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Indiana Women’s Soccer scores five goals in win over Kentucky

Indiana women’s soccer took care of Kentucky easily Friday night in a 5-1 win.

The Hoosiers’ offense came out firing as senior defender Caroline Dreher scored her first goal of the season just over 15 minutes into the game. But a big reason Indiana was able to play at the level they did throughout the entire 90 minutes is due to the shut-down play from the Hoosier backline.

Moving forward, head coach Amy Berbary hopes that this becomes the rule, rather than the exception.

“Our backline was fantastic,” Berbary said. “We’ve been splitting up at practice. We’ve been working on reading service, clearing, being better with distribution and I thought everybody – even Hannah Nemeth when she came in with 25 minutes to go – they were fantastic. They were hard to break down.”

Indiana made changes defensively coming into Friday night’s contest, and they couldn’t have panned out any better. They limited what Kentucky was able to do offensively, thus, opening things up for the Hoosiers going the other way. Without those changes, it may have not allowed the offense to breakout.

The Indiana defense was led by strong efforts from senior Justine Lynn and graduate transfer Claudia Day.

Day, who stepped in this season coming from Wake Forest, has had no problems fitting in on the backline.

“It feels like we’ve been playing with her for four seasons,” fellow defender Justine Lynn said of Day. “She’s calm, collected, and has been really great on the back.

Lynn’s feelings towards Day summarized IU’s defensive efforts as a whole against Kentucky. The Wildcats came into the game leading the SEC in corner kicks with over eight per game. Indiana held them to only five on the night. Anytime Kentucky forwards were able to establish possession and try to create offense, Lynn and company were there to shut the door.

With seven minutes to go in the first half, Kentucky was threatening to narrow the gap and cut down a 3-0 Hoosier lead. Wildcat midfielder Miranda Jimenez found herself in a 1-on-1 with Lynn. Jimenez had a step on her, but somehow Lynn was able to recover, take the ball from Jimenez and send it out of bounds off of Jimenez for a goal kick.

Defensive plays like that from Lynn and the rest of the defense, backed up by the stellar play of goalkeeper Bethany Kopel, helped the Hoosiers to blow things wide open and light up the scoreboard as a result.

“(Kopel) has been amazing for us,” Lynn said. “Even if they do break our line, I’m confident in her being there and keeping us in the game.”

Because of Indiana’s shutdown defense, the Hoosier offense broke out and had its way for the entirety of the contest as five different Hoosiers found the back of the net. Additionally, Indiana is now outscoring opponents 8-1 at home this season.

“We’ve made it a point of contention to get our offense firing,” Berbary said. “Everyone is getting themselves on the board and we’ve really been working on it. Just really proud of them.”

“I’m still mad, though,” said coach Berbary.

Mad? After a win where Indiana dominated in nearly every fashion?

Mad? After Indiana won their third straight match, making them confident in preparation for their last game before conference play begins?

Mad? After tallying five goals from five different players?

“We gave up a goal,” said Berbary.

Currently studying sports media at Indiana University because hey, it’s probably a good idea to follow your dreams while you’re young, right? Born and raised in Northwest Indiana under an hour away from the best sports city in the world, Chicago. I’m a diehard Chicago Blackhawks, White Sox, Bears and Bulls fan. Growing up I genuinely believed I'd be centering a dominate second line alongside Patrick Kane by the time I turned twenty, but writing about it isn't too bad either. I think I’ve lived long enough to feel ways about stuff. That being said, Trubisky is the second coming, MJ is the GOAT, the Blackhawks are a dynasty and the media deleted the 2005 World Series. All opinions are my own. Can still hit the open 3 or go bar down your call. Follow @SamuelRBoland on Twitter.

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