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Sam Sarver prepares to attack during Indiana's loss to Michigan State on Sept. 22, 2023. (HN photo/Danielle Stockwell)
Sam Sarver prepares to attack during Indiana's loss to Michigan State on Sept. 22, 2023. (HN photo/Danielle Stockwell)

Indiana men’s soccer suffers third loss of the season versus Michigan State

The Hoosiers lost to the Spartans for the first time since 2014

Looking back at last season, the Hoosiers only lost three matches in the 2022 regular season. Through eight matches this year, the Hoosiers have already lost three times. 

It was Indiana’s first Big Ten road test of the season against the No. 22 Spartans. The Hoosiers lost 2-1 in a match that was very back and forth.

The Spartans kept their undefeated season alive as they moved to 5-0-2 on the year as the Hoosiers fell to a record of 3-3-2. MSU had a five-day break after its draw against Rutgers, while Indiana was coming off a hard-earned 1-0 victory versus Butler on Tuesday. Friday’s loss was IU’s first to Michigan State since 2014.

Indiana and Michigan State both saw many opportunities to put the ball in the back of the net as both squads totaled 13 shots a piece. It was only the 15th minute when the Hoosiers struggled to clear the ball out from the back when MSU freshman Richie Ludwig found it, took a touch and hit a laser in the bottom-left corner to put the Spartans up 1-0.

It was only five minutes after Ludwig’s goal that Indiana would find an equalizer. Junior Sam Sarver got a hold of a beautiful ball over top by Patrick McDonald and fired it past Zac Kelly to even the match at one apiece. Who else other than Sarver? That was Sarver’s third goal of his junior campaign.

After the first 45 minutes of play Indiana seemed to have some momentum the rest of the half after Sarver’s goal. Hugo Bacharach, who did not play in the past two matches, showed moments of on-ball brilliance as he shifted through the midfield of the Spartans multiple times. Both teams showed flashes but it was 1-1 at the break.

Early in the second half of action, MSU seemed to have the momentum and was pushing to add another goal. Ludwig was looking for his second goal of the match but pushed it wide in the 48th minute. In the 60th and 62nd minutes, the Hoosiers’ two center backs, Bacharach and Joey Maher, were booked with yellow cards after some aggressive tackles. 

It wasn’t until the 77th minute when the Spartans got a break as they were awarded a penalty kick after a foul from freshman Justin Shreffler inside the box. Sean Kerrigan stepped up to take the kick and slotted it into the upper 90. JT Harms had no shot of saving it. 

The Spartans almost doubled their lead moments later but a good save from Harms kept the game one goal apart. The Hoosiers had a few chances late in the second half but was to no avail.

Michigan State’s strong start to the year continues as the Hoosiers’ early season struggles continue to build. 

The Hoosiers will look to turn things around as the Michigan Wolverines will travel to Bloomington to take on Indiana on Tuesday. The match will kick off at 7 p.m.

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