This is what IU’s Justin Rennicks experienced during his time with IU soccer.
During his two-year Hoosier tenure, Rennicks was on teams that went 38-4-7 and never lost a Big Ten game as part of a 27-game regular season unbeaten streak since late 2015. In addition, Rennicks was part of both a Big Ten regular season and tournament championship and two College Cup appearances.
Rennicks said he hopes next year’s team can keep the long conference unbeaten streak going and even without him the program is poised to keep getting strong results.
“That (Big Ten streak) is something I hope to pass on to all the new recruits,” Rennicks said. “We had a great year last year and I am sure we’ll have another great year this year.”
Rennicks, who came to IU as a highly ranked recruit in 2017, said the tradition was a big reason he picked the Hoosiers.
“I went on an official visit there and got my tour with (Hoosier head coach) Todd Yeagley,” he said. “I had a great time. I love the school and he took me to VIP places. It is an amazing school but it came down toward them having a great team and I wanted to go to a place that had a great coach and I thought Todd Yeagley was one of the best coaches in the NCAA.”
Rennicks, who scored 6 goals last year, saw his biggest moment as a Hoosier come late in his second season scoring a rebound goal against Michigan State to end Big Ten play undefeated and untied for the first time since 2002.
Rennicks, who immediately began celebrating by running and slapping his wrist, said this was a highlight of his career while wearing Cream and Crimson. He also said he had a reason for the unorthodox hitting of his arm.
“Definitely one of my best moments,” he said referring to that score. “The celebration was ‘ice in the veins’. I got a lot of questions about that. Scoring that goal to certify us going undefeated was great.”
Despite all of the success of the IU teams Rennicks was on, he never won the National Championship, even though the Hoosiers were right at the top of college soccer his entire career.
Rennicks said finishing on top is difficult and he hopes he can pick up a championship as a pro to make up for it.
“It’s tough not winning it but it’s a learning experience,” he said. “There will be more bigger titles coming up in my future life.”
After just two years at IU, Rennicks departed for professional soccer, signing a Homegrown Player Contract with the New England Revolution of Major League Soccer. While he has made the eighteen man active roster in every match so far, Rennicks has appeared in just two games and made one start tallying 106 minutes with three shots. Despite the minimal playing time so far he was named to the All Star Game for the Home Grown Team.
Rennicks said this year has been a learning experience and he is giving it all he can when given a chance.
“It’s been all over the place,” he said. “It’s been up and down, but when I am getting my minutes I am doing everything I can out there.”
Even though he does not have an official goal to his stats, Rennicks did score professionally in an exhibition match of the US Open Cup against Orlando FC on June 19. He said he was glad to have this tally to his name.
“It was a great goal,” he said. “I came in to make a difference and that’s what I did.”
Moving forward, Rennicks said he hopes to continue to get better and see increased playing time.
“Whatever is best for me,” he said. “Wherever I am, just the best position where I am getting minutes.”
This increased playing time came when the calendar turned to August when the Revolution transferred him to North Carolina FC of the United Soccer League. Since making the move he has appeared in all five matches starting two with three shots.
Rennicks said he is happy about the move and it was his idea.
“I had the option if I wanted to go on loan,” he said. “I chose to go so I could get some minutes and that’s what I’ve been doing.”
Rennicks hopes to show how good he really is with the increased playing time and that the path leads him back to the MLS.
“I am just waiting for my opportunity,” he said. “What’s good about this is I am playing my game so when my opportunity does come I’m ready.”