IU soccer sends a message with 4-0 win

In the NCAA Tournament, one goal is enough.

But why settle for one when four will do?

The top-ranked and second-seeded Indiana men’s soccer team chose the latter in Sunday’s tournament opener at Armstrong Stadium, scoring twice in each half to rout visiting UConn in a 4-0 second-round victory. The Hoosiers will host Air Force in the third round next Sunday at 1 p.m.

An 11-match unbeaten streak and 24 straight home matches without a loss coupled with the margin of victory makes a statement to the rest of the NCAA field.

“Winning 4-0 and I don’t know the shot count, but it was a lot to a little (22-2),” IU senior Andrew Gutman said. “I think that sends a message to the country that we’re in great form, we’re finishing off plays and you don’t want to be a team in our way right now.”

The Huskies were the unfortunate road bump on Sunday, and the Hoosiers put the offense in overdrive from the get-go.

Indiana (18-2-1) accumulated seven corner kicks in the first 17 minutes, finally cashing in on the seventh.

Trevor Swartz’s corner found the head of Gutman at the back post, and he put the ball in the back of the net for a 1-0 lead and his 11th goal of the year.

The Hoosiers didn’t need a corner kick to score their second goal just over three minutes after the first as Rece Buckmaster played Cory Thomas in on the right side of the box, and when the ball got just a little too far away from Thomas on the cutback, Griffin Dorsey clean up with a blast to make it 2-0.

It was part of a dominant first half that saw IU post a 13-1 edge in shots.

“I don’t think UConn wants to defend for very long stretches,” Yeagley said. “That’s not the DNA of their team, so we wanted to not let them get any rhythm and make it a game where they’re not comfortable.”

The Hoosiers didn’t let the Huskies (12-6-2) get any more comfortable in the second half.

Another corner kick in the 58th minute produced a 3-0 lead, when Gutman headed a ball off a UConn defender, leaving Timmy Mehl to fly in and poke the ball home.

Two minutes later, Indiana capped off its offensive avalanche when Swartz sprung Austin Panchot with a long ball out of the back. Panchot gathered on the right side and sent the ball across the box to a waiting Spencer Glass, who hit a left-footed laster off the far post and in.

Message sent, intentional or not.

“I don’t think there was any statement made or intent to make this game,” Yeagley said. “Just another really good win. I think some people will look at it and go, ‘Wow, 4-0 over UConn. That’s impressive.’ But I think our guys would be prepared for next week regardless of whether it was one or four.”