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Tommy Mihalic dribbles the ball in a match against Evansville on Oct. 11, 2023 (HN photo/Danielle Stockwell
Tommy Mihalic dribbles the ball in a match against Evansville on Oct. 11, 2023 (HN photo/Danielle Stockwell

Veterans shine as Indiana men’s soccer defeats Trine on Senior Day

Two Hoosiers scored their first goals of the season

Indiana men’s soccer defeated Trine 2-0 on Friday in a match that featured many Indiana bench players and seniors alike, the latter of whom were honored in front of family members and fans prior to the match.

Senior goalkeeper Austin Himebaugh received the game ball after playing the final 16 minutes in relief of JT Harms. Fellow senior and Bloomington native Andrew Goldsworthy played all 90 minutes in his first career start, which he found out about mere hours before kick-off.

“This morning I went to the film session, and that was the game plan,” Goldsworthy said after the game. “I was just so happy to hear my name called. I’ve been here a while, so I’ve been looking forward to it.”

“It means something else to play in front of this student section and these fans,” Goldsworthy said. “Especially in front of your hometown. It’s unbelievable.”

In the 25th minute of his NCAA-leading 100th-career match, Maouloune Goumballe scored his first goal of the season, rocketing a shot past the outstretched arm of Trine freshman keeper Dillon Lambert. Lambert was stout in goal for the Thunder, but Goumballe’s shot had eyes for the twine.

Tommy Mihalic followed suit five minutes into the second half. Fresh off a frustrating performance just outside his hometown of Skokie, Illinois, earlier this week, the crafty winger scored his first goal of 2023 to put the match out of reach. As Indiana’s leader in shots and shots on goal, it felt inevitable that Mihalic would eventually put one home.

“That was a box we wanted to check,” Indiana head coach Todd Yeagley said after the game. Yeagley said the emphasis on Mihalic scoring a goal against Trine was very similar to what Victor Bezerra did, also against the Thunder, in 2021.

“Great finish too,” Yeagley said of Mihalic’s goal. “It’s what we’ve been talking about: Being more clinical, from pass to goal, and then putting it home. That was an important one today.”

Indiana hosts Rutgers to close the regular season this weekend, and it is a match with massive postseason implications. Given the quick turnaround, many usual Hoosier starters saw relatively few minutes, if any at all. Sam Sarver, Hugo Bacharach and Jansen Miller did not play, while Mihalic, Collins Oduro, Brett Bebej and Joey Maher saw limited playing time.

Indiana did not take Friday’s match lightly, given Trine’s hard-yet-fair style of play and potential to play spoiler. After a letdown loss at Northwestern earlier this week, the Hoosiers no longer control their own destiny. Even if it defeats Rutgers on Sunday, Indiana would still need Northwestern and Penn State to lose to claim the Big Ten title.

The regular season finale is slated for 12:30 p.m. on Sunday. With Northwestern, Penn State and Indiana all playing simultaneously, the Hoosiers’ place in the Big Ten standings will be known by mid-afternoon. Indiana could finish anywhere from first to sixth in the conference.

“That’s the way the Big Ten has been all year,” Yeagley said. “With our conference being as tight as it is, why couldn't we get a result to go our way? We’ll just control what we can do, let the rest of it play out, and see [what happens with] the seeding.”

“We can go win on the road if that’s the seed we get. [The players] are really excited for the postseason,” Yeagley said.

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