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What's happened to the Hoosiers?
by Paul Kennedy, October 27th, 2009 8:30AM

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MEN'S NEWS ... Indiana is in trouble. The Hoosiers, who have never had a losing season in their previous 36 seasons as a varsity sport, have fallen to .500 and out of the Soccer America Men's Top 25. Three consecutive losses -- all shutouts -- have left Indiana at 7-7-1 and in danger of missing out on the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1986.

After last Wednesday's 4-0 loss to Louisville, Indiana coach Mike Freitag said his team didn't show up. Not for the first time, he blasted his players' lackluster play. The Hoosiers played better at Northwestern on Sunday, outshooting the Wildcats, 8-2, in the first half, but they came out flat after halftime and lost the key Big Ten match, 2-0. "This is a very difficult loss," said Freitag. "It is indicative of the season at this point and time. For whatever reason, we have not come together as a team and we have very little time left to do that."

IU has only three regular-season games left, all at home, beginning with a match against long-time rival Evansville in Bloomington. The Aces (10-5-1) have lost the last seven games in the series with IU that was resumed two years ago, but they are having a strong season. After that, IU closes out Big Ten play with matches against Ohio State and No. 25 Penn State, both tough teams. Then comes the Big Ten, which will be held in Bloomington Nov. 12-15.

To be considered for the NCAA Tournament, Indiana will need a record of .500 for better. If it finishes around .500, it should get in. It's played one of the strongest schedules in the country. Six of its losses have been to teams ranked in this week's top 13 -- No. 1 Akron, No. 2 Wake Forest, No. 7 UC Santa Barbara, No. 9 Louisville, No. 10 Northwestern and No. 13 Butler.

* CROWD COUNT. UC Santa Barbara is on course to break the modern-day men's soccer attendance record. The Gauchos are averaging 4,836 fans a game and should top the NCAA record of 3,629 fans a game set by New Mexico in 2005. The unofficial record is held by Connecticut, which averaged 4,297 fans a game in 1982. UCSB has led the nation in average attendance the last two years.

2009 AVG. ATTENDANCE:
1. UC Santa Barbara 4836    
2. Connecticut 3211
3. Maryland 3085
4. Creighton  2449
5. Indiana 2335
6. New Mexico 2254
7. North Carolina 1819
8. Wake Forest 1773
9. Portland 1690
10. Clemson 1681
11. Akron 1597
12. Saint Louis 1492
13. Notre Dame 1485
14. St. John's 1444
15. Louisville 1425
16. Kentucky 1322
17. Virginia 1318
18. Cal Poly  1307
19. Binghamton 1302
20. Seton Hall 1217

Men's Player of the Week: Carlos Alvarez (Connecticut)
Men's Team of the Week

* LEADING GOAL SCORERS:
1 Andrew Bulls, UMBC  15
2. Levi Houapeu, UMBC 14
3. Issa Tall, Adelphi 13
4. Teal Bunbury, Akron 12
4. Matt Eliason, Northwestern 12
6. Matthew Skonicki, Winthrop 11
6. JC Banks, Green Bay 11



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