The Daily Northwestern

Men’s Soccer: Wildcats salvage tie with 89th-minute equalizer against Indiana

Wildcats goalkeeper Tyler Miller made eight saves in Northwestern’s 1-1 tie with Indiana, including a spectacular stop in the 70th minute.

Wildcats goalkeeper Tyler Miller made eight saves in Northwestern’s 1-1 tie with Indiana, including a spectacular stop in the 70th minute.

Sean Su/Daily Senior Staffer

Sean Su/Daily Senior Staffer

Wildcats goalkeeper Tyler Miller made eight saves in Northwestern’s 1-1 tie with Indiana, including a spectacular stop in the 70th minute.

Julian Gerez, Development and Recruitment Editor

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Northwestern (4-1-4, 0-1-2, Big Ten) tied Indiana (5-1-3, 1-1-1 Big Ten) 1-1 in a thrilling match in Bloomington, Indiana on Sunday. The Wildcats were spurred by a goal in the second-to-last-minute of regulation and an imperious performance from senior goalkeeper Tyler Miller.

“We were grinding today,” coach Tim Lenahan said. “We weren’t sharp, and sometimes you’re not going to be sharp, and we were still able to find a point against a good team.”

Hoosiers sophomore midfielder Tanner Thompson scored the first goal of the contest, his second of the season, off of a penalty kick in the 73rd minute. The Cats had a couple of chances throughout the match, which was mostly dominated by Indiana but became more even over time.

Finally, NU was able to capitalize in the second-to-last-minute of regulation, when sophomore Brandon Medina headed in his 1st goal of the season after a rebound off of the crossbar to take the match into overtime, which ultimately wasn’t enough to separate the two teams.

It was the Hoosiers who had the best chances in the fist couple of minutes, with several shots putting Miller under pressure. But the New Jersey native, who played 307 minutes without allowing a goal before Sunday’s matchup, was up to the task, making important saves against a potent Indiana offense. Indiana junior Andrew Oliver put the ball into the back of the net in the 24th minute after a cutback down the right side. The goal was called back, though, because Oliver was offside.

“We were really lucky to get out of the first half even,” Lenahan said. “We made some adjustments to push some guys forward in the second half.”

NU seemed to wake up a bit after the scare, finally creating a couple of offensive opportunities toward the middle of the first half in a game that evened out. The game really picked up the pace at the start of the second 45 minutes, with both teams going back-and-forth. Miller continued making impressive saves, including a spectacular diving save in the 70th minute on what would have been a sure goal for Indiana.

A couple of minutes later, the Hoosiers broke the deadlock. Cats senior defender Grant Wilson was called for a foul after a dangerous cross into the box.

Thompson stepped up to take the penalty for Indiana, and the sophomore slotted it low but powerfully to the right of Miller, who made eight saves in the game.

The Cats had a couple more opportunities toward the end of the match to take it into overtime. Agonizingly, it took a corner kick in the 89th minute of the match, which bounced around the inside of the Hoosiers box until it rebounded off the crossbar and fell kindly for Medina. The sophomore headed in the equalizer for the goal.

“I just happened to be there,” said Medina, who admitted he’s not fully recovered from last season’s ACL tear. “I had no clue where the defenders were, I just zeroed in on the ball.”

Both teams seemed to be tired during the two overtime periods, with Oliver hitting the side-netting of the NU goal, fooling the two benches and fans who thought he had scored. The Cats also nearly scored the golden goal with eight minutes left in the match with Cats joint-top scorer junior forward Joey Calistri almost scoring off of a fast break.

In the end, NU left with a valuable point in a tough match against powerhouse Indiana.

“This is one of the most historic places to play, against a very good team,” Lenahan said. “To come away with a draw, that’s not the worst thing in the world.”

Alex Putterman contributed reporting.

Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated the minute during which goalkeeper Tyler Miller made a particular save. The save occurred in the 70th minute. The Daily regrets the error.

Twitter: @JulianEGerez