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Sunday, Dec. 10
The Indiana Daily Student

sports women's soccer

Women's soccer looks to maintain undefeated record


If someone had told IU Coach Amy Berbary that her women’s soccer team would enter Big Ten Conference play undefeated, she would not have believed it.

But as IU prepares to play Minnesota at 6 p.m. Saturday, the Hoosiers stand at 7-0-1 — undefeated.

Berbary admitted her initial doubts to her team after their 3-0 win against Xavier.

“We just talked about it,” Berbary said. “I looked at them, and I said, ‘When I got here in February, I would have never dreamed I would be standing in front of you on Sept. 18 and we would be undefeated.’”

Berbary said her team agreed with her early doubts.

“They all laughed and said, ‘Don’t worry, we didn’t either,’” she said.

IU enters Big Ten play undefeated in what has been the best start to a season in school history. In non-conference play, they outscored opponents 20-2 while outshooting opponents 167-56.

Their opponent, Minnesota, enters the game 7-1-0, which includes wins against LSU and Ole Miss. Their one loss on the year came against Florida.

In the most recent NSCAA Coaches poll, Minnesota was not ranked but did receive 15 votes, which has caught the attention of sophomore forward Kayleigh Steigerwalt.

“They are going to be great,” Steigerwalt said. “They have been in the rankings and have played really well.”

Players and coaches have stressed that the key to the Hoosier’s early success has been their defense. Junior defender Lara Ross said she believes the strong defense has made the offense more comfortable and willing to attack.

“I think the defense gives our team just an overall confidence,” Ross said. “I think our offense is really confident in us and feels comfortable with us back there. I think it makes it easier for everybody to take risks and play without any fears and that allows us to play the way we want to play.”

That defense will be tested by the flexible Gopher offense, which has seen goals come from 10 different scorers this season.

Having multiple scoring threats on the opposing side of the field means the team will have to remain aware at all times, Ross said.

“More people are going to have to be accountable, especially on set pieces,” Ross said. “We are going to have to communicate a lot more and make sure everybody stays accountable.”

Senior goalie Shannon Flower, who has allowed only two goals all season, is focused on trusting her coaches and not worrying about the results.

“We just have to trust our system,” Flower said. “Not going in thinking about losing or thinking about records or anything. We just have to go in and play the way Amy wants us to play and how we feel confident in playing.”

IU has lost their last five conference opening games in a row, but Berbary said she believes that could