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Indiana goalkeeper Jamie Gerstenberg winds up for a kick during a scoreless draw against No. 8 Penn State on Sept. 18. (HN photo/Eden Snower)
Indiana goalkeeper Jamie Gerstenberg winds up for a kick during a scoreless draw against No. 8 Penn State on Sept. 18. (HN photo/Eden Snower)

Gerstenberg, newcomers prove key in Indiana's scoreless draw against Virginia Tech

The junior goalie was dominant as the Hoosiers kept the Hokies off the scoreboard

While Sunday’s scoreless tie between Indiana and Virginia Tech was the same result as when these two programs faced a year ago almost to the day, it looked like a completely different Indiana team. 

The Hokies may have posed as a possibly intimidating opponent after starting their season with three goals against Butler, all in a 21-minute timeframe, and not letting up anything. The Hoosiers still gave them all they had. Even though the result may not be what either team wanted, Indiana is taking this one as is and continuing to chug forward. 

Fresh faces

A few new faces took the field in Indiana’s starting Xl. Kennedy Neighbors, Elle Britt and Oliva Smith all made their first appearances as starters for Indiana this year. 

Each player put in noticeable effort to help their team and fellow teammates out in Thursday’s season-opening win and helped them in earning these spots Sunday. Neighbors and Britt, both freshmen, stood out again. 

Britt made the first shot attempt at Virginia Tech in the first half but had too much power behind it and soared over the net. In every minute she clocked, there was power and momentum in her game, extremely helpful to Indiana. Neighbors also had a shot on goal, and Smith was steady and reliable. 

No shot

There was absolutely nothing that could have gotten past Indiana goalie Jamie Gerstenberg today. Virginia Tech was testing Gerstenberg all game, shot after shot, but she was prepared. 

Seeing more action this time around then when these two faced last season, the junior goalie handled the pressure well and was a key leader out on the pitch. She saved both shots that were made on goal. 

Postgame thoughts 

Catching up with assistant coach Tim Verschuren after the game for an interview he gave his overall thoughts on the match.

“We feel really good about this game,” Verschuren said. “Actually a little disappointed about the result because we felt that we could have gotten more out of it.” 

Gerstenberg’s efforts again did not go unnoticed. 

“Jamie had to step up a couple of times and deal with the ball behind which she did that really well,” Verschuren said. 

Scoring came up in the interview as well, a topic that weighs on many minds after scoring zero points Sunday yet scoring three goals on Thursday. Verschuren said that as long as the players remain patient and pursue quality looks, he’s confident the goals will come. He said more talent throughout the roster will help as well.

“Our depth within the roster is much better within previous seasons… in every single position,” Verschuren said.

Looking ahead

On Thursday, Indiana challenges Morehead State on the pitch at home in Bloomington. These two programs have only ever met once, back in 2019, where Indiana won 5-0. Currently Morehead State sits 1-1 on the season, its latest match a 5-2 win over Detroit Mercy. Indiana will head into Thursday with a record of 1-0-1 after the 0-0 draw against Virginia Tech. The game Starts at 8 p.m. EST.

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