Before the IU women’s soccer team headed to Iowa, coach Mick Lyon said he would guarantee a win for the struggling Hoosiers.
He knew Sunday’s game against victory-hunting Iowa would not be easy, but Lyon made a promise to the team and to himself.
Though the 3-2 overtime win only gave the Hoosiers (5-10-1, 1-6) a 14.3 percent winning rate in Big Ten, it did not change the fact that Lyon was 100 percent accurate on his guarantee.
From being down 2-0 early to scoring three goals later to come back, including a last-minute score in overtime, the Hoosiers successfully withdrew from Iowa City and avoided another loss in which they could not catch up with an early deficit.
Both IU and Iowa were looking for a first Big Ten win of the season in this game. The Hoosiers beat Iowa 2-0 at home last year.
At the time when Iowa’s two goals in the first half almost put the Hoosiers into a dilemma again, IU senior Leigh Anne Cummings stepped up in the 39th minute and chipped a pass from teammate junior midfielder Devon Beach into Iowa’s goal.
It was the second season goal for the Hoosiers’ captain.
The offensive input from the backer invigorated the Hoosier forwards’ killer instincts in the second half.
In the 57th minute, sophomore Orianica Velasquez forced a crucial turnover committed by the Iowa defenders and took a shot inside the box.
The ball hit the net at the far post, and IU evened the count at 2-2.
Neither IU nor Iowa was able to update the score in the rest of the second half.
In the overtime session, the Hoosiers benefited from a three-man play in the 94th minute.
Velasquez sent a over-the head pass to Cummings, who dribbled toward the endline and made a center pass to junior forward Carly Samp.
Samp ambushed at the far post and punched in a game-winner for the Hoosiers.
“We did not play very well at the beginning,” Lyon said after the game. “But as Leigh stepped up for us, I told them to just get out there and play. I think this game definitely helps us in the future because it gives us the notion that we are capable to win more.”
After the Iowa game, Samp climbed up to the seventh place in Hoosiers’ all-time scoring list. She has scored eight goals this season, the most on the team.