The top-seeded Indiana Hoosiers men's soccer program will take on the fifth-seeded Michigan Wolverines at Bill Armstrong Stadium on Wednesday night in a primetime Big Ten semifinal matchup. Coming off a 2-1 quarterfinal win over Wisconsin, Indiana has advanced to a Big Ten semifinal appearance for the 11th consecutive season. They have won seven of their past eight matches, including four straight.
In the Hoosiers' recent run of success, they are averaging two goals a game in their last eight matches. It’s been a tale of two halves for Indiana, who struggled mightily offensively in the first half of the 2023 season, including in a 0-0 draw on Sept. 26 against their opponent in the Big Ten semifinal, the Michigan Wolverines. In what was a trend for Indiana earlier this year, they outshot Michigan 19-5 in their September matchup. They were unable to break through and take the lead, but they defended at an extremely high level, which enabled the Hoosiers offense to dominate possession throughout the match.
“I’m just very happy we’re able to play in front of our home fans again on Wednesday. Hoosier Army really brought it, it was really cool to see.” said senior captain Joey Maher, when asked about playing either Michigan or Northwestern in a semifinal matchup after the win over Wisconsin.
Maher was selected to the College Soccer News Team of the Week on Monday after helping the Hoosiers to a 2-1 quarterfinal victory over Wisconsin, converting a penalty and leading the back line. Along with Maher’s goal, senior Maouloune Goumballe contributed with a second-half goal, his third goal contribution in the last two games for Indiana – as he seems to be picking up form at a crucial time.
Michigan comes into the match off of a 1-0 Big Ten quarterfinal win and upset over number four-seeded Northwestern. Michigan has an overall record of 5-5-7, including a 2-1-5 record in the Big Ten. They are led by head coach Chaka Daley, who is in his 12th season at the helm for the Wolverines and boasts plenty of experience. Daley will hope to rely on the balance of his squad, including Freshman forward Alex Waggoner who leads the Wolverines in scoring with six goals, scoring in three straight matches. The Wolverines will also look to senior midfielder Bryce Blevins who has a team-high three assists as well as four goals and freshman goalkeeper Isaiah Goldson, who made five saves in their win over Northwestern – and was the reason why Michigan held a 0-0 draw against the Hoosiers earlier this season as he made multiple big saves.
Indiana head coach Todd Yeagley spoke about Michigan after the Wisconsin game, saying, “we’re just excited to be advancing…Michigan’s had a lot of ties and we know they’re good.”
An Indiana win would mark their seventh consecutive trip to the Big Ten final, and they are an all-time 5-0 against Michigan in the Big Ten Tournament including ties broken by penalty kicks. In Indiana’s three-peat of Big Ten tournament titles between 2018-20, the first two finals were against the Wolverines. The game will be televised on Big Ten Network at 8 p.m. EST. Admission is free for Indiana University students, faculty and staff that present a valid Crimson Card.