The Indiana-Brown soccer match felt like it held the same script as a majority of the games the Hoosiers have played this year: one team takes a lead, the other follows with a goal, and someone ends up the winner with a goal just seconds after that one. Too often this season the opposition has tacked on the final goal and stolen decisions from Indiana.
The only difference in this one was the Hoosiers came out on top, recording a 2-1 victory over the Bears.
Rain had been falling for quite some time prior to the match, and it never once let up during the run of play, making the field slick and fast, a positive for the Hoosier's strategy.
After controlling much of the possession and creating good looks, the Hoosiers took a one goal lead in the 27th minute off of a beautifully taken free kick from Dylan Mares, which dipped into the side netting across from the midfielder. While he had seen several good chances in previous games, this was the junior's first goal in a Hoosier uniform.
"It feels great, like a small weight has been lifted off of my shoulders," Mares said. "It's been frustrating getting so close, hitting the post a couple times and being right there in the box and not getting one in. But it feels really good to finally put it in the back of the net."
The Hoosiers looked to be set as they held their 1-0 lead deep into the second half.
Then, per usual with this Hoosier team early in the season, Brown was able to find an equalizer coming against the run of play, finding an unmarked Jose Salama on a cross which he was able to head home past Michael Soderlund.
"We worked on box defending a lot this week, so it did sting us," coach Todd Yeagley said after the match. "We could have matched up with him, but we didn't recognize it soon enough."
The coach wouldn't be down for long, as less than a minute later, IU earned another free kick, which A.J. Corrado was able to use to pick out Nikita Kotlov for what would be the game winner.
"I put the ball up there for Kinita and he goes and gets it," Corrado commented. "It was a much needed goal and I was glad we got that in there to seal a win for us."
What was even more special about the goal was the fact that it was Kotlov's 22nd birthday, making the score even sweeter.
"It feels really good [to score the game winning goal on my birthday], I guess that's A.J.'s present to me. We didn't want to go into overtime again, so it was good to get it done during the game," Kotlov said.
While the Hoosiers (3-3-1) may not have been able to keep the shutout, Yeagley was still pleased with the performance heading into next Wednesday's game against Butler.
"It was a great response tonight, being able to come back after letting in that goal. You can play a really well played game and still give up a goal. Shutouts are important, but we have to find a way to win."