Despite all the challenges Indiana faced taking on Memphis on Sunday night — the rain, getting out-shot by 10, and playing a very aggressive Tigers team — the match ended without a goal to win it. The match marked the fifth time in six matches that Indiana played out a scoreless draw.
Indiana looked like a completely different team during the final 10 minutes, including the best moment of the match where the Hoosiers saw three great chances in a 10-second sequence.
All happening within a matter of seconds, Sydney Masur collected the ball unmarked at the edge of the six-yard box, but couldn’t get a shot off before the Memphis goalkeeper dove in and made a sprawling save.
The ball was nodded back in by Zoe Tiger for another Masur shot. This one beat the goalkeeper, but was dragged just wide, hitting the left post.
Ava Akeel sprinted towards the rebound, but the ball rolled just past her boot, falling instead for Jordyn Levy. Her shot was blocked off the goal line by a Memphis defender, and a third shot by Masur was blocked off the goal line again.
Notes from a match that was crazier than the scoreboard suggests:
The Tigers walked into this match with one goal in mind: take as many shots as possible. Sure enough, they succeeded. Starting off the match, Memphis wasn’t nearly as aggressive as it was at the end of the match, recording only six shots in the first half. While the shots didn’t come off, Memphis took control by using its speed and quick handles to its advantage.
Memphis had the first big chance of the night in the 18th minute when the Hoosiers turned the ball over, giving Memphis a chance at the goal. Eef Kerkhof of Memphis took the ball from the Hoosiers, turned around to face Jamie Gerstenberg, and unloaded from 12 yards away just for the ball to go off the top of the crossbar and sail out-of-bounds.
Coming out of the half after rain had doused the field at Bill Armstrong Stadium, Memphis continued to dominate the match in all aspects beyond the scoreboard. Gerstenberg was forced to make a diving save after Memphis’ Momo Nakao put up a screened shot that would’ve sailed right into the net if it wasn’t for Gerstenberg. Memphis would continue to send shots toward the goal all the way up until Indiana finally took control of the match in the final 10 minutes of play.
Rainy Weather & Wet Conditions
Coming into Sunday night’s match, it had already been raining all day long so the field wasn’t in the best of conditions. The match was originally scheduled for 5 p.m., but was then delayed to 6 p.m. due to weather in the area. Throughout the first half, the rain had held up and the field wasn’t too wet. Then halftime hit.
A massive downpour that lasted the entirety of the halftime period soaked the field and surrounding surfaces. Players came out of the locker rooms to a completely different environment. The wetness of the field seemed to pose a problem for players during the second half as on multiple occasions players were slipping and falling down and the soccer ball itself was kicking up rainwater as it went scurrying down the field.
Once again this season, Gerstenberg dominated the match for the Hoosiers. Saving five shots on the night, not counting stepping off her goal line to snatch the ball away from Memphis attackers, helped in achieving her sixth shutout this season.
Gerstenberg’s first save of the night came after a shot by Memphis’ Peyton Felton that sailed in from the left side of the goal. She would then make two other brilliant saves that occurred within a minute of each other after the Hoosiers carelessly turned the ball over and allowed Memphis to put up a shot on goal.
During Indiana’s last two home matches, Gerstenberg hasn’t had to do much in goal and has thus relied on the defense to keep the ball away from the net, but in the past two matches Gerstenberg has shown up when the Hoosiers have needed her. Between the Louisville match on Thursday night and the Memphis match Sunday night, Gerstenberg has recorded nine saves while conceding zero goals and facing 27 shots.
It’s safe to say that Jamie Gerstenberg is one of the biggest reasons the Hoosiers is where they are. Six matches into this season, Indiana is yet to concede a goal.
The Hoosiers will finish off their non-conference schedule with a home match against Trine this Wednesday at 5 p.m. With only two days to prepare for the Thunder, Indiana will need to up the ante in its attack in order to come away with their second win on the year before beginning a difficult Big Ten schedule.