It’s the first meeting between the two programs in 20 years, and just the second in history.
Wednesday’s 7:30 p.m. matchup between Indiana and the University of Central Florida at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington is a rarity, especially for the players.
”Most of the schools we play we have a history with,” senior defender Patrick Doody said. “This is probably one of the few games where I don’t know anyone on their team. It’s definitely unfamiliar, but not a big factor at all.”
The No. 14 Hoosiers will take on the Knights in another non-conference matchup for both teams. The small history between the school two schools, IU head coach Todd Yeagley said, is due geographic reasons.
”It’s a new challenge,” Yeagley said. “It’s one of the reasons why we schedule it.”
On paper, UCF’s record won’t impress many. The Knights are currently 1-4-1 with their only victory coming against Florida Atlantic at home.
But don’t let the record fool you, at least according to Yeagley.
”They’ve done well,” Yeagley said. “They’re in a pretty tough conference. The last five years they’ve been a pretty good RPI team.”
Though IU has a better record at 4-1-2, it enters Wednesday’s match with a more successful record away from home than at home.
The Hoosiers are undefeated in road games with a perfect 3-0-0 record, yet have won only one game at home where they are 1-2-2.
”I couldn’t give you a reason for it,” Doody said. “It’s just kind of how the way it’s been so far.”
Doody, a starter along the back line so far this season, leads a defense that will go up against a UCF offense which has produced six goals in six games.
Despite the lack of goals, Yeagley said the Knights still have one of the best attacks in the country.
”They’re a team that’s very capable,” Yeagley said. “They’re still trying to find a consistent lineup like a lot of teams still only a third of the way through (the season).”
For most of the season, IU struggled to put shots on frame. Before last Saturday, it tallied 88 shot attempts with only 23 on frame.
Saturday would be different, though, as the Hoosiers recorded 17 shots, nine of which were on frame.
Junior forward Andrew Oliver said he and his teammates were encouraged by those numbers.
”It definitely helps,” Oliver said. “We always want to test the keepers. I think just working on it in practice and keeping the right mindset to always test the keeper is going to help us out.”
With optimism about the offense, the Hoosiers are ready for the challenge posed by the Knights on Wednesday. Yeagley said he knows the Hoosiers are going to get the Knights’ best performance.
“It’s pretty common we get that with any team, certainly a team that’s coming from another region,” Yeagley said. “We know they’re going to be jacked up to play. We know we have to be really prepared physically and mentally to execute. If we do that, I like the matchup.”Men’s Soccer defeats Rutgers, 2-1
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