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Three keys to victory: Indiana women’s soccer tries to take down No. 18 Purdue

Coming off a tough 2-0 loss to the No. 9-ranked Rutgers Scarlet Knights, the Indiana women's soccer team has another challenge Sunday taking on its arch rival — the No. 18 Purdue Boilermakers. Indiana looks to bounce back and get its confidence back on both sides of the ball, as Rutgers dominated both sides of the ball a couple of days ago. If Indiana can do the following, the Hoosiers have a chance to upset Purdue. 


1. Slow down a high-octane Boilermaker offense

Purdue has a total of 31 goals on the season, ranking third in the Big Ten. The Boilermakers have scored a goal in their past 12 games, with their last time being a shutout win on Sept. 2 against Notre Dame 1-0. Redshirt senior Sarah Griffith will be a main focus for Indiana on Sunday, as she has scored 13 of the 31 goals for Purdue this season. Limiting her touches will be key for the back line and Caitlin Arbuckle to have a successful Sunday afternoon.

2. Getting the offense back on track

What once started out as an offense with many weapons, the Hoosiers have been suddenly quiet these past few games. Indiana has been shut out in the past three games, and this is the worst possible time to be losing momentum on offense right before the postseason. Especially against Rutgers, the Hoosiers barely got any offensive opportunities due to the Rutgers offense controlling the ball so much on their side of the field. Anna Bennett and the Indiana offense can not afford another poor offensive performance if they want to get a win on Sunday. 

3. Play with energy

It’s a rivalry game — Indiana cannot afford to get demoralized by a couple bad sequences or even letting up a goal. That is where the team got into trouble against teams like Rutgers and Penn State. When things didn’t start to go Indiana’s way, the team got frustrated and started doing uncharacteristic things. These mistakes cannot be made if the Hoosiers want to get a win on Sunday.

Overall, this is a winnable game for Indiana. The Hoosiers will need to show up on the defensive end, but the team has shown that it is capable of putting on defensive clinics in the past. If Indiana can play well on both sides of the ball and the offense figures out its problems, Indiana could pull off the upset in West Lafayette on Sunday. 

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