After a devastating College Cup semifinal defeat against Maryland last season, Indiana’s men’s soccer team entered this fall with a lot of questions. The Hoosiers lost ten starters from last year, including three MLS SuperDraft selections, two MLS Homegrown Players, and an overseas signing. On Sunday, #10 Indiana (12W-2L-3T, 7-1-0 B1G) punctuated their strong season with a second consecutive outright Big Ten regular season title, knocking off Michigan State, 1-0, in East Lansing.
The Hoosiers Controlled the Spartans
Sophomore Jack Maher converted a penalty in the 29th minute, and freshman goalkeeper Roman Celentano made two saves to secure his 4th shutout. Overall, each team had 10 shots, but IU had two more on target (4-2). With the win, Indiana extended its unbeaten streak against MSU to six games and leads the all-time series 41-8-5. Indiana now has 16 Big Ten regular season titles, of which three have come under head coach Todd Yeagley, who is in his tenth season at IU.
As a result of the victory, Indiana secures the top seed in the Big Ten Tournament. On Sunday, Nov. 10, in the quarterfinals, IU will host either #8 Ohio State or #9 Rutgers, who play Nov. 9 in Bloomington. Maryland, seeded #5 in the bracket, was chosen before the season to host the semifinal and final rounds on November 15 and 17. Indiana will try to defend its 2018 Big Ten Tournament victory.
The NCAA Tournament Selection Show follows on November 18, and the 48-team NCAA Men’s Soccer Tournament starts the following week. With a strong showing in the conference tournament, Indiana could host multiple games in the “big dance”. Redshirt junior AJ Palazzolo summarized the program’s overall attitude after the win on Sunday: “We don’t rebuild at Indiana. We reload.” The Hoosiers proved that mindset in Big Ten play, and look to add on in the postseason.
Featured Image: IU Athletics