|School: Indiana University|
|Conference: Big Ten|
|Coach: Todd Yeagley – Ninth Season|
|2017 Record: 18-1-6 overall – 5-0-3 in conference|
|Final 2017 Season Rank: Second|
Five Year Win Trend:
|Key Personnel Losess from 2017 Team: Defender Grant Lillard due to graduation. Forward Mason Toye who elected to enter the professional ranks after his freshman season.|
|2017 Goals Scored and Goals Allowed: 49 goals scored – 7 goals allowed|
|2017 Goals Scored and Goals Allowed Per Game: 1.96 scored – 0.28 allowed|
|2017 Key Statistic: 18 shutouts|
Background: Indiana is a tradition rich program. At Indiana, like other college soccer powerhouses, success is relative and judged annually in large part by how far the team advances in the NCAA Tournament. The Hoosiers have earned a berth in the NCAA Tournament for thirty-one consecutive seasons. They have played in a NCAA record nineteen College Cups (Final Four) and have won the National Championship a total of eight times with the last coming in 2012.
The Hoosiers were awarded the number two seed in the 2017 NCAA Tournament and advanced to the National Championship gave where they were edged 1-0 by Stanford in overtime.
Defenders Grant Lillard and Andrew Gutman were named All-Americans by the United Soccer Coaches and College Soccer News. The Indiana coaching staff of head coach Todd Yeagley, associate head coach Brian Maissonneuve, assistant coach Kevin Robson, and volunteer assistant Zac Brown were named the Midwest Region Coaching Staff of the Year by United Soccer Coaches.
Forward Mason Toye, goalkeeper Trey Muse, and midfielder Griffin Dorsey were named to the 2017 College Soccer News All-Freshman Team.
Lillard, Gutman, and midfielder Francesco Moore were 2017 All-Big Ten First Team selections. Dorsey, Muse, and defender Timmy Mehl were All-Big Ten Second Team selections.
|Number Starters Slated to Return in 2018: Nine|
Coach Yeagley stated, "This class helped fill important positional needs heading into our 2018 season. We feel these six young men will play an important role in the near future as we prepare to graduate a large number of starters after the 2018 fall season."
Jack Maher – Defender – Caseyville, Illinois – Athoff Catholic – United Soccer Coaches All-Ameirca selection. Member of the U.S. U-18 National Team. Played with St. Louis FC in 2017.
Daniel Munie – Defender – Maryland Heights, Missouri – Parkway North – Played for Saint Louis FC.
Bryant Pratt – Goalkeeper – Columbus, Ohio – Bishop Watterson – All-State. All-District. Three-Time First Team All-League selection. Played with Ohio Premier. United Soccer Coaches All-Midwest Region selection. Golden Glove award winner for best goalkeeper in USYS National Tournament.
Isaac Sarosy – Defender – Fair Oaks, Indiana, Andrean – Played for the Indiana Fire Development Academy.
Ryan Wittenbrink – Forward – Libertyville, Illinois – Libertyville – United Soccer Coaches All-American. MVP of 2017 High School All-America match. All-State. News-Sun Player of the Year. 2017 Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press Illinos Boys Soccer Player of the Year. Played for Libertyville FC.
Ben Yeagley – Midfielder – Bloomington, Indiana – Bloomington South – High School All-American. 2017 Herald Times Player of the Year. First-Team All State. All-District. All-Conference. Played for Alliance FC.
Outlook for the 2018 Season: The Hoosier faithful have every right to feel good about the pronosis for the upcoming 2018 campaign.
A solid group of battle tested players return including nine starters from the 2017 team that won eighteeen contests and came very close to winning the National Championship. The Hoosiers will also welcome another talented recruiting class.
Last year Indiana was the model of stability on both sides of the ball. Everything feel into place for the Hoosiers as Todd Yeagley and his staff did an excellent job of seamlessly merging the newcomers in with the returning players.
With so many talented, experienced, and motivated players retunning the 2018 team should hit the ground running. However, duplicating the success that the 2017 team enjoyed is not going to be easy.
Indiana must replace the big play ability that forward Mason Toye brought to the attack up-top. Toye was a big part of the equation on the offensive side of the ball for the Hoosiers last year as reflected in his team leading ten goals including five game-winners. On the plus side of the ledger, Indiana should have a very balanced attack with senior defender Andrew Gutman (7g, 4a) and senior midfielders Cory Thomas (7g, 4a), Trevor Swartz (4g, 8a), Austin Panchot (4g, 4a), and Francesco Moore (3g, 2a) and sophomore midfielder Griffin Dorsey (3g, 6a) all capable of finding the back of the net.
Defender Gutman and forward/midfielder Thomas are Indiana's top returning goal scorers. While both will be significant contributors in 2018 neither would appear to fit the role of a go-to goal scorer. Dorsey, who was a highly regarded recruit and now has a year of experience under his belt, looks to be the most likely of the returning players to emerge as the go-to goal scorer for Indiana in 2018. Sophomore midfielder Justin Rennicks whose playing time was limited last year due to injury is among other returning players who have the ability to add additional punch to the offense. Regardless, Indiana's balance on the offensive side of the ball will create match-up problems for most of their opponents. However, a lack of a go-to goal scorer could be an issue, especially early on and as the season progresses in the close contests against top level competition.
The grauduation of two-time All-American center back Grant Lillard who was an impact player for four seasons also creates a void that will not easily be filled on the defensive side of the ball. However with seniors Gutman, Rece Buckmaster (0g, 6a) and Timmy Mehl (3g, 1a) who were starters last year all slated to return, the Hoosier backline should again be among the best in the country. Defensive midfielder Francesco Moore, who is the glue that holds everything togeter, also is a big plus on the defensive side of the ball for Indiana.
This time last year the play between the pipes was a huge unanswered question. That is not the case in 2018. Sophomore Trey Muse, who had a stellar freshman season, returns in goal with the added advantage of a battle tested year of experience under his belt.
A big part of Indiana's success last year (they allowed only seven goals against a very competitive slate of opponents) was the fact that they very rarely made mistakes or had lapsed in play on the defensive side of the ball. Their success in 2018 will hinge on their ability to play with the same level of intensity and organization that made it very difficult for opponents to find the back of the net last year.
The bottom line is that Indiana looks to have the ability, the depth, and the experience to again be a dominant team in 2018. Combine that with the memory that the returning players have of just how close they came last year to their dream of a national championship and the result is a very determined, motivated, and focused team with the ultimate goal of returning to the College Cup and winning it all in 2018.