” redshirt junior midfielder A.J. Palazzolo said. “But it feels like a loss. We expect to win every game and when we dominate with shots like that, it’s tough coming out of here without a win.”

AJ Palazzolo looks on during Indiana's 1-1 draw with No. 10 Notre Dame. (Ross Abdellah/HN)

Matches between these two squads are always intense. The Hoosiers bested Notre Dame twice last year. In the regular season, it was a golden goal from Justin Rennicks to hand IU the victory. In the NCAA Tournament quarterfinal, it was an Austin Panchot header that sent the Hoosiers to the College Cup. 

But Tuesday night, IU couldn’t quite find that difference maker, that standout moment you come to expect in a rivalry match.

“I was disappointed not to get the result considering what we created,” IU head coach Todd Yeagley said. “I thought we controlled the game pretty much from the onset. I didn’t think they were as threatening as they had been. It’s a disappointing locker room because you feel like you did enough to win the game.”

For the fourth time this season, the Hoosiers had to play from behind after conceding the opening goal to Notre Dame’s Ben Giacobello in the 40th minute.

Notre Dame moved the ball onto the left flank before Mohamed Omar sent a cross into the box that caused IU fifth-year senior goalkeeper Sean Caulfield to panic. Giacobello easily finished the ball into the net to give the Irish the lead. 

Twelve IU players recorded a shot during the match. As has been the case most of the season, IU got a much-needed boost from one of its freshmen forwards. 

Herbert Endeley didn’t start the match, but his speed proved to be a matchup down the right flank. He and senior defender Simon Waever combined to create some problems in open space. 

IU got the equaliser it needed from Endeley in the 66th minute when Waever played a ball onto the freshman who headed it into the bottom right corner of the net.

“It was a pretty good goal and a great ball,” Endeley said. “I made sure to thank him after that one.”

But that was the only time IU would celebrate a goal. It was a night where IU was good on the offensive attack, but not good enough in finishing its chances. 

The Hoosiers had 13 corner kicks and had 13 shots in the second half when they really turned up the attack, but IU could never quite get over the hump. 

Notre Dame’s defense, which had been a big question mark through four games, was solid while playing on its back foot. Notre Dame’s 6-foot-7 goalkeeper Duncan Turnbull made six saves and never really gave a fair chance to IU on its set pieces. 

“Without question, I thought we were the better team tonight,” Yeagley said. “Not just statistically, but of flow, territory and quality chances. I thought we really controlled the tempo.”

Yeagley compared his team’s performance to the likes of Groundhog Day. For the fourth time this season, IU went down early, but battled back to force overtime. It was the fifth consecutive overtime match that IU has played. However, it was a match where IU never grabbed a chance that the Irish gave it. 

The yearly derby is always a must-see matchup early in the season, and IU was prepared from the start, showing it was one of the premier teams in the nation. 

Almost as if it motioned to Notre Dame and the rest of the country, “bring it on.”


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