In a matter of seconds, the No.17 Indiana men’s soccer team went from being one minute away from victory to twenty minutes of uncertainty.
IU gave up an equalizer in the 89th minute, playing to a 1-1 double overtime draw with Northwestern Saturday at Bill Armstrong Stadium.
”There’s no sugarcoating it,” IU head coach Todd Yeagley said. “It’s frustrating.”
Leading late into the match, the Hoosiers (5-1-3, 1-1-1 Big Ten) appeared to be on their way to two points in the Big Ten standings and a victory over the Wildcats (4-1-4, 0-1-2 Big Ten).
But Northwestern sophomore midfielder Brandon Medina had other ideas. After teammate and sophomore defender Nathan Dearth’s shot was deflected by Webb, it bounced off the crossbar to Medina who headed the ball in for the goal.
Medina’s goal came with just one minute and three seconds remaining in regulation.
”They sent a lot of numbers forward,” IU sophomore goalkeeper Colin Webb said. “They did a good job of putting dangerous balls into the box, and we were just unfortunate not to clear out that last ball.”
The Hoosiers conceded the goal 16 minutes and 29 seconds after sophomore midfielder Tanner Thompson put them ahead 1-0 in the 73rd minute off of a penalty kick. It was Thompson’s second goal of the season and first successful penalty kick after missing one against Rutgers.
Yeagley said it was important for Thompson to convert on that penalty kick.
”He needed to score that penalty,” Yeagley said. “You miss two or have two saved, that’s tough to bounce back from psychologically. Another great game from Tanner.”
The late goal Medina which equalized Thompson’s goal led to two overtime periods and ultimately the draw by the end of double overtime. With the result, the Hoosiers have tied in each of their three overtime games this season. All three of those games also went into double overtime.
Overtime games were common last season – IU played in eight of them. Players were encouraged, though, that the game didn’t go the other way similar to last season.
”It was nice that we didn’t collapse after giving up such a late goal like that,” Thompson said. “Sometimes it’s hard to gather your stuff, and I thought in overtime we got it together and created a couple of chances that didn’t fall our way.”
Northwestern senior goalkeeper Tyler Miller made it difficult for IU to add to its lead and avoid overtime, recording eight saves on 19 shot attempts.
”He (Miller) is a big guy,” Thompson said. “He made some big saves for them. He was tough to deal with.”
One of Miller’s critical saves included blocking a shot on goal by IU junior forward Andrew Oliver 30 seconds into the first overtime period. The shot was one of three Oliver had by the end of the match.
Oliver has 12 shot attempts on the season, but still has yet to score his first goal.
”Andrew was dangerous again,” Yeagley said. “I mean, he’s on the cusp. We say every game, once he gets this one (goal), who knows how many are coming after?”
Regardless of the result, the Hoosiers know they have to put it behind them.
”This my third year here,” Oliver said. “We’ve faced some struggles. Last year we had some tough overtime losses. Just got to keep moving forward.”