Here are three things that stood out to me from Saturday’s 2-1 Indiana victory over Rutgers, a win that moved IU to 1-1 in Big Ten play:
• Finishing shows signs of life, but still needs work
An encouraging sign came in the first half, when junior forward Femi Hollinger-Janzen scored off a corner kick after chaos in the box in the 21st minute. Hollinger-Janzen scoring from close range was something the Hoosiers had not been able to do well the past two weeks.
As encouraging as it was though to see the Hoosiers getting the ball on frame, it definitely still needs to improve. For one, the two goals IU scored brought its season total to six. But that’s six goals off 105 shots. The high shot total shows the offense is being aggressive, but the lack of goals shows the Hoosiers aren’t converting on the many opportunities they get.
• Thompson shows versatility
Sophomore midfielder Tanner Thompson has been known more for his playmaking than goal scoring. That changed Saturday, as he recorded his first goal of the year on the game-winning goal. Thompson has done well setting up his teammates this season, assisting on two of the Hoosiers’ six goals. If he continues to convert on his own goal-scoring opportunities, that combined with playmaking ability will make the IU offense incredibly dangerous for opposing defenders..
• Defense holds despite conceding goal
Entering halftime tied at 1-1, the outlook may have been dire had that been halftime of a game last year. Despite giving up a goal with 10 minutes left in the first half, the Hoosiers were able to hold. It speaks volumes of how much this defense has improved. So many games last season, the defense would have felt let down and had a hard time staying positive. This time, though, IU stayed poised and didn’t allow a goal in the second half. By doing so, it showed just how much the back line has improved.Men’s Soccer defeats Rutgers, 2-1
Men’s Soccer Analysis: Butler
Men’s Soccer Analysis: Penn State