A 3-goal first half sealed the deal for IU women’s soccer, as the Hoosiers grabbed their fourth straight victory against the Kansas State Wildcats in Manhattan 3-0. It was a strong end to the nonconference slate for the Hoosiers, but the Big Ten will be quite the gauntlet for this IU team. The offense and defense looked spectacular in Sunday’s game, making room for a great team victory.
The Hoosiers wasted no time getting started, as Anna Bennett put the Hoosiers up 1-0 only four and a half minutes into the game. This marks the quickest that IU has scored in any game this season, showing the team’s confidence it still has offensively from Thursday night. Head coach Erwin Van Bennekom has been saying how hot starts are very important, and it sure sounds like he got that through to his team.
Indiana did a great job of not letting up offensively and maintaining great momentum. Bennett and Melanie Forbes constantly got past the Wildcat defenders and got shots up on Kansas State goalie Alaina Werremeyer. It almost felt inevitable that another goal was coming soon for the Hoosiers.
And that it was, as Avery Lockwood put another ball in the back of the net to extend the lead to 2-0. Just as the offense was doing its thing, the defense played a very clean game, not committing a lot of fouls and not letting the Wildcats get a lot of shots on goal. It felt like this team was finding a groove offensively, which could be very dangerous come next Sunday when the team begins Big Ten play.
IU was not done there, as Jen Blitchok had a nice shot in the upper center net to give Indiana a 3-0 lead. The Hoosiers continued to completely dominate the shots on goal, as they had a double-digit difference in shots against the Wildcats. The defense also held Kansas State to zero shots, making it a very complete half for Indiana.
— Indiana Women's Soccer (@IndianaWSOC) September 13, 2021
Bennett continued to be a huge offensive catalyst in the second half, getting many shots on goal as well as creating opportunities for her teammates. However, Kansas State made its own little run of shots on goal, and the Wildcats looked like they could have scored a couple of times. Credit to IU’s defense, the Wildcats did not cash in on any of those opportunities, and the Hoosiers kept Kansas State scoreless.
The Wildcats stayed relentless to end the game, but the Hoosier backline held its ground and didn’t let Kansas State get any shots to reach the back of the net. This has now become a recurring theme of the season, as it seems like the team has found a groove where the offense and defense are playing at an extremely high level. That ended up giving IU the result it wanted, as they ended up defeating Kansas State 3-0.
Indiana now sits at 6-1-1, marking the end of its nonconference schedule. The Hoosiers will open the first of three straight at home next Sunday against the Michigan State Spartans. MSU rests at a very solid 5-0-2 and is coming off two straight wins against Oakland and Dayton. Indiana defeated the Spartans in a thriller last year, so Indiana will need to be ready for a dogfight Sunday afternoon.