No. 2 Indiana dropped its first points of the season Sunday afternoon as it played to a scoreless draw against Seattle in South Bend at the Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament. It was a defensive struggle with 35 combined fouls. Seattle had five yellow cards and a straight red card. Here are three takeaways from IU’s contest with Seattle.
Offense struggles, again
It has been a constant theme this season. Once again, IU struggled to get any action in the box and failed to make any real chances. The Hoosiers had eight shots during the game, but just one went on target. Two of IU’s forwards, juniors Ian Black and Thomas Warr didn’t get a single shot off in a combined 140 minutes. This is something that can’t continue as the season progresses. The defenses will get stronger and IU’s offensive possessions will be even more important. The Hoosiers have a plethora of options they can go with. If some of IU’s forwards can get hot, like Black did Friday, IU’s offense will be fine going forward.
Defense gets first shutout
Sophomore defender Jack Maher hasn’t been shy about his displeasure with not getting shutouts on the opening weekend of play. He calls it a staple of Indiana soccer. Well on Sunday, IU got its first shutout of the season. IU’s defense and fifth-year senior Sean Caulfield staved off 11 shots and three shots on goal. In the opening part of the season, IU has found itself on the back foot on a lot of breakaways. But on Sunday, IU proved how dominant its backline can be. Going forward, IU will see a long run of tough competition and will the defense to be as good it was against Seattle.
Tough schedule ahead
Like I said before, IU’s schedule only gets tougher after this. The Hoosiers have a little over a week before Notre Dame comes to town in what will likely be a top-15 matchup. Following that, IU will host Wisconsin in the Big Ten opener and then head to Indianapolis to face Butler the next week. IU has a lot of good chances to boost the non-conference RPI in the following weeks but will need to clean up the offensive struggles and continue to play stout defense.