That was the resounding response from the IU women’s soccer team after falling 3-0 Friday night against South Florida, the team’s first loss of the season.
“It was definitely a tough loss,” senior defender Molly Buynak said. “But I think we learned a lot.”
The Hoosiers remained grounded in the first half, letting in a single goal during the first 45 minutes of play.
IU seemed to crumble in the second half, struggling to put shots in the net while the Bulls scored twice more.
“You’ve got to play for 90 minutes, and we didn’t do that,” IU Coach Mick Lyon said. “There were moments that were pretty good, but there certainly weren’t enough of them.”
Senior defender Ciersten Burks said after the game the loss does not indicate IU is a worse team than South Florida.
“Are they probably the best team we’ve played up to this point? Yes,” she said. “But that shouldn’t control how we play. We didn’t play up to our potential, up to how we know we can play.”
Sunday’s game against Missouri State gave the players a chance to redeem themselves, Buynak said.
“I think we’re going to shake it off and definitely learn from our mistakes,” she said. “We need to go in with an open mind and hopefully just take what we learned and put it into effect.”
Lyon said though the team did not play to its full potential, the women would come back strong Sunday. Losing twice was not an option. “We’re certainly not going to be taking two losses on the weekend,” he said. “Knowing them, they will come out very fired up.”
And they did.
Lyon’s team registered a 4-1 victory against Missouri State on Sunday afternoon, dominating possession and creating scoring opportunities throughout the 90 minutes
“I think we were a lot more composed and confident,” sophomore midfielder Bekah White said. “We connected a lot more passes and capitalized on chances.”
Junior forward Rebecca Candler led the Hoosiers with two goals, each assisted by senior forward Orianica Velasquez, a career high.
“It’s obviously really exciting,” Candler said. “But I have to give a lot of the credit to Ori, because she makes it easy.”
Goals by sophomore midfielder Abby Smith and junior midfielder Lisa
Nouanesengsy, their first and fifth goals of the season, respectively, rounded out the scoring for IU, propelling them to a significant lead.
“We really focused on coming out in the first 15 minutes and showing them what we’re all about,” Candler said. “I think we accomplished that.”
Missouri State found the back of the net in the 63rd minute, but the Hoosiers didn’t relent, continuing to pound shots at the Bears’ goal, outshooting the opponent 18-8.
Lyon said he noticed a difference in the level of play the women put forth compared to the game Friday. The level of energy and amount of effort the players put into a game are crucial, he said.
“If you can work harder than the other team, you’re definitely going to get some good results,” he said. “I knew they would be very hungry today.”
Ending the weekend with a win proved the team was willing to improve, he said.
“It was a good bounce back,” Lyon said. “I’m very pleased with the girls. Always good to see them smile.”
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