Here are three things that stood out to me from Wednesday's 0-0 draw with Butler:
• Hoosiers’ finishing woes continue
I touched on this in my video analysis Wednesday night (Video Analysis: IU-Butler), but it’s worth mentioning again: the Hoosiers just can’t put the ball in the net. They even beat their old season-high for shot attempts with 22 and couldn’t find a way to score.
This was a combination of many things, but the two reasons I feel were most responsible were their inability to get past the final third and inopportune mistakes. Butler clogged the passing lanes at midfield often, which made it difficult for the Hoosiers throughout the first half and early in the second half to get into the final attacking third. The inopportune mistakes were mainly offsides calls. Junior forward Andrew Oliver was playing very well, but he was called offsides three times in the Hoosiers’ match. The offsides calls killed any momentum the Hoosiers were gaining on the offensive attack. It’s a problem that absolutely must be addressed, as the defense will only be able to carry IU for so long.
• Shutout streak renewed
Speaking of the defense, it performed very well against Butler on Wednesday. Led by sophomore goalkeeper Colin Webb, the Hoosiers posted their fourth shutout of the season. They lost their streak after falling 1-0 to Penn State last Saturday but began a new one with scoreless draw against Butler. While it may seem insignificant at first, consider this: with Wednesday’s shutout, IU matched its shutout total from last season. Considering all the new faces it has on the roster, that’s an incredible accomplishment given the inexperience along the defensive back line and elsewhere. The also have twice as many shutouts (4) as goals allowed (2). This team has the potential to be one of the best defensive teams in recent years.
• Shaw brings energy off the bench
Redshirt freshman midfielder Brad Shaw played in just his third career game for the Hoosiers, but he made the most of it. He recorded one shot attempt, but his aggressiveness led to many opportunities for his teammates. There’s no doubt he was a big contributor to the Hoosiers’ 22 shot attempts. After his play Wednesday night, I wouldn’t be surprised if he starting getting more minutes of the bench.