Year five of the Erwin van Bennekom era officially started two Thursdays ago and the Hoosiers finally got a taste of their capabilities in the attacking third of the field.
Through four games a year ago, Indiana scored a total of three goals. The Hoosiers were 1-0-3 in that stretch. All three of them came against in-state rivals Indiana State, which was the only win in that stretch. During this year's first four, Indiana has scored a total of seven goals and accrued a 3-0-1 record.
“We have created the chances that used to be a problem, and now it’s putting the chances away,” van Bennekom said after IU’s win over Morehead State. “We have spent a lot of time in front of goal during training. A lot of reps, a lot of finishing… from where we were last I think we are making the right steps.”
Indiana scored nine total goals the whole season last year, and much of that help was from Jordyn Levy, who trailed only Paige Webber in scoring last year with two goals. Levy has since transferred out of the program. So, your second-leading scorer leaves, who steps up? Enter LaSalle transfer Lauren Costello. Costello, a junior from Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, has been that spark for the Hoosiers.
In IU’s first regular-season game, Costello had a goal and two assists. One of those assists came from a set piece free kick from near midfield.
Junior Sydney Masur has taken notice and definitely let the media know that goals have been a big focal point in practice and that is task No. 1 during games. Mazur stated postgame against Morehead State that the team is making “big strides” compared to last year. In that game against the Eagles, Mazur netted her first career goal
“It was a nice feeling to finally get one in the back of the net,” Masur said.
With the Big Ten season just upon the horizon, Indiana needs to keep up the intensity for conference play. Coming up this Thursday, the Hoosiers will head to Knoxville to take on Tennessee and the Lady Vols high scoring offense. The Volunteers come into the game 3-1-0 (three wins and a tie) and are offensively led by Kameron Simmonds who has already tallied four goals this year.