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Indiana women’s soccer cruises to Senior Night win behind offensive onslaught

It would only be right that history would be made on a night honoring a special group of seniors, and the IU women’s soccer team did just that. The Hoosiers scored six goals in the first half, the most in program history since 2010. Overall, head coach Erwin van Bennekom said it was a job well done.

“We did what we needed to do,” van Bennekom said. “I said before the game we have two jobs. One, win the game and two to celebrate the seniors, even though we stopped scoring in the second half. But I feel the difference today was us scoring more goals and creating more chances.”

Both teams had some good chances to open things up. IU started out getting a couple solid shots on goal, and SEMO responded with some offensive momentum right after. But with about three minutes into the first half, Jen Blitchok got the Hoosiers on the board with a nice shot off a rebound to put the Hoosiers up 1-0.

But the Hoosiers weren’t done there, as Jordyn Levy put in her third goal of the season just minutes later to extend the Hoosier lead to 2-0. As well as the Indiana offense was playing, the Indiana defense looked great as well, holding the Redhawks to zero shots on goal about halfway through the first half. 

“I love it,” van Bennekom said of his team’s defensive effort. “There’s nothing better with the foundation of our defense. I just love the looks of this.”

IU continued to pour it on, as Avery Lockwood scored a little while after Levy’s goal to put the Hoosiers up 3-0 with 25 minutes to go in the first half. And the onslaught would not stop, as the Redhawks committed a critical penalty that sent Anna Bennett to have the chance to put IU up 4-0. Bennett took advantage of that opportunity, placing the ball beautifully in the top left corner to continue a successful senior day.

The Hoosiers still would not stop there, as Sofia Black was there at the right place and right time to put the ball in the back of the net to put Indiana up 5-0. Minutes later, Bria Telemaque scored, officially making Sunday night the first night the Hoosiers have scored six goals in a half since 2010. Indiana would go in the locker room with all the confidence in the world offensively, and just looked to continue to play well the rest of the game. 

Indiana continued to maintain most of the offensive possessions to start off the second half. With quick passing in between the space of the SEMO defenders, the Hoosiers had some solid chances at the net, but could not convert them into points on the scoreboard. However, something that cannot go unnoticed was the effort by the Indiana defense.

Jaime Gerstenberg and company held the Redhawks to zero shots on goal Sunday night, compared to Indiana’s 23. Van Bennekom would put his subs in to play most of the second half, due to the large margin, and Indiana would walk away with what was truly a team win, and a big one on senior night.

“It feels amazing [to get a win on senior night],” Olivia Wos said. “It’s just the field, the weather, and getting people here, it’s just a different atmosphere. And I was so happy for everyone that came in. I don’t care how long you’ve played, it’s just amazing to play with everyone.”

The win puts IU at 4-1-1 on the season, as the team approaches the final two nonconference games of the season. The Hoosiers look forward for their final home game of this three game stretch, as they take on Murray State from the Ohio Valley conference. The Racers are 4-1 this year, with their only loss being to an excellent Xavier team.

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