After a gritty game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, the IU women’s soccer team returned to Bloomington in hopes to capture its second win of the season. The team succeeded, taking a 1-0 victory over UT Martin, completing back-to-back wins over the Skyhawks.
Junior Avery Lockwood scored for the Hoosiers, as she continues to be a huge catalyst on the offensive end. In what was a very physical game with 19 penalties, the toughness of Indiana was present in Thursday night’s game.
UT Martin got some shots early and controlled the ball in the opening moments of the game. However, Jaime Gerstenberg continues to be great defending the net for the Hoosiers, as she made some big saves and is yet to allow a goal this season. The Skyhawks had opportunities to score, but the Hoosiers quickly responded with some offense of their own.
After a great opportunity to score from Olivia Wos, Lockwood finally capitalized on a strong offensive push from Indiana and put the Hoosiers in front 1-0 with eight minutes to go in the first half. Lockwood also had another opportunity to score just minutes later, but unfortunately the shot went out right and IU went into the locker room up 1-0 on UT Martin.
Both teams came out hot in the second half, getting some really good looks offensively. However, both goalies came to play, as Gerstenberg and Skyhawk goalie Erica Myers made some big saves to help keep both teams from gaining any momentum. With Myers being arguably the best goalie in the OVC, it’s good that the Hoosiers were getting tested by going against a talented goalie.
As head coach Erwin van Bennekom utilized his depth and made many substitutions throughout the half, the Hoosiers began to tire out UT Martin and got a plethora of shots in the middle of the second half. Jen Blitchok, Anna Bennent and Melanie Forbes, all did a good job of carving through the Skyhawk defense and getting some shots on goal.
Indiana continued its offensive dominance the rest of the second half, outshooting UT Martin 4-0 in the final 20 minutes. The Hoosiers couldn’t get any to go behind the net, but still won the game 1-0 behind a great team performance.
This win puts IU at 2-0-1 on the season, as the team hopes to continue its win streak in the middle of nonconference play. The next test for the Hoosiers will be on the road against the Memphis Tigers on Sunday afternoon. The Tigers are also 2-0-1 with a win over Southeast Missouri State and Arkansas Pine Bluff, and a tie with Ole Miss.
Van Bennekom spoke highly of the Tigers, saying they are an opponent that will prepare IU well for conference play. That is shown by their very good offense, as Memphis has scored 13 total goals in just three games. Indiana will need to play its best defensive game of the season in order to escape Memphis with a win.