The Indiana men’s soccer team finished Thursday night’s game in a 1-1 tie with the Northwestern Wildcats.
With the tie, the Hoosiers finished the regular season with a record of 11-5-2, going 3-2-1 in Big Ten play.
The Hoosiers scored first, in the 29th minute as Eriq Zavaleta scored off of a Patrick Doody assist. The sophomore Zavaleta continued his tear of Big Ten defenses, as his goal against Northwestern was his seventh in eight matches.
The Wildcats would even the score in the second half on a Joey Calistri goal in the 51st minute. The goal was aided by an Indiana mishap, as a defender collided with the Hoosiers’ keeper, Luis Soffner, which sent the ball out of Soffner’s hands and into the area of Calistri, who promptly shot the ball into the net.
In overtime, Indiana outshot the Wildcats but failed to connect on any of them. The Hoosiers had a total of twenty attempted shots on the night; the Wildcats, a mere seven.
“I thought we played well enough to win,” Zavaleta said. “They’re a good team, and they were playing for a championship too. They weren’t going to sit back and let us just do what we did in the first half.”
Indiana needed a win along with a Michigan win or tie against Michigan State to claim the Big Ten regular season title. Northwestern, with a win, would have won it outright. No matter the outcome of the other regular season games, Indiana will be playing in the Big Ten tournament as the fourth seed.
“Had we gotten a goal, we’d be raising a trophy right now,” Patrick Doody said.
After the game, several Indiana players collapsed to the ground, exhausted after the 110-minute match.
“This game is just going to help us,” Doody added. “We had chances to win this game, and we know that. It says a lot about our team when you see guys on the ground afterwards because we put in everything we could.”
The Hoosiers misfired on several opportunities throughout the game, but it was the second overtime period in which they almost won the game. Indiana had five shots to Northwestern’s zero, yet the back of the net eluded them.
The Hoosiers controlled their own destiny in their last two regular season games, against the Michigan State Spartans and Northwestern. A loss and a tie later, the Hoosiers will face a much tougher schedule in the Big Ten tournament, which begins on Wednesday, November 7th in Evanston, Illinois.