Here are three things that stood out to me from Saturday night’s 1-0 loss to No. 16 Penn State:
• Shutout streak ends
After a stellar performance by the defense through its first four games, IU would concede a goal in the 27th minute which ended its shutout streak at three games. Pitching a shutout through three games is very challenging, let alone one. The last time the Hoosiers put together a three-game shutout streak was during the 2012 season, when they held their opponents scoreless through the final three games en route to a national title. So although the streak ended, perhaps it’s a good sign given the last time it happened.
• Webb still stellar in goal
Make no mistake, IU sophomore goalkeeper Colin Webb played a very good game despite what the scoreboard says. Penn State sophomore midfielder Mason Klerks delivered an incredible strike into the upper-90 of the goal, and there was nothing Webb nor the defense could to stop it. Webb will no doubt be disappointed, but knowing that there was nothing he could do shouldn’t hamper his confidence too much. I expect him to bounce back against Butler this Wednesday.
• Depth absent in defeat
One of the Hoosiers’ strengths this season has been its depth. After all, two of their three goals this season have been scored by freshmen coming off the bench. But that depth wasn’t utilized in Saturday’s loss, as only four players were used off the bench. It was puzzling – especially because it followed a game against Dartmouth in which the Hoosiers went seven players deep. Yeagley told me after the game that players like Jack Griffith were kept in to maintain a rhythm. It was effective – the Hoosiers tallied a season-high 20 shot attempts and the offensive was very aggressive in the second half. However, what good is trying to maintain that rhythm if the lineup continually gets the same results (missed shots) during the game? I think IU is better suited to play to its strengths and go seven players deep.