Andy Brunner recaps Wednesday’s heartbreaking loss to Notre Dame
In a matchup between two highly ranked teams, No. 8 Notre Dame traveled to Bloomington Wednesday and escaped with a 1-0 victory over the No. 11 Hoosiers.
The Fighting Irish shone defensively, allowing the Hoosiers only one shot on goal, and that coming in the waning seconds of the game.
Notre Dame (8-1-0) used superb on-the-ball defense to keep the Hoosiers (6-2-1) off rhythm for most of the night. IU struggled early getting into the flow of the game, with Notre Dame controlling the ball for most of the first half. If not for the stellar defensive unit, headlined by senior goalkeeper Louis Soffner, Indiana would have been in a deficit early. The Hoosiers gladly took a 0-0 tie into halftime, after being dominated in every offensive category besides the score.
IU started the second half with improved determination and worked the ball into the Irish’s interior defense. This led to eight shots in the second half to Notre Dame’s six, though they were unsuccessful. Soffner could only bail out IU for so long, giving up the lone goal off the head of Notre Dame defenseman Grant Van De Casteele in the 70th minute of the game. The header came off of a corner kick, assisted by Dillon Powers. It was the first goal given up by Soffner in the second half all season.
In the final seconds of the game, IU nearly knotted up the score on a shot from Femi Hollinger-Janzen, a true freshman from Goshen, IN.
When asked about the game, Hollinger-Janzen said, “In the second half we played great, probably our best half of soccer. The first half wasn’t our greatest, but definitely the second half we came out much stronger, and definitely took it to them.” Though he admitted the loss was, “heartbreaking, that’s for sure.”
This game breaks a 1-1-1 tie between the teams in recent matches. IU will travel to Penn State Saturday, to take on the Nittany Lions in a Big Ten matchup. Notre Dame will travel to Connecticut to continue their Big East campaign.