Indiana was able to start its Big Ten schedule on the right foot, topping Ohio State 2-0 on a very wet Sunday afternoon.
The early going was slow for both teams due to the rainy conditions, but the Hoosiers kept moving forward in their attack, creating chances that very nearly went in. Then in the 33rd minute, Harrison Petts found himself unmarked outside the box and took a strike which took a deflection off the foot of Femi Hollinger-Janzen, catching the keeper on his heels and dibbling into the side-netting.
"Harry hit a great shot, I was just trying to make a run to get the rebound, and it somehow hit off of me and went in. It was definitely all him," Hollinger-Janzen commented about his score. He now leads the team with four on the season.
Indiana then doubled its lead less than four minutes later, as a cross from Matt McKain found a jumping Nikita Kotlov for what would be the game's final score.
When the two teams emerged from the locker rooms for the second half, the playing field seemed to have leveled out, as both teams were able to create chances where they probably should have scored. The shot tally was a little closer as well, with Indiana holding an edge, 8-6.
However, just outnumbering the Buckeyes in shots gave no relief for a fan base that had seen its team lose a 2-0 lead with less than five minutes to go four days earlier.
A number of times Ohio State was able to catch Indiana goalkeeper Michael Soderlund off guard, forcing the sophomore to deflect the ball rather than catch it. Several of those deflections were dangerous in themselves, barely making it to safety over the bar.
"It's always difficult when you add in another element," Soderlund said about the rainy conditions. "It adds another factor in your decision making. Naturally, you want to be a bit safer."
The offense was the bright spot of the day, attempting to keep the ball in OSU's half to limit the amount of work the defense had to do.
Throughout the game, the Hoosiers were able to pepper the goal with 33 shots, 12 of which were on frame. This allowed OSU goalkeeper Alex Ivanov to come away with a career high number of saves with 10, seven of which were in just the first half.
"It is really important, especially where we are in the season," Todd Yeagley said. "When you start with the three points in conference, it feels really good. Every point is huge, and a draw could have changed things. As home game, getting the three points, it isn't a necessity to start off, but we are on the right path."
The Hoosiers' next game will be against No. 4 Notre Dame (4-0-3) this Wednesday.