Michigan State 1, Indiana 0 (2 OT)

HEAD COACH MIKE FREITAG’S POST-GAME COMMENTS

“You gotta play every second of every game. That’s the most we’ve ever dominated a Michigan State team. That’s the good news. The bad news is they found a way to win. Very disappointing. This one hurts. So much of the game is the psychological part. Sometimes in a game like this where you’re having your way with things you get lulled to sleep.”

“I think they just came in to get a tie today. I think they would have been very, very happy with a tie.”

“You gotta put ’em away. Soccer, that’s the hardest thing to do is score. I thought we created a lot of chances and took some of them fairly well. Those come back to bite you, and we got bit in the end.”

“Believe me I’m proud of this team. The way they played today, I’ll take it. If I’m Michigan State or Indiana, I’d much rather be Indiana right now based on the play. I like the progress of the team. It’s a hard one to swallow because we did play well. It’s a cruel game. I’m happy with my guys, except for that final play. We’ll continue to get better and people better watch out.”

SECOND OT

9:00: Michigan State wins it, as Rubin Bega gets through the IU defense and slides a shot across the ground. It’s deflected away by Luis Soffner, but somebody….couldn’t be sure….slid in and scored. Devastating for Indiana.

FIRST OT

1:00: They’re playing soccer. No one is scoring. To OT 2.

4:16: Dangerous forward Rubin Bega slids across the 18 and tries to turn for a shot, but freshman Matt Wiet recovers and smothers for IU. Daniel Kelly enters the game for Yeagle, as IU will have two of its more physical players up top now trying to push one in.

6:30: Yeagle tries for the quick strike with a long pass down the middle to who else but Will Bruin. MSU’s Avery Steinlage heads it off though, scooping the ball up.

9:25: Surprise, surprise. Indiana immediately has a chances and Balchan finds room on the left. A scramble leads to a corner, and the corner kick leads to . . . nada.

SECOND HALF

1:00: Adlard flies in. He  has had enough. Nothing will stop him. He splits two, shoots. And has the ball knocked away. The corner, Indiana’s ninth, results in nothing. We’re going to overtime.

2:40: Bruin again generates offense, this team ducking around an MSU player and sending Lee Hagedorn in with some momentum. But he’s smothered. Seconds later, Adlard tries to get a good hit on a bouncing ball but can’t.

4:49: The Hoosiers get a chance, as a 3-on-3 breaks out. Eric Alexander trails the play and takes a feed in the middle. He feeds Darren Yeagle to his right, and the shifty senior ducks inside his defender and manages a shot. It’s deflected and goes wide. Still no scoring.

7:21: Michigan State’s Mark Barone, who has an epic mane of flowing hair and wears one of those thin headbands and therefore automatically has an advantage in the game of soccer, thought he had broken in along on the right side. The ref decided he had done so by fouling Rich Balchan, though. We soldier on here.

8:40: Bruin rumbles into the heart of Michigan State’s back line, trying to get off a clean shot. He can’t, but the ball bounces to Andy Adlard, who tries to skid a curving shot to the far post. It’s blocked away. It is still, somehow someway, 0-0.

14:12: Michigan State ends up with it’s best chance of the day as Rubin Bega, its leading scorer, chases down a ball and gets a shot off toward the net. It deflects off Rich Balchan, I think, and leads to a corner.

17:10: Bruin absolutely unloads on the ball from about 35 yards out and forces a save. But the corner, again, nets nothing. Indiana now leads in shots 15-4 and corners 7-3.

20:52: Balchan feeds Adlard, who manages to squeeze a shot through two defenders. It is tipped out, and the following corner doesn’t result in a strong chance.

25:12: Ofori Sarkodie, never known for his ability to play the ball out of the back, lobs one to Will Bruin. He battles through to players and heads down the right side. His cross is mishandled, and bounces to Darren Yeagle. He somehow gets his foot on it while also colliding with about four other people and . . .  the ball hits the post.

33:20: Spartans finding some offense now, as they work for another corner.

35:30: Indiana works through a couple of chances off a corner kick. Keeper Luis Soffner has yet to make a save.

37:20: I think Daniel Kelly just strategically used Andy Adlard’s noggin to try to score. Kelly was dancing in on the right side, when Adlard made a run. But instead of making a pass, Kelly shot as had as he could. It slammed Kelly’s head and barely missed the net. It’s cool, though: Adlard waved at Kelly to let him know he was OK, and that they were still boys.

44:15: We remain scoreless, though IU is certainly working for chances. A nice trio of passes leads to Andy Adlard almost breaking in alone. But he can’t quite get the touch he needs.

HALF TIME

How’s this for your half-time analysis: Indiana has 11 shots, Michigan State has one. It’s tied 0-0.

That is all.

——-

I lied. I just need to a bathroom break, so I made it seem like I had nothing else to say. I usually do.

Will Bruin had an astounding six shots in the first half.

FIRST HALF

:55: Why not have a flurry of unfinished chances to end this half? Balchan and Yeagle show how crafty they are, and that leads to a Bruin header attempt that is blocked away. The corner kick gets through to Matt Wiet whose shot is deflected into the air by MSU keeper Avery Steinlage. He gathers. The crowd sighs.

