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Indiana advanced to the Big Ten Championship with a dramatic 4-3 win over Michigan. Relive the action through Danielle Stockwell's photos.

Hoosiers advance to the Big Ten Championship after chaotic 4-3 win over Michigan

In Wednesday’s slugfest, there were a combined seven goals, 28 shots and 19 fouls

When asked about the craziest match he’s ever been a part of, Maouloune Goumballe had one simple answer. 


That was one of the very few words Goumballe used after IU’s 4-3 win to describe the chaotic battle with the Wolverines, and rightfully so. 

When the two teams met in late September, the match ended in a 0-0 draw. Now, fast forwarding to the Big Ten semifinals, the storyline completely flipped. 

In Wednesday night’s slugfest, there were a combined seven goals, 28 shots and 19 fouls between the two teams. The four goals scored by the Hoosiers were tied for the most they’ve scored in a single game this season, most recently being versus Rutgers. 

IU players celebrate with fans during Indiana's 4-3 win over Michigan in the Big Ten Tournament on Nov. 8, 2023. (HN photo/Danielle Stockwell)

The surge of playmakers rising up to the occasion allowed Indiana to excel in all facets of the game. Scoring was an issue early on in the season but it was no issue versus Michigan on Wednesday.

After a quiet 21 minutes of play in the first half, the Hoosiers struck first thanks to a Goumballe laser into the bottom-left corner of the goal. 

As expected, Michigan would not waver as a little over a minute later Jason Bucknor would equalize for the Wolverines off a beautiful assist from Simon Vasquez.

With momentum shifting in Michigan’s favor, the Hoosiers had to find an answer quickly. That answer came in the 35th minute off a free-kick cross that pinballed around in the box until it found the feet of Hugo Bacharach who drilled one into the bottom-left corner to make it 2-1.

Hugo Bacharach celebrates his goal during Indiana's 4-3 win over Michigan in the Big Ten Tournament on Nov. 8, 2023. (HN photo/Danielle Stockwell)

The goal by Bacharach was his second in three games. The former defender, now midfielder, has played a crucial role for the Hoosiers down the stretch.

Just when you thought the scoring was over within the first half, it wasn’t. With seven seconds remaining the Hoosiers set up for a free kick just outside of the 18-yard box with Sam Sarver to take. 

Sarver’s ball couldn't be corralled by Michigan’s keeper and Tommy Mihalic had an easy tap-in goal to give the Hoosiers a two goal cushion at half. 

Mihalic, having had a slow start to the season, has found his footing in the later half of the year. Running over to the Hoosier Army, you could see what this goal meant to him. 

“There’s no better fan base in college soccer, and it showed tonight. I think the game we put on today will bring all those people back on Sunday,” Mihalic said.

Tommy Mihalic celebrates his goal during Indiana's 4-3 win over Michigan in the Big Ten Tournament on Nov. 8, 2023. (HN photo/Danielle Stockwell)

Coming hot out of the gates, Michigan nearly equalized just a few minutes into the second half. Solid ball movement by the Wolverines set up a 1-on-1 with JT Harms who made two incredible point-blank saves.

It wasn’t until moments later in the 54th minute, Michigan's Duilio Herrera got fouled inside the box which set up a penalty kick opportunity for the Wolverines. Quin Rogers calmly buried the PK and cut the lead to one.

With the momentum on Michigan’s side, Indiana looked to put the nail in the coffin. In the 57th minute, senior Brett Bebej played a ball across the box which found the feet of Mihalic who missed an easy tap-in goal from point-blank range. 

Michigan, still pushing for an equalizer, found one off a superb header from Riley Ferch off a gorgeous ball into the box from Matthew Fisher. 

With the game tied at three, the remaining 18 minutes of play were going to be intense. Three minutes after the game-tying goal, Bucknor was awarded his second yellow card and was sent off with a red. The Wolverines were now down to 10 men for the remaining 15 minutes of action.

This proved to play a huge factor as both teams were desperate for a goal. The Hoosiers managed to score the game winner in the 87th minute courtesy of who else other than Goumballe? 

The game-winning goal started with Bebej connecting a simple 1-2 pass with Bacharach which led to a Bacharach shot that couldn’t be corralled by Michigan’s keeper and Goumballe putting home the winner. 

Suspense. Drama. Chaos. Whatever term you want to use to describe this match, it had it. Indiana head coach Todd Yeagley said Wednesday’s match was one of the top five craziest matches he’s been a part of.

“Probably in the top five of my recent memory for sure,” Yeagley said. “I would need to reflect for a minute to really tell you my craziest one. There have been some that I shook my head at in the game like, ‘How’d that happen?’”

With this win the Hoosiers have likely solidified their spot in the NCAA Tournament. The Hoosiers will face a familiar foe in the Big Ten Tournament Championship as they take on Penn State.

A win versus the Nittany Lions could mostly certainly get them in the national seed conversation. Indiana is looking for its 16th Big Ten Tournament title and 34th conference title overall.  

The match versus Penn State is set for noon Sunday at Bill Armstrong Stadium.

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