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No. 8 IU men’s soccer begins 50th season at No. 1 Clemson Friday night on national TV

A milestone season begins with a historic matchup.

Eight-time champion, perennial powerhouse and No. 8-ranked Indiana men’s soccer will open its 50th varsity season in a road match at No. 1 Clemson, Friday (Aug. 26) night on Riggs Field in Clemson, South Carolina.

The match will be nationally televised on ESPNU with kickoff set for 7 p.m. ET.

SETTING THE SCENE

• Friday marks the start of a new season. The opportunities abound, and the possibilities are endless.

• It’s the first matchup in 10 years between the two blue bloods, both coming in with top-10 preseason rankings. IU and Clemson have combined for 11 NCAA National Championships, 30 NCAA College Cup appearances and 80 NCAA Tournament berths.

• The 2022 season is the 50th varsity season for Indiana men’s soccer and a celebration of the program’s Tradition of Excellence. IU men’s soccer is an eight-time NCAA Champion, 17-time Big Ten regular season champion, 15-time Big Ten Tournament Champion and has made 46 appearances in the NCAA Tournament, including an active streak of 35 consecutive berths.

• Each of Indiana’s first five opponents made the NCAA Tournament last season. Following the opener versus the Tigers, IU will start a four-match homestand, hosting Portland (Aug. 30), Notre Dame (Sep. 3), St. John’s (Sep. 6) and Akron (Sep. 9).

ABOUT THE TIGERS

• Clemson is ranked No. 1 in all three national polls after winning the program’s third national title, first since 1987, last season while owning a 16-5-2 record.

• The Tigers are led by 13th-year head coach Mike Noonan. Noonan has complied a 140-72-35 record at Clemson and a 364-188-76 mark in 34 seasons as a coach.

• Clemson returns its leading scorer in senior forward Isaiah Reed, who jumped on the scoresheet nine times in 2021.

• Midfielder Ousmane Sylla led Clemson with seven assists a year ago and returns for his junior season.

SERIES HISTORY

• Indiana owns a 6-4-1 record versus Clemson all-time and is undefeated in the last five matches of this series (5-0-1). IU’s last defeat to Clemson came in 1987, when the Tigers won their second national title.

• The two teams last met almost exactly 10 years ago, on August 31, 2012, in a 3-0 win for eventual national champion IU. Before that, the Hoosiers and Tigers met another 10 years prior, to the tune of a 1-1 draw.

• Friday’s contest will be the third match of the series played on Riggs Field and first since 1998, a 2-1 win for IU. The series is tied, 1-1, at Clemson’s home facility.

• Four of the eleven matchups in the all-time series have been played in the NCAA Tournament, with the winner advancing in or to the NCAA College Cup each time. On eight occasions, the winner of the match would go on to appear in the NCAA College Cup – this has been the case in all six of IU’s victories.

• IU had won back-to-back NCAA titles in 1982 and 1983 when it was defeated by Clemson, 2-1, in the 1984 national championship match, decided by a goal in the final two minutes of play. After a 1987 regional final defeat to the Tigers, the Hoosiers would get revenge in 1998 and 2001 NCAA Tournament quarterfinal matches.

INDIANA’S RETURNERS

• Of IU’s 25 players that saw minutes in 2021, 20 have returned for the 2022 season.

• Statistically, the Hoosiers return 71 percent of its goals scored (27 of 38) and 75 percent of its assists (27 of 36) from last campaign, which saw IU make a tournament run to the round of 16.

• Center backs Joey Maher and Daniel Munie, who started all 22 matches for IU in 2021 and led the team to an NCAA-best 13 clean sheets, are both back to anchor the back line.

• Munie was named Top Drawer Soccer first-team Best XI and was ranked the No. 3 player – and top defender – in the country by the publication.

NEW FACES

• Indiana men’s soccer added nine newcomers – three transfers and six freshmen – signing the No. 9-ranked recruiting class according to Top Drawer Soccer.

• IU pulled in two transfers from Xavier in senior forward Karsen Henderlong, who scored 22 goals over three seasons in Cincinnati, and junior defender Jansen Miller, an experienced addition to an already solid IU back line.

• Junior goalkeeper JT Harms also transferred into IU after two seasons at Duke. Harms will look to make an immediate impact between the sticks.

• Freshmen include forward Luka Bezerra, goalkeeper Cooper Johnsen and midfielders Noah Joseph, Breckin Minzey, Seth Stewart and Jack Wagoner.


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