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Indiana defense stands strong in scoreless tie at Notre Dame

In Indiana’s first road game of the season, the Hoosier women’s soccer team hoped to build off Thursday’s win as they traveled up to take on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. However, IU left South Bend with a tie, 0-0, in what didn’t look quite well for IU. The Irish outshot the Hoosiers by eight, and also had eight more corner kick opportunities than IU.

The Indiana Hoosiers Women’s soccer team is pictured during the game between the Michigan State Spartans and the Indiana Hoosiers in March 2021 at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington. Photo By Missy Minear/Indiana Athletics

It was a bit of a sloppy game to start things off, as there were a combined eight fouls in the first 20 minutes. The Irish got off to a hot start offensively, as they were able to get two early corner kicks and have the Hoosier defense on its heels. Fortunately, Indiana was well-prepared and the team was able to halt an early Irish push.

Large Notre Dame substitutions later in the first half put some more pressure on IU’s defense. The Irish were able to control the ball well and had a couple good looks at the net. Indiana head coach Erwin van Bennekom took after Notre Dame, and began to make some more substitutions in order to get fresh legs on the defensive end. 

Being outnumbered 5-1 in total shots by the Irish, IU was fortunate to go into the locker room with the game tied at zero. This was big for van Bennekom and company in order to figure out how they can get more opportunities on the offensive end. 

The IU offense looked much better in just the opening moments of the second half than it did the first half. Anna Bennett and Kelly Monaco created some offensive opportunities and got IU’s confidence going on offense. This offensive momentum especially helped the defense and goalie Jaime Gerstenberg after what was a busy first half. 

After a little back and forth between the two teams, Notre Dame started to gain a little bit more momentum on the offensive end. Notre Dame kept the ball near the Hoosiers’ net, which began to tire out Indiana. 

Combine that with the Irish continuing to make large substitutions, and it did not look good for Indiana going down to the final minutes. However, the Hoosier defense managed to persevere and force extra time with the game still tied at zero.

Notre Dame came out very strong in extra time, outshooting IU 3-1 in the 10-minute period. Gerstenberg made some huge saves for IU to hang around with a very physical Irish team. Yet again, no blood was drawn in overtime and the two teams were set for a final 10-minute period to decide the game. 

Both teams went back and forth, but no goals were scored and the game ended in a 0-0 tie. Considering Notre Dame outshot the Hoosiers 13-5, Indiana is fortunate to leave South Bend without its first loss of the season. However, there is much that needs to be improved on both sides of the ball before the team’s next game. 

IU now sits at 1-0-1 as the team approaches the halfway mark of its nonconference slate. IU will take on the UT Martin Skyhawks this Thursday at home. The Skyhawks are also 1-0-1 with a win over Southern Illinois. Indiana will need to be locked in on both sides of the ball in order to get its second win of the season on Thursday.

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