6:30: Bruin the playmaker appears. His feed down the left side to Hagedorn turns into a header chance for Yeagle.

8:05: I’m not sure there’s an athlete at Indiana right now who plays harder that Rich Balchan. His motor is unreal, and his unrelenting pressure just turned into a chance. After steamrolling a back and gathering the ball, though, his cross found nobody.

12:30: Bruin. Again. This time he finds room and charges toward the right side of the box before shooting from 20. He just misses.

16:12: As the Spartans take control in the midfield for the first time all day, Indiana coach Mike Freitag calls for fresh legs. Alec Purdie  and Lee Hagedorn replace Andy Adlard and Daniel Kelly.

20:40: Bruin, trying for a header, gets tangled with MSU keeper Avery Steinlage, who goes down in a heap. He hops back up, and IU’s corner results in another corner. Bruin again gets on the end of this one, but his header hits Steinlage right in the gut.

22:25: Michigan State’s first corner kick also represents its first semblance of pressure, as Nosa Iyoha finds a loose ball and rips a shot wide.

23:30: Bruin’s hard work leads to another corner, and Adlard’s deep serve finds Bruin. But his header pops over the goal. We’re now headed into a TV timeout. Gotta sell that Ro*Tel.

27:30: Quite a display of skill here, as Daniel Kelly races down the right side and then beats a defender with a stutter step around the ball. His cross finds Adlard, who doesn’t have much of an angle. But he finds a way to head the ball behind him to Yeagle, who makes a few touches before trying a shot that is blocked away.

30:20: Indiana continues to dominate the chances, as Bruin tries to unleash a shot from the 18 but has it blocked. He’s able to gather and feed Alexander in the box, but he can’t connect on the header. Indiana has five shots, Michigan State has none.

32:45: Back Tommy Meyer finds himself on a long run down the right side and decides to just go for it. His bullish venture leads to the first corner kick of the day, which leads to another chance by Will Bruin. But his shot is right at the keeper.

36:20: Indiana is finding the left side of the field to be wide open so far, and both Rich Balchan and Yeagle are attacking it with gusto. Balchan just ran on to a long pass and got his cross onto the head of Will Bruin, who’s attempt curled just wide of the fr post.

41:15: Adlard has come to play, as he slips a beautiful through ball between two defenders to Yeagle. But the resurgent forward loses the ball before he can cross it.

44:20: Indiana goes directly to the attack, with Andy Adlard ripping a shot from just inside the box. The rebound ricocheted around a while, and the Hoosiers tried to work for another chance but couldn’t.

45:00: Starters for Indiana today: Ofori Sarkodie, Tommy Meyer, Daniel Kelly, Rich Balchan, Caleb Konstanski, Matt Wiet, Eric Alexander, Andy Adlard and Darren Yeagle. Luis Soffner, who has yet to allow a goal in Big Ten play, is in goal.

PRE-GAME

Those of you who read us regularly know we are not prone to overly-grandiose proclamations.

So I will say in all sincerity that today, in Bloomington, is one of the finest fall days that I have ever known.

It is about 60 degrees. The sun is being slightly obscured by cotton-ball clouds. Behind them, the sky  is so blue. The leaves on the trees around the stadium are every shade of every color a leave can turn.

There are many ways to spend this day. A hike would be most appropriate. Maybe you’re coaching your son’s football game. Or just huddling up with family to watch your favorite NFL team. A day like this you can’t mess up.

If you want, you can also throw on the hooded sweatshirt and head to Bill Armstrong Stadium. The No. 23 Indiana Hoosiers face defending Big Ten Tournament champions Michigan State at 2 p.m. The game will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network.

I’ll post updates intermittently throughout the day.

———-

A quick breakdown of this match up, which is about 20 minutes from first kick.

The Spartans lost seven seniors from the team that beat Indiana last year for the Big Ten tourney title. Those players accounted for 26 of the team’s 36 goals.

Rubin Bega, a 5-foot-8 forward, has emerged this season as Michigan State’s main scoring threat. He’s got seven goals and two assists.

Indiana, meanwhile, relies on big Will Bruin (6-foot-2) for much of its offensive pressure. He leads the team with six goals and three assists. Andy Adlard, who has been benched at times this season, is second on the team with four goals and two assists, while senior Darren Yeagle, who was Big Ten Freshman of the Year but has dealt with knee injuries, has regained his form a bit (two goals, one assist.)

Michigan State is the only Big Ten team that remains winless in conference play. It lost to Todd Yeagley’s Wisconsin squad 2-1 in double overtime a week ago.

Indiana is 2-0 in league play, having beaten Wisconsin and Michigan. It beat Notre Dame 3-0 earlier this week.

7 comments

  1. So if the team played so well we should’ve won the game. That’s all that matters in the end. Indiana soccer has never been about moral victories but rather real victories. Freitag needs to be done. He inherited the best program in college soccer and is derailing it more every game.

  2. Yeah, he’s pulling a Ron Zook right now.

    Tons of talent. No excuse for not being able to score more. This has been an issue for a while now.

Comments are closed.