|School: Indiana University|
|Conference: Big Ten|
|Coach: Todd Yeagley – Eighth Season|
|2016 Record: 12-2-7 overall and 3-0-5 in conference play|
|2016 Final Season Ending National Rank: NSCAA 9, College Soccer News 11|
|Key Losses from 2016 Team: Midfielders Tanner Thompson (8g, 3a) and Phil Fives (0g, 2a), forward Richard Ballard (4g, 2a), defenders Billy McConnell (3g, 2a) and Derek Creviston, and goalkeepers Colin Webb and Christian Lomeli.|
Five Year Win Trend:
2012 – 16
2015 – 13
2016 – 12
|2016 goals scored and goals against: 30/16|
|Key 2016 statistic: Seven ties including five in Big Ten play.|
The Hoosiers are among the premier men's college soccer programs in the country. No program in the country has more of a winning tradition than Indiana as reflected in their forty-one total appearances in the NCAA Tournament including the last thirty years in a row. The Hoosiers have advanced to the College Cup eighteen times and have won the National Championship eight times with the last coming in the 2012 season. IU has earned a national seed in the NCAA Tourney for twelve times in the past fourteen seasons. They have won the Big Ten Tournament Title a total of twelve times with the last coming in the 2013 campaign.
In 2016 the Hoosiers finished in the number two spot in the Big Ten regular season race. They advanced past Northwestern in the conference tournament quarterfinals before being topped by Wisconsin in penalty kicks in the semifinals after the contest was tied 1-1 at the end of regulation and overtime.
IU was subsequently awarded the number seven seed in the 2016 NCAA Tournament and advanced past Akron 1-0. However, their season came to an unexpected end when they were upset at home by Virginia Tech 2-1 in overtime despite having a 24-8 advantage in shots and an 11-4 advantage in shots on goal.
Tanner Thompson was named the Big Ten Midfielder of the Year for the second year in a row and was an NSCAA and CSN All-American. Defender Grant Lillard was a Big Ten First Team selection and a CSN All-American. Forward Richard Ballard and defender Andrew Gutman were Second Team All-Big Ten selections.
|Number starters returning in 2017: Six|
Offense: The Hoosiers will enter the 2017 season without three of their top goal scorers from 2016 who accounted for a total of fifteen of the thirty goals they produced last year. The graduation of midfielder Tanner Thompson (8g, 3a) who was Indiana's go-to guy last year and forward Richard Ballard (4g, 2a) leave the biggest shoes to fill.
Senior Rashad Hyacenth (2g, 2a), redshirt junior Cory Thomas (1g, 1a), sophomore Ian Black and redshirt freshman Isaac Friendt are among returning forwards who look to be in the mix up-top. A solid core of midfielders return including redshirt juniors Trevor Swartz (5g, 3a), Francesco Moore (0g, 2a, and Jack Griffith (0g, 1a) and juniors Austn Panchot (2g, 1a), Jeremiah Gutjahr (1g, 1a) who was named in February 2017 to the U.S. U-20 Men's National Team, Rees Wedderburn (0g, 2a) and Rece Buckmaster (0g, 2a).
Newcomers who have the potential to make an immediate impact on the offensive side of the ball include forwards Griffin Dorsey and Justin Rennicks whose resume includes membership in the U.S. U-18 National Teams and Mason Toye who has been a member of the U.S. U-19 National Team. Dorsey is ranked by College Soccer News as the number sixteen player in the class of 2017, Rennicks as the number eighteen player, and Toye as the number forty-nine player in the class. Forward Thomas Warr who honed his skills while playing for the Indiana Fire Academy is among other members of the recruiting class who could add punch to the offense.
Defense: Key departures on the defensive side of the ball due to graduation from the 2016 team that held opponents to a 0.70 goals against average while recording eleven shutouts include back Billy McConnell and goalkeepers Colin Webb and Christian Lomeli.
