PISCATAWAY, N.J. – On head coach Todd Yeagley’s birthday, the IU men’s soccer team delivered one of the best gifts they could give him – a victory.
No. 14 Indiana defeated Rutgers 2-1 Saturday at Yurcak Field. The Hoosiers earned their first Big Ten victory of the season with the win.
”Great result on the road,” Yeagley said. “Rutgers is a very dynamic team.”
In the first-ever conference matchup between the two schools, the Hoosiers (4-1-2, 1-1 Big Ten) got on the scoreboard early against the Scarlet Knights (3-4-0, 1-1).
Junior forward Femi Hollinger-Janzen scored off a Tanner Thompson corner kick in the 25th minute to give the Hoosiers a 1-0 lead. Rutgers responded with the equalizer with five minutes remaining in the first half after freshman defender Niel Guzman found the back of the net off a rebound.
Hollinger-Janzen later passed the ball off to sophomore midfielder Tanner Thompson for a 25-yard strike that found the lower 90 of the goal in the 64th minute. Thompson’s goal was ultimately the game-winner in the victory.
”Nice to see Tanner in the score sheet,” Yeagley said. “Fantastic game-winner.”
Thompson and Hollinger-Janzen’s goals marked the first multi-goal match of the season for the Hoosiers, who have recorded just six goals on 104 shot attempts so far this season. They had 17 shot attempts against the Scarlet Knights.
Rutgers finished with 12 shot attempts. While the margin with shot attempts was closer, the difference was in shots on frame as the Hoosiers had nine while the Scarlet Knights managed just two because of the IU defense.
”Going forward, they have a lot of good pieces,” Yeagley said. “Defensively, we had to be really good tonight. For the most part, I thought we kept them at bay.”
Rutgers nearly had another equalizer when freshman forward Jason Wright sent a cross near the far post intended for junior Rayon Gibbs in the 73rd minute. But the ball ricocheted off the cross bar and back over the head of Gibbs.
”They (Rutgers) are always a play away from being in the final third with the numbers they surge forward,” Yeagley said. “And again, I thought our team defensively had another good performance.”
After earning three points on the road, the Hoosiers will turn their attention to a home matchup against the University of Central Florida on Wednesday.
”Excited to get our first win of the Big Ten season and get three points,” Yeagley said. “We’ll be getting ready for a big midweek matchup.”