A goal from Megan Wampler in the 42nd minute gave Indiana the offensive momentum it needed to capture a big road win 1-0 over the Northwestern Wildcats.
Jen Blitchok and Avery Lockwood were also big in not only creating shots on goal, but helping teammates get open as well. Defeating a good team in Northwestern gives Indiana lots of confidence heading into a crucial stretch of games in the next couple of weeks.
It was a very dry game to start things off, as both teams traded the momentum offensively early on. However, Indiana began to pick things up as the game progressed. Lockwood had some good looks early in the first half, but Northwestern goalie Mackenzie Wood blocked her shots. Even though it was a physical game at the start, Melanie Forbes and Camille Hamm were still able to carve through the Northwestern defense and create good looks on offense.
Indiana’s defense did a spectacular job defensively to start things as well, holding the Wildcats to only one shot on goal with 10 minutes to go in the first period. Building off that strong defensive effort, Indiana was able to get the momentum on offense.
Wampler put in a header goal in the back of the net to put IU up 1-0. A late goal like this energized the Hoosiers, as they aimed to keep the lead in what would be a big road win.
The firepower for Indiana did not stop there. Two straight corner kicks and a shot that just went over the top of the net from Kelly Monaco re-established the dominant performance Indiana has had thus far in this game. Indiana’s offensive firepower had frustrated the Wildcats as well, as Northwestern committed some frustration fouls to slow down IU’s momentum.
Although Monaco got a yellow card in the middle of the second period, Indiana still didn’t stop getting opportunities on goal. Head coach Erwin van Bennekom substituted Blitchok in the 66th minute and helped Indiana regain the momentum offensively. Blitchok made an immediate impact, getting two quick shots as soon as she came into the game to try and extend the lead.
With a surge from Northwestern at the end, Jaime Gerstenberg came up huge, making some big saves to complete the shutout and give Indiana its second road win of the season and the team’s first road win in Big Ten play. A win like this gives the Hoosiers a lot of momentum going into another challenge on Wednesday.
The Hoosiers now stand at 9-2-3 overall and 3-1-2 in Big Ten play, and now stand at fifth in the Big Ten. IU will travel to Happy Valley to take on the Penn State Nittany Lions this Wednesday, in what will be a very important game for the team. Penn State ended Indiana’s season in the Big Ten Tournament last year, so Indiana must play a flawless game in order to get revenge next week.