It was the word senior midfielder Luke Norman used to describe freshman midfielder Jay Chapman’s performance — a performance that carried the MSU men’s soccer team (8-7-1 overall, 3-2-0 Big Ten) to a 3-1 upset win over Indiana.
Chapman didn’t just pick up his first collegiate goal Sunday afternoon; he picked up his second and third as well.
“It was amazing,” Norman said. “We know he’s a really, really good player, and we’ve been waiting all year for him to get his goals, and they’re finally coming at the right time. I think we’re all kind of gelling together at the right time.”
And that gelling Norman refers to has picked up MSU its third consecutive win, and fifth win in six games.
Chapman kicked things off in the first half when senior defender Ryan Thelen laid the ball off to Chapman, who struck the ball into the net from about 22 yards out.
And the goals just kept coming from there.
“As soon as I scored the first goal, I heard my teammates, I heard the fans,” Chapman said. “That just drove me. I really wanted to win this game. Indiana is one of the best teams, if not the best team, in the past history in the Big Ten.”
Heading into the second half, Chapman netted a breakaway goal past Indiana’s keeper, getting his second goal of the afternoon on an assist from sophomore forward Adam Montague.
Chapman completed his hat trick on a rebound from the opposing keeper.
Indiana responded late in the game with a shot 15 yards out, sneaking the ball under freshman goalie Zach Bennett, but it was its only goal of the afternoon.
Heading into the game, Indiana was fighting for a spot at the top of the Big Ten while MSU sat in the bottom three. But the Spartans’ winning effort will put a fork in the Hoosiers’ mission to Big Ten domination.
“It’s a big win — there’s no doubt it’s a big win,” head coach Damon Rensing said. “We’ll see how a couple of things play out the rest of (Sunday) afternoon, but I’ve said all along, I think we’re going to factor into this Big Ten championship, whether we have a chance to win it or help decide it. We certainly helped make that decision today, for sure.”