WHO: Maryland Terrapins @ Indiana Hoosiers
WHAT: Men's soccer B1G Conference game
WHERE: Ludwig Field, University of Maryland, College Park, MD
WHEN: Sunday, October 19, 2014 at 2:00 pm Eastern
For the first time in nearly a decade the Indiana Hoosiers men's soccer team is coming to College Park to face the Maryland Terrapins. The Terps and Hoosiers played to a 1-1 draw. Perhaps even more intriguing was the previous meeting in Bloomington. The year was 2005. Indiana was the two time defending national champion and Maryland was on the verge of capturing their second national title. So perhaps it is fitting that the teams played to a 3-3 draw.
The Terps are coming off their best performance of the season upsetting then third ranked Penn State by a shocking 4-0 score. In their last contest, the Hoosiers scratched out a 2-1 road win at Ohio State in part by virtue of a penalty kick save in the 89th minute by Indiana goalkeeper Colin Webb.
Although the game is an important one given the rush hour type traffic jam backing up in the standings behind conference leader Penn State, it likely carries greater weight for the Terps than for the Hoosiers. Maryland needs not merely to defend their home field but to continue picking up quality wins. The wins over VCU and Penn State jumped the Terrapins' RPI from 97 to 36 but Indiana, currently first in RPI, and Ohio State (29) are the only top 50 RPI teams remaining on Maryland's schedule. Additionally, the Terps have only three conference games remaining while the Hoosiers have four chances to pick up points in the conference standings.
What's a Hoosier?
The answer to this one appears to be fairly straightforward. A Hoosier is a native of Indiana and the term first appeared in print in that context circa 1833. This simple answer doesn't preclude the possibility of some degree of snark, however. Visit Indiana University's website and you can find a long etymological discussion in a paper by Jeffrey Graf of the Reference Department of IU's Herman B. Wells Library.
We've extracted some pertinent information from that paper:
The best evidence, however, suggests that "Hoosier" was a term of contempt and opprobrium common in the upland South and used to denote a rustic, a bumpkin, a countryman, a roughneck, a hick or an awkward, uncouth or unskilled fellow. Although the word's derogatory meaning has faded, it can still be heard in its original sense, albeit less frequently than its cousins "Cracker" and "Redneck."
From the South "Hoosier" moved north and westward with the people into the Ohio Valley, where it was applied at first to the presumably unsophisticated inhabitants of Southern Indiana. Later it expanded to include all residents of the state and gradually lost its original, potent connotation of coarseness in manners, appearance and intellect.
As for the word itself, it probably derives from the Saxon word "hoo" meaning promontory or cliff or ridge or rise or hill. Jacob Piatt Dunn, a diligent scholar of the word, believes a Saxon beginning, and such a meaning survives in various place names in England. There is some sense in the notion, too, that those who applied the insult and those to whom it was applied (and who understood it) came primarily from British stock.
The unusual (ier or sier) ending has always been difficult to explain. Might it be from "scir" the old form of "shire?" The Hoo Shire would then be the Hill Country, the High Places or the Mountain Region. Would that meaning then extend to those who lived in the hills, making them the "hooscirs" and later the "Hoosiers," the mountain people, hillbillies by another name?
Hoosiers on the pitch
Indiana fell on hard times in 2013 for such a storied program. The Hoosiers finished toward the bottom of the Big Ten winning two and losing four. Overall, they ended the season with a record of 8-12-2 but they still managed to reach the NCAA Tournament. How, you ask. They managed it as any underdog does - by making a somewhat shocking run through their conference tournament where the beat fourth seeded Michigan, outlasted top seed Penn State in a shootout, and capped things off with a 1-0 win over Michigan State. The Akron Zips brought the Hoosiers back to earth with a 3-2 win in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
The 2014 season has been quite a turnaround for Indiana. Their lone loss of the season has come to conference foe Penn State. The Hoosiers, who have yet to lose on the road, will bring an 8-1-3 record to College Park and their resume includes a tie with Georgetown and a win at Louisville as well as a win over 13th ranked (18 RPI) St. Louis.
Like nearly every Big Ten team, Indiana seems to be built primarily around its defense. The Hoosiers will bring a 0.67 goals against average into the game with the Terrapins. They are allowing barely ten shots per game. In the offensive half, their scoring is fairly balanced both by halves - 11 of their 19 goals have come in the first half of games - and by individual where three players are tied for the team lead with three goals each.
Players to Watch
Jamie Volmer, #15, redshirt senior, midfielder. Volmer, together with Tanner Thompson (#10) and Femi Hollinger-Janzen (34) comprise the trio of Indiana players who have scored three goals on the season. Volmer, a transfer from Butler who was not a significant factor for the Hoosiers in 2013, has added four assists and leads the team in scoring with ten points.
Colin Webb, #32, sophomore, goalkeeper. Webb has played every minute in goal for Indiana this season and has pitched five shutouts thus far. He carries a more than respectable .822 save percentage into the contest and has twice been named B1G Defensive Player of the Week. Also of note, he has saved two of three penalty kicks this season.
Given the history of two programs that have combined to win five national championships in this century alone, it may come as a bit of a surprise that Maryland and Indiana have only five previous meetings. The Terrapins have managed two ties, both coming in the last two meetings but have never beaten the Hoosiers who hold the all-time series edge with a 3-0-2 record. The teams have met once in the College Cup. That match came in 2004 when Indiana won 3-2 in double overtime.
Maryland played their most complete game of the season in Sunday's 4-0 throttling of Penn State. They possessed the ball effectively and for extended periods of time. They passed quickly, were consistently on their "front foot" as coach Sasho Cirovski called it, and played tenacious defense. If Sunday's performance is an indication of what fans can expect to see over the season's final six regular season games, Maryland will be a very difficult team to contain.