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Indiana defender Joey Maher eyes up against Seton Hall (HN photo/Danielle Stockwell)
Indiana defender Joey Maher eyes up against Seton Hall (HN photo/Danielle Stockwell)

Indiana cooled down by South Florida’s blazing speed, loses 1-0 to Bulls

The Hoosiers lost to the Bulls for the first time in 39 years

The date was Nov. 11, 1984. "The Three Musketeers" opened at Broadway Theater in New York City for nine performances. Martin Luther King Sr, father of MLK Jr., died at 84 and Indiana men’s soccer lost 3-1 to South Florida in the first-ever meeting between the two schools.

Until Friday night, it was the only time Indiana did not come away with a result against South Florida.

The Hoosiers lost a trap game against USF Friday 1-0 in their first match this season outside the Hoosier State.

Not only did the Bulls win for the first time this season, they scored their first goal of the 2023 campaign after three straight 2-0 losses. USF had a whole week off after a loss in its home opener to Mercer, while Indiana was coming off a hard-fought 1-0 win against Seton Hall on Monday.

USF showed why it was in the NCAA Tournament last year as it was able to overload the midfield with its 3-5-2 formation and used blistering pace down the wings with precarious through balls that gave Indiana’s backline trouble all night.

After five total shots, three of them on goal, the Bulls found the breakthrough in the 27th minute courtesy of Jalen Anderson. The UNC-Wilmington transfer scored his first goal with South Florida via a phenomenal ball right through the Indiana backline. Anderson, who may have been offside, received the ball inside the left edge of the box and lined himself up for a left-footed shot, beating Indiana goalkeeper JT Harms as he slotted it into the bottom-right corner.

Indiana players immediately looked over at the assistant referee in the hopes his flag would go up for offsides, but they were left with their requests denied.

Harms was sprawled out on the shot hoping to get something on it and deny Anderson of scoring South Florida’s first goal of 2023. The Duke transfer was busy Friday, making seven saves total, including four in the first half, diving to both sides, leading on onto the post, and denying another 1v1 opportunity moments before the breakthrough was scored.

In the first 45 minutes for Indiana on the offensive side of the pitch, Tommy Mihalic showed moments of promise with plenty of space on the left wing, but the frustrating regular season for him continued with only two shots, one on goal. Mihalic is yet to record a goal or an assist after notching two of each in the preseason.

Indiana head coach Todd Yeagley subbed on freshman Joel Demian in favor of Alex Barger at the left-back position early in the first half. The debutant Demian played a total of 51 minutes compared to Barger’s 39.

Karsen Henderlong had a chance in front of the goal and Luka Bezerra showed his mettle with a lovely turn in the 18-yard box to fire off a weak shot right at USF goalkeeper Alan Horricks. Still, the Hoosiers were unable to find a goal despite outshooting the Bulls 6-4 in the second half.

Indiana had plenty of set pieces but again were let down by the services. Yeagley had a rotation of guys crossing in the six corners but IU wasn’t very close to getting anything to show for it.

As Yeagley has mentioned in the past, teams usually bring their A-game when the Hoosiers come to town, and on a night when USF needed to turn its season around, the Bulls got precisely what they wanted and felt comfortable sitting back for the second half.

Indiana, just like USF this past week, will have seven days to rebound before hoping to get back in the win column against Wisconsin in the conference opener at Bill Armstrong Stadium next Friday night. Indiana has lost its last two Big Ten openers but still hasn’t lost two straight since 2013.

Indiana may have lost its first match to USF in 39 years, but hopes its streak of not losing two straight which has lasted for a decade holds true a week from now.

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