However the Hoosier backline looks to be very solid with senior Grant Lillard, junior Andrew Gutman and redshirt junior Timmy Mehl all slated to return. Redshirt sophomore Sean Caulfield who is from East Lake, Florida looks to be among the likely candidates to fill the crucial vacant spot in goal. Caulfield did not see any action last year.
Coach Yeagley stated, "We are really excited to announce our 2017 class. We feel this is the top recruiting class in the country. Our class of nine is balanced, very talented and possesses the winning qualities that have been a trademark for IU soccer over the years." Yeagley added, " With key players graduating this fall, we knew the importance of bringing in a group capable of starting on day one."
John Bannec – Defender – Bloomington, Indiana – Bloomington South – First Team All-State. Netted thirteen goals and contributed fourteen assists during senior season at Bloomington South.
Kyle Barks – Midfielder – St. Louis, Missouri – De Smet Jesuit – Played with St. Louis Scott Gallagher Academy for four seasons. Participated in elite training program in partnership with Arsenal Football Club.
Griffin Dorsey – Forward – Evergreen, Colorado – Evergreen – Ranked by CSN as the number sixteen player in the class of 2017. Member of the U.S. U-18 Men's National Team. Played for Colorado Rush Academy.
Jacob Gruber – Goalkeeper – Fishers, Indiana – Cathedral – Played for the Indiana Fire Academy. 2015 ODP Region II Team. First Team All-State during junior season at Cathedral.
Jacob Meier – Defender – Shakopee, Minnesota – Shakopee – Ranked by CSN as the number 119 player in the class of 2017. Played four seasons for the Minnesota Thunder Academy. Two-time ODP Region II selection.
Justin Rennicks – Ranked as the number eighteen player in the class of 2017 by CSN. Member of the U.S. U-18 Men's National Team. Played with the New England Revolution Academy netting thirty-eight goals and contributing twenty-five assists.
Joe Schmidt – Midfielder – Bainbridge Twonship, Ohio – University School – Member of the U.S. U-14 and U-15 Youth National Teams. Played four seasons with the USSDA Internationals Academy.
Mason Toye – Forward – South Orange, New Jersey – Ranked by CSN as the number forty-nine player in the class of 2017. Member of the U.S. U-19 Youth National Team. 2016 NSCAA All-American. 2016 New Jersey State Player of the Year. First Team All-State.
Thomas Warr – Forward – Zionsville, Indiana – Zionsville High School – Played for Indiana Fire Academy. All-State, All-Conference.
Prognosis for 2017: Offensive productivity specifically big play ability is once again an unanswered question at IU heading into the 2017 season. The graduation of All-American Tanner Thompson who was the big play guy for IU last year leaves a big gap to be plugged. Who will step in to assume that role in 2017 remains to be seen. Midfielder Trevor Swartz who found the back of the net five times last year is the top returning goal scorer.
Yeagley may have to look to several of the newcomers to add immediate punch which can be problematic particularly in the early going. Griffin Dorsey and Justin Rennicks are highly regarded forwards and could prove to be the missing ingredient IU needs but they will experience a learning curve of sorts. Back Grant Lillard has the ability to contribute to the attack out of set plays.
Yeagley's ability to blend the newcomers in with the returning players looks to be one of the critical success factors on the offensive side of the ball in 2017. The backline should again be a team strength with Lillard, Andrew Gutman and Timmy Mehl providing an experienced core upon which to build. The play in goal due to the departure of both Colin Webb and Christian Lomeli leaves a void that an inexperienced player will have to fill. Look for the level of play and leadership between the pipes to also be among the critical success factors facing IU in 2017.
The seven ties that Indiana experienced in 2016 reflects the fact that although they were very competitive they nonetheless had a very small margin for error. Expect that to be the case again in 2017. IU will again be talented in 2017 but how that translates into wins depends on how well they are able to plug the unknowns that exist.