Rutgers seeks to end scoring drought against Indiana in Bloomington
The game of soccer is full of cliches. The beautiful game is the home to some of the greatest quotes in the history of sports.
In the summer of 2010, Cristiano Ronaldo added to the rich history of soccer soundbites. With his Portuguese national team struggling to find the back of the net, including in the opening match of that year’s World Cup against the Ivory Coast, the experienced forward remained optimistic and showed it with this gem.
“Goals, as a football legend once told me, are like ketchup — sometimes as much as you try, they don’t come out and when they come, they come all at the same time," Ronaldo said.
The next time his team went on the pitch, Portugal put seven goals past North Korea in a resounding 7-1 win.
The Rutgers men’s soccer team hope to follow in the footsteps of the 2010 Portuguese national team. In a goal drought themselves, the Scarlet Knights (2-2-1) look to put a few goals past junior goalkeeper Colin Webb when they travel to Bloomington to face No. 22 Indiana on Sunday.
The Knights leading goalscorer from last season, Jason Wright, knows he and his team need to be more efficient on the offensive end after being unable to factor against Wisconsin in a 1-0 double-overtime loss as well as in the 0-0 draw they had against Monmouth.
“I’m having a bad spell right now. I’m just leaving everything to God, you know? He knows best," Wright said. "Honestly, my coaches are pleased with the way I’m playing and it’s just time. It’s just time for me to get one and then continue. But I just leave it to God.”
Playing in two consecutive double-overtime matches that went down to the wire, fatigue may become an issue to Rutgers. Captain Mitch Lurie does not have any concerns about the team’s fitness, praising the competence of both his coaching staff and the trainer.
“We’re prepared,” the fifth-year senior said. “We've got a great trainer. Our coaches will make sure that we’re well rested and practice accordingly and do all the right things we need to do. Get in the ice bath, do our proper treatment to make sure we’ll be ready to go for Sunday’s match.”
The seasoned defender, despite being fresh off of three consecutive matches without a win, remains confident and used few words to preview his team’s visit to the Hoosiers (3-2-1).
“We’ll be ready to go,” he said.
No. 22 Indiana enters Bill Armstrong Stadium with history on its side. The eight-time national champions, most recently in 2012, have only suffered one loss to the Knights in their first ever meeting, winning six and drawing just one since.
In the last meeting between both teams, the Knights left Yurcak Field with a 2-1 loss where David Greczek was forced into making seven saves, including one on a penalty. Indiana opened the scoring 20 minutes into the contest through Femi Hollinger-Janzen. Rutgers defender Neil Guzman equalized just before halftime with his first career goal and the then-freshman was ecstatic to finally get on the board.
“Honestly, it’s about time,” Guzman told the Targum's Sean Stewart following last season's match. “It’s been four or five games now, and a couple games ago, I had an own goal, so it’s nice to score a goal on the other net.”
But his effort wouldn’t matter after Tanner Thompson, older brother of San Jose Earthquakes forward Tommy Thompson, scored what proved to be the game-winner in the 65th minute of the match.
Head coach Todd Yeagley, son one of the most successful head coaches in NCAA men’s soccer history Jerry Yeagley, leads a Hoosier team who’s only losses came to No. 2 Notre Dame and No. 13 Penn State.
Despite the prestige of the opponent his team prepares to face, Wright has only one goal in mind entering Bloomington, while Rutgers fans hope he has multiple goals in his feet.
“Win. We need to win," Wright said. "Every game we try to win and that’s just it.”
For updates on the Rutgers men’s soccer team, follow @briannnnf and @TargumSports on Twitter.