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Indiana Men’s Soccer. Expectations Remain High For The Hoosiers In 2024.

A Talented And Motivated Indiana Team That Has Advanced To The College Cup Four Out Of The Last Seven Seasons Will Be Eager To Continue Their Winning Ways In 2024.

Coach – Todd Yeagley – 15th season
Conference – Big Ten
2022 Record – 15-4-5 overall, 4-2-2 in conference
2022 National Ranking – 7th United Soccer Coaches, 6th College Soccer News
Five Year Win Total
2023 – 15
2022 – 14
2021 – 15
2020 – 13
2019 – 15
2024 Outlook

An Indiana program that has been elite for a long time should once again be a force in the Big Ten and on the national scene in 2024. The Hoosiers have some gaps to fill due to departures but there is rarely a reason to question the talent level or the team chemistry at IU. Todd Yeagley will have a solid core of top-end talent returning along with the addition of several newcomers with the ability to help fill the gaps that exist.

Yeagley will have to replace the dimension that forwards Maouloune Goumballe (5g, 4a) and Karsen Henderlong (4g, 3a) and defensive midfielder Hugo Bacharach (4g, 4a) provided to the offense and the stability and experience that Henderlong and backs Joey Maher, a stalwart four-year starter and team captain, and Brett Bebej, who appeared in 94 games with 69 starts over five seasons, provided on the defensive side of the ball.

The encouraging news is that senior Samuel Sarver (8g, 6a), a 2023 All-American and All-Big Ten First Team member with big play ability is back to power the attack along with sophomore Collins Oduro (5g, 2a), a 2023 Big Ten All-Freshman Team selection who now has the advantage of a year of starting experience under his belt, and senior Tommy Mihalic (2g, 0a), a talented playmaker with 14 goals and three assists over three seasons.

Junior Luka Bezerra and sophomore Clay Murador are among other returning players with the potential to add punch to the attack. Graduate transfer Justin Weiss, a two-time All-Big Ten selection with 18 goals and 10 assists during three seasons at Northwestern, is among the newcomers who will add additional punch to the attack. Yeagley stated, “Justin is a proven goal scorer who will mesh well with our returning attacking group.”

The decision of soccer savvy box-to-box midfielder Patrick McDonald (3g, 5a), a 2023 All-Big Ten First Team member who was selected by Toronto FC in the 2024 MLS draft, to return for his senior season is a huge plus. McDonald, a three-year starter who led the Hoosiers in minutes played last year, will set the pace for the Hoosiers in the center of the park. Junior Jack Wagoner who has appeared in 42 games with 25 starts and senior Quinten Helmer who has appeared in 49 games with 15 starts are among other midfielders who look to be in the mix in 2024 along with several of the rising sophomores who are eager to play a greater role.

Sophomore left back Alex Barger who started 23 games last year as a freshman and senior center back Jansen Miller who appeared in 19 games last year with 17 starts provide a solid core upon which to reload the backline. Junior transfer defender Quinton Elliot, a two-year starter at Louisville with the ability to push forward to add numbers to the attack, and freshman center back Josh Maher who played for St. Louis CITY 2 are among several newcomers with the potential to make an immediate impact on the defensive side of the ball.

Senior captain JT Harms, a two-year starter and 2023 All-Big Ten Second Team selection, returns to give the Hoosiers a talented, composed, and experienced shot stopper in goal. Harms had a 0.78 goals against average and eight shutouts last year.

Last year the Hoosiers were 3-3-3 with a 0-1-2 mark in conference play at the end of September but from that point forward they only lost one game to finish with a 15-4-5 overall record that included winning the Big Ten Tournament and advancing to the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament. Their season came to an abrupt end in the Elite Eight when they were edged by Notre Dame in a heartbreaking match that was determined by a penalty kick shootout after 110 minutes of play.

The difference between winning and losing can be very slight. A big key to IU’s success in 2024 can be found by looking at the difference in their play between the first and the second halves of the 2023 season. During the first half of the season the Hoosiers got the best of possession but that advantage didn’t consistently translate to the scoreboard. As the season progressed they did a much better job of finishing the opportunities that came their way particularly out of restarts while continuing to play solid team defense. As a result the Hoosiers began to win the close games.

You can bet the farm that Indiana will again be a motivated and well coached team in 2024. Much will depend on their ability to settle into a rhythm as they did in the second half of the 2023 season that will enable them to close out contests. It is not easy to win consistently given the level of parity that currently exists in college soccer. Regardless another Big Ten Title, a deep run in the NCAA Tournament, and maybe even the opportunity to win the program’s ninth national championship are not out of the question if everything falls into place for the Hoosiers in 2024.
2024 Newcomers

Coach Yeagley stated, “I’m really excited to announce our 2024 class. We have nine newcomers, three defenders, three midfielders, three attackers. All provide really good, immediate positional help for us. I’m excited for out fans and all the Hoosiers out they to watch this new, young group hit the field next fall.”

The Hoosiers have also added two transfer students.

Quinton Elliot – Defender – Charleston, West Virginia – New Albany High School – A junior transfer from Louisville where he was a two year starter with two career goals and eight career assists. Was a member of the Columbus Crew Academy. Made appearances for Columbus Crew II in MLS Next Pro.

Justin Weiss – Forward – Syosett, New York – Syosset High School – A graduate student transfer from Northwestern where he was a three-year starter and All-Big Ten Team First Team selection in 2021 and 2023. He had 18 career goals and ten career assists during three seasons at Northwestern including seven goals and seven assists in 2023. Appeared in six games with four starts in 2020 at Colgate. Played three years for the United States Development Academy. Also competed for New York Red Bulls Academy.

Easton Bogard – Forward – Oak Park, Illinois -Oak Park and River High School – Played for Chicago Fire Academy. Named to the Elite Academy League U17 and USYS National Championships U17 Best XI lists. A 2023 United Soccer Coaches All-American at Oak Park and River High School where he set scoring records for a single season (33) and career (91). IHSSCA Player of the Year.

Drew Gaydosh – Defender – Centerville, Ohio – Centerville High School – Played for and was team captain for Cincinnati United Premier – Two-time United Soccer Coaches All-American At Centerville High School. Also played for FC Cincinnati Academy.

Charlie Heuer – Midfielder – Elmhurst, Illinois – Played with the Chicago Fire Academy and FC United within MLS NEXT. Named the 2022-23 FC United Academy Player of the Year.

Miles Imparato – Midfielder – Tampa, Florida – Plaint High School – Played for Chargers SC in MLS NEXT. Two-time United Soccer Coaches Player of the Year nominee to All-America honors.

Nolan Kinsella – Forward – Munster, Indiana – Munster High School – Played for FC United and Indy Eleven Academies in MLS NEXT. Played with Millennium Soccer Association. Had 73 goals and 30 career assists at Munster High School including a school record 43 goals as a senior. Also played basketball for Munster.

Jack Lindimore – Defender – New Albany, Ohio – New Albany High School – An eight year starter for the Columbus Crew Academy. Team captain. Played with the Columbus Crew 2 in MLS NEXT.

Josh Maher – Defender – Caseyville, Illinois – Deferred his enrollment to 2024. Played for St. Louis CITY 2. Played for St. Louis CITY’s U17 team and Saint Louis Scott Gallagher Academies.

Michael Nesci – Forward – Chicago, Illinois – Played for Chicago Fire Academy where he was an MLS NEXT All-Start in 2023. Over the past two years he has appeared in 25 games for Chicago Fire II in MLS NEXT Pro.

Drew Thompson – Midfielder – Brownsburg, Indiana – Brownsburg High School – Played with Indy Eleven Academy. Helped Indy Eleven secure back-to -back USL Academy Cup Championships in 2021 and 2-22. Also played basketball at Brownsburg.

Picture from Indiana University Athletics

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Posted in 2024 Team Reviews

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