IU men’s soccer returns home after long hiatus, beats Michigan State 2-1
There was no Crabb Band playing “Indiana, Our Indiana,” or Hoosier Army cheering on IU men’s soccer from the sidelines on Monday.
Armstrong Stadium now boasts the Jerry F. Tardy Center, a new $7 million facility named after the former IU Alumni Association President.
The Hoosiers returned to Jerry Yeagley Field on Monday, 470 days after their last home game, a 1-0 double-overtime loss to the University of California, Santa Barbara, in the third round of the 2019 NCAA Tournament, and walked away with a 2-1 win over Michigan State.
“It’s been a while, obviously,” sophomore defender Daniel Munie said in a postgame Zoom conference. “This facility is something else. No university has something like this, and it just felt good to be back on our home field.”
IU’s victory extended an undefeated streak at home in Big Ten play that dates back to October 10, 2015, when IU lost to Ohio State 1-0 in overtime.
The Hoosiers left the locker room for the pregame to a subdued version of the fight song played over the loudspeakers and a quiet crowd of family members cheering their entrance. When they left the field after a last-minute victory, the band wasn’t there to play them out to the alma mater.
“The Hoosier Army and the band, our students and our local fans are special,” head coach Todd Yeagley said. “I think we have the best college soccer fans. Not having them here hurts.”
“There wasn’t a lot of talk about that,” Yeagley said. “They obviously wanted fans back. They’re hoping for that day sooner than later.”
It took three tries to finally return to Armstrong. The team’s season opener against Wisconsin was moved to Grand Park in Westfield, Indiana, Feb. 19 due to snowy weather in Bloomington.
IU’s game against Penn State, scheduled for March 7, was canceled due to positive COVID-19 test results in the Penn State program.
Monday’s game against the Spartans was even delayed three hours due to rain. But the weather cleared, and the third time was a go.
When it was time for kickoff, the Hoosiers entered the field from the Tardy Center for the first time.
The new Tardy Center was unveiled in August and provides the men’s and women’s teams with lounges, training facilities and individual locker rooms.
“It’s really nice, the whole pregame with the staff preparation up in the offices and being here and watching the game setup,” Yeagley said. “To finally walk out and leave from the new center up the stairs was a cool feeling.”
At halftime, trailing 1-0 to the Spartans, Yeagley told his team it wasn’t doing the new facilities justice.
Forty-two minutes later, just under five hours after the scheduled kickoff, Munie found the back of the net to break a 1-1 tie with an 88th go-ahead goal.
In the corner of the field, by the home bench, the Hoosiers celebrated the game-winning goal on their home field.