All posts by nickhennion2019

Tour a timeline of the Hoosiers’ undefeated Big Ten soccer season – and NCAA Tournament loss

By Nick Hennion
Medill Reports

It wasn’t the ending the Hoosiers hoped for to finish the 2018 men’s soccer season.

The Hoosiers fell to Maryland 2-0 in the NCAA Tournament semifinals, failing to reach the third and final goal of an NCAA title.

The loss followed a very successful season overall. The team picked up both a Big Ten regular season and tournament title and was the first Big Ten team to go undefeated in Big Ten play since 2005.

The Hoosiers finished with a 20-3-1 and an 8-0-0 Big Ten regular season record.

The timeline below chronicles the entirety of the Hoosiers’ season through the NCAA tournament.

Photo at Top: Indiana players celebrate the school’s 13th Big Ten Tournament title after a 3-0 win against Michigan (Nick Hennion/MEDILL).

Indiana caps off unbeaten Big Ten season with tournament title

By Nicholas Hennion
Medill Reports

When the Indiana men’s soccer team started the season almost three months ago, players set three goals for themselves.

Become Big Ten regular season champions, win the Big Ten Tournament and win a NCAA tournament title to cap it off.

After defeating the University of Michigan Wolverines 3-0 Nov. 11 to capture the Big Ten Tournament title, the Hoosiers have corralled two of those goals. Prior to the tournament, the team won its 15th Big Ten regular season title to clinch the first of its goals.

“This has been a great group to work with every day,” head coach Todd Yeagley said after his side captured the school’s 13th Big Ten Tournament title. “They have great character and great qualities that have been a staple of [Indiana University] soccer.” Continue reading

Indiana, Michigan Win Big Ten Tournament Final Berths

By Nicholas Hennion
Medill Reports

The Indiana Hoosiers and Michigan Wolverines will battle for Sunday’s Big Ten Tournament title after dispatching Maryland and Wisconsin, respectively, in the semifinals on Friday.

Indiana, the number one seed, tied Friday’s early game 1-1 in regular time, advancing 4-3 on penalty kicks. In the other semifinal, an early penalty kick for Michigan proved to be the only goal of the game in a 1-0 victory.

The Hoosiers and Wolverines last played on October 7, with Indiana winning a crucial road game 1-0 on a Rece Buckmaster goal.

But Friday, it was Buckmaster’s defensive counterpart, senior Andrew Gutman, who stole the show. Gutman scored Indiana’s lone goal of the day after an incredible individual display of skill gave the Hoosiers a 1-0 lead. Gutman dribbled through almost eight defenders on his way to his 10th goal of the season.

After the game, Gutman said that irrespective of the opponent Sunday, Indiana needed to focus on one team – itself.

Continue reading

Northwestern Wins First Game in 47 Days on Senior Night

By Nicholas Hennion

It had been 46 days and 11 games since the Northwestern University men’s soccer team played a winning match.

But Friday on senior night against Division III opponent Concordia-Chicago, the Wildcats ended that winless streak with a 6-0 beatdown of the Cougars in addition to honoring the squad’s six seniors.
Head Coach Tim Lenahan knew, coming into the game, that his side would generate a lot of chances to put the ball in the back of the net.

“Looking at the schedule and how difficult it was all year, we really wanted to have a game where we could have the ball a little bit more,” Lenahan said. “ Continue reading

Wildcats fall to Wisconsin Badgers in first winless Big Ten season since 2003

By Nicholas Hennion
Medill Reports

Northwestern University men’s soccer entered Wednesday’s matchup against Wisconsin University with a win in at least one Big Ten game in 15 straight seasons.

But last night’s match broke that streak in Northwestern’s last Big Ten game of the season. The Wildcats fell to the Badgers 2-1 in double overtime after a game-winning goal from Wisconsin’s Noah Melick resigned Northwestern to its first winless Big Ten season since 2003. Continue reading

Northwestern battles to 1-1 draw against hometown foe DePaul

By Nicholas Hennion
Medill Reports

Northwestern University simultaneously continued both a winning and losing streak after a 1-1 draw against Chicago opponent DePaul University last Tuesday.

The Wildcats are now winless – with a draw or a loss – in their last eight games (including Friday’s loss to Rutgers) against all opponents this season and haven’t picked up a win in over a month. On the flip side, the Wildcats are unbeaten – either a win or a draw – in the last five games against Chicago opponents over the past year.

Head Coach Tim Lenahan said the budding rivalry between the Wildcats and DePaul’s Blue Demons absolutely brings out the best of both sides.

“It’s always a fight,” Lenahan said. “The records go out the window and whether it’s UIC, Loyola or DePaul, it’s always a battle.” Continue reading

Wildcats winless streak continues in scoreless draw with Penn State

By Nicholas Hennion
Medill Reports

Northwestern University’s soccer struggles continued Saturday night as the Wildcats failed to find the back of the net in a pivotal Big Ten matchup against Penn State, with the game ending in a 0-0 draw.

Entering the fixture on a three-game losing streak, the Wildcats are now 0-4-2 for the team’s last six contests. A win on Saturday would have moved the Wildcats into a tie with Penn State’s Nittany Lions in the Big Ten standings.

Even though the Wildcats offense produced no goals, head coach Tim Lenahan saw positive steps from his side.

“For most of the game, our side was the protagonist,” Lenahan said. “Up until overtime, we really dictated the tempo.”

Even in a scoreless game, the Wildcats created plenty of quality scoring chances. Junior Sean Lynch and sophomore Tommy Katsiyiannis generated quality opportunities in the first half for the Wildcats, who held the opposition without a shot on target in the opening frame.

The best chance for either side came in the 58th minute for the Wildcats. Forward Jose Del Valle fired a shot from a tight angle that rebounded to Bardia Kimiavi, who then forced Penn’s State keeper to make another save. A third shot on target from midfielder Connor McCabe earned the Wildcats one of its six corners.

The overtime frame proved to be difficult for the Wildcats, who were outshot 7-3 during those 20 minutes of play, though nobody scored. Lenahan said the Wildcats seemed to lose focus and weren’t very sharp.

“I think we lost our discipline and we played tired,” Lenahan said. “You want to stay disciplined and find your chances, but we were pretty well outplayed in overtime.”

The man of the match for the Wildcats was certainly goalkeeper Miha Miskovic, who recorded his seventh shutout of the season. Miskovic finally faced a shot on target in the 71st minute of the match and ended the night with four saves.

The sophomore said the team’s defense was solid all night in terms of denying Penn State quality opportunities.

“The guys in front of me didn’t allow many shots [tonight],” Miskovic said. “I do my part, and they do their part to help earn a clean sheet.”

Lenahan said having a year under his belt has proved beneficial for Miskovic, who currently sits tied for 3rd nationally with his seven shutouts.

“He’s been terrific for us [all year],” Lenahan said. “He sometimes toes the line between calm and too casual. I know it’s part of his personality, but I like the calm, I don’t like the casual.”

After starting in only four games last season, Miskovic has seen his save percentage rise 12 percentage points from 64.3 percent to 76.5 and his goals against average fall to under a goal per game.

Even with Miskovic recording seven shutouts, the Wildcats find themselves under .500 for the first time this season. Northwestern has not recorded a winning season since 2014.

Northwestern will have its first chance to get back to .500 Tuesday against DePaul University with its next Big Ten matchup Friday at Rutgers University in New Jersey.

Photo at top: Northwestern Goalie Miha Miskovic takes a goal kick in a 0-0 draw against Penn State.(nusports.com)