Riding a 4-0 lead Sunday against Morehead State, it would have been easy for the Indiana women’s soccer team to sit back and run out the clock. But coasting to an easy win wasn't something on freshman Avery Lockwood’s mind.
“We knew we couldn’t drop our intensity,” Lockwood said. “We just really wanted to put the game away and not let them come back.”
In the 67th minute, Lockwood fired a shot from well outside the box that steadily rose out of the reach of goalkeeper Kayla Landman and found the back of the net. While a shot from this distance would be difficult for most players, Lockwood didn’t need to put much thought into it.
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“I turned and had time and space, but I just felt like hitting the ball and I made good contact so that was really it,” Lockwood said.
Lockwood also scored her first goal earlier in the game in the 32nd minute on a shot she had been working on during practice. For Lockwood, this one required more thought.
“Quality on the ball to finish it, not just to shoot the ball,” Lockwood said. “I was just thinking to turn and put a little curve on it to get it past the keeper and that was really it.”
Lockwood and Davidson led the way for Indiana in its 5-0 win over Morehead State on Sept. 8. Each player scored two goals for the Hoosiers and combined for seven shots, five on goal. While Davidson has been a mainstay in the Indiana lineup for multiple years, Lockwood is quickly making a name for herself as a freshman.
For head coach Erwin van Bennekom, the emergence of Lockwood has not come as a surprise. Van Bennekom recruited Lockwood in his first year as head coach, and Lockwood is already making contributions for Indiana.
"I watched [Lockwood] play for maybe a year before she committed here,” van Bennekom said. “Her drive and work rate, all the other components are there. Passion for the game and drive we can’t really teach. She 100% has that. She fits exactly what we want here."
But Lockwood isn’t the only freshman who has impressed van Bennekom this season. Alaina Kalin has stood out in the midfield, especially against Morehead State. Kalin scored her first goal of the season and also assisted on Lockwood’s second goal.
Van Bennekom said after the victory over Morehead State that Lockwood and Kalin have established themselves as starters on this team, showing high-level maturity in their first season.
While it is exciting to have the two freshman contribute this season, van Bennekom is more excited for what has yet to come.
“Short term it’s nice to have them,” van Bennekom said. “Long term it’s even more nice. They’re already starting for us now and I think they are really good, competitive players in the Big Ten. So I think about next year and the years after and what they can become.”
With a lot of promise surrounding the younger players on the team, Indiana will look to build off a dominant, 27-shot performance against Morehead State when the team travels to UT-Martin on Sept. 12. This game can be seen on ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET.