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Indiana defeats Maryland 2-1: Gutman plays the hero — again

Maryland only had 18 seconds to process what happened.

IU senior defender Andrew Gutman had just tapped in the go-ahead goal that secured all three points for Indiana.

Gutman ran to the northwest corner of the pitch to celebrate the game-winner, and the only thing the Terrapins could do was hold their hands above their heads and catch their breath.

It was the eighth time an opposing team has had to catch their breath while Gutman ran rampant. This time, it was on the brink of the full-time whistle.

For the majority of the second half, it looked like the Terrapins were going to escape Bloomington with at least one point following the 57th-minute equalizer scored off a rocket of a volley. Maryland kept its high press throughout the game and only sat back until the very end of the match. Indiana made the Terrapins pay for their conservative approach.

At the front line of IU’s attack was the left back that had scored six times prior to Friday’s match. He added two more against Maryland, and once again, Gutman showed why he’s so important to both the defense and attack.

His leadership and attitude are what makes him so valuable, though.

I could sit here and tell the story of how Indiana’s spectacular 2017 season came crashing down in one moment, but it’s be regurgitated time and time again. So, I won’t do that. The only thing I will say about it is how the team’s mentality and approach to every game has changed.

Gutman said he along with the rest of the team have learned from their mistakes in the past, and they’re making sure what happened in 2017 doesn’t happen again.

“This team has a totally different mentality,” Gutman said. “Everyone on the field is a winner. Almost our whole starting lineup was here last year and we experienced all that heartbreak. I think we built off of it and now we just have this extra little bite to us.”

Gutman could score 20+ goals on the season and run away with the MAC Hermann Trophy, and it still won’t tell you about what kind of player he is. Sure, it will tell you about how versatile he is on the pitch — how he can score a goal on one end and stop another from going in on the other.

What it won’t tell you is how much he motivates each of his teammates from the mentality he’s stemmed in their heads.

This Indiana team isn’t going to drop winnable games. It isn’t, at least, when Gutman gets on the scoresheet. Both of IU’s losses have come in games where the left back hasn’t scored in. He scored two tonight, ensuring the Hoosiers wouldn’t lose a third game this season.

It was a tough result for Maryland, a team that was looking for just its fifth win of the season. This loss will be tough to swallow when the Terps look back on it. They were less than a minute away from overtime and just 30 more minutes from drawing against the No. 4 team in the nation.

“That is deflating,” IU head coach Todd Yeagley said. “We’ve all been on the side of it. I feel for those guys. Certainly, though, for what I thought our group has been unfortunate in some of these key moments. I think if there’s any group that deserves to flip it, it’s this one.”

It doesn’t make the loss any more bearable that both goals were scored by a left back. That’s the Gutman effect.

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