IU men's soccer makes NCAAs again
November 18, 2009
The Indiana men's soccer team was awarded an at-large berth into the 2009 NCAA Tournament and will face the Louisville Cardinals in the first round on Thursday (Nov. 19) at 7 p.m. on Jerry Yeagley Field at Armstrong Stadium.
The winner of this match will play host to No. 12-seed Butler on Sunday.
"I think everyone is pretty excited," said senior captain Lee Hagedorn. "We knew it would be close getting in, and we are all happy that we did. Louisville got the better of us the first time, but I think things will turn around, and to have it at home will be good for us. I think everyone is confident going into the game."
"Getting (Louisville) at home will be good," said redshirt freshman goalkeeper Luis Soffner. "It is a redemption game for us against a very good team. I am excited to play them at home, and I think it will be a fun one."
The Hoosiers finished the regular season with a 10-9-1 record, 3-3 in Big Ten Conference action. Indiana faced one of the toughest schedules in the nation as 12 of IU's 18 regular-season opponents made the tournament field, including eight teams that earned a top 16 seed.
"I am relieved that the system works," said Head Coach Mike Freitag. "One of the things we want to do with college soccer is to make it better all of the time, and to play a competitive schedule is something that we did. We didn't come out on top against some of the teams, but if we are not one of the top 48 teams in the country there is something wrong.
"We are excited to play the University of Louisville at home, and hopefully we can get some revenge from our regular season loss," Freitag continued. "I am proud of the guys. I have challenged them this year with probably the hardest schedule in the country, and hopefully it is going to pay dividends here in the NCAA Tournament."
Indiana defeated Wisconsin, 2-0, in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament before falling to eventual champion Ohio State, 4-2.
Louisville comes to Bloomington with a 13-2-4 record and was 8-2-1 in Big East action. These teams met during the regular season on Oct. 21, with the Cardinals coming away with a 4-0 victory.
Indiana leads the all-time series with Louisville, 15-2. This is the first time the teams have met in post-season play.
Five of the seven Big Ten teams made the tournament field, led by No. 4-seed Ohio State. Penn State is the No. 7 seed, with Northwestern the No. 9 seed and Michigan State the No. 14 seed.
The Hoosiers are making their 23rd-straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament and 34th overall. The Hoosiers have an NCAA-best .745 (74-24-4) winning percentage in the tournament, while the 74 victories is also tops in the NCAA. Indiana has appeared in 17 College Cups, which leads all Division I teams, and won seven national titles, most recently in 2004.