After opening the season with a record of 1-3, the preseason No. 1 team in college soccer had not been getting the results to back up the lofty expectations.
That might be the biggest factor when looking at the rankings now and one failing to find Indiana in the top 25.
Following their third straight overtime loss, the team was deservedly frustrated. They had allowed five goals to be scored on their home field. In fact, it was the first time the IU soccer program had surrendered five goals in a game since 2006 and only the second time in the program's history.
But this week in practice, everything appeared to have worked itself back into the normal rhythm and flow. Then came Friday's 4-1 win over Bakersfield. All of a sudden, co-captain Harrison Petts believes the Hoosiers are about to turn things around.
"While we haven't been getting the results, there are still a lot of positives," Petts said during the week prior to the Bakersfield game. "We have been creating a lot of chances, moving off the ball well, and up until this past game, we have defended well as a unit. It's tough to grasp, but if we keep doing what we are doing and keep playing well, the results will come."
"We just have to stick with it and not get down on ourselves."
While always easier said than done, the match against West Virginia was a perfect example. With starting goalkeeper Michael Soderlund sidelined with a hip injury, Colin Webb came in as his replacement. While he allowed five goals, the team around him never gave up their fight to remain in the contest, and always countered goals with ones of their own.
Problem is, in overtime periods of college soccer, all it takes is one goal and the match ends, and the Hoosiers haven't been the ones to find themselves on the right side of that tally.
With the exception of the West Virginia game, the Hoosiers have found themselves in low scoring affairs this season, something they aren't exactly used to. However, this is not for the lack of attempts by the Cream and Crimson. As Todd Yeagley pointed out, the team has had more than 40 corners so far this year, averaging over 10 per game. The only thing missing is the goal tally on the score sheet.
"We have just been working on continuing to create chances and finding that final touch. There isn't a whole lot you can do looking at film, it's just about getting reps in practice," Petts commented. "We have been in front of goal a lot, trying to sharpen up that last touch to find more goals."