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Indiana forward Anna Bennett prepares for a corner kick during Indiana's match against Ball State on Aug. 26. (HN photo/Daniel Rodriguez)
Indiana forward Anna Bennett prepares for a corner kick during Indiana's match against Ball State on Aug. 26. (HN photo/Daniel Rodriguez)

Indiana's 'best overall performance of the season' not enough in draw against Purdue

Indiana’s 18 shots were good for two goals in the 2-2 draw

Despite the draw to in-state rival Purdue, the Indiana Hoosiers walk away from Sunday afternoon’s match feeling relatively good.

For the first time since their Sept. 14 victory over Trine, the Hoosiers finally found the back of the net not once but twice. Junior forward Anna Bennett and freshman midfielder Olivia Smith each netted a goal in the 2-2 draw.

“I think today was probably our best overall performance of the season,” Indiana head coach Erwin van Bennekom said, “But we scored twice, we should win the game.”

Starting off the match for the Golden Boot (which Purdue retains after the draw), neither team was able to get anything going offensively. The Hoosiers’ first good chance came from Paige Webber in the 17th minute, a one-on-one opportunity against Purdue’s Kailey Kimball in the net where Webber sent a shot toward the goal before being snatched away.

The Hoosiers did a fantastic job keeping the possession early in the first half, but Purdue only needed a couple of chances to take the early lead. Off a corner kick in the 28th minute, Gracie Dunaway was set up beautifully at the 18-yard box as she settled in for a shot that sailed right past Indiana’s Jamie Gerstenberg.

But luck must have been on the Hoosiers’ side as Indiana would get the equalizer only seven minutes after the first goal. Bennett took the corner kick for Indiana and sailed it over everyone into the back of the net for the Hoosiers’ first conference goal of the season.

“I felt their emotion after they celebrated that goal,” van Bennekom said, “It almost felt like we had won the National Championship.”

Indiana did not stop there. Just two minutes after Indiana tied things up, Smith blasted a shot toward goal that hit off the side of the goal post and in. You could feel the energy from Indiana radiating off the field after those two goals.

However, coming out of the halftime break, Indiana appeared to have lost that spark. 

Purdue would capitalize on pure chaos happening inside the 6-yard box off a corner in the 62nd minute. After multiple headers from both teams, Sydney Duarte corralled the ball and sent the ball into the net for the equalizer. 

Both teams would see their fair share of chances in the last 18 minutes of the match but ultimately neither team could edge out the other.

“I thought we deserved to win,” van Bennekom said, “There was nothing that happened outside of the game that stopped us except for ourselves.

This draw brings the Hoosiers’ record to 2-6-7 on the season, still looking for their first conference victory. Two matches remain for Indiana with the next being at home against Maryland, a team that has also struggled this season recording only one conference win over Michigan. That match will take place at 7 p.m. this Thursday in Bloomington.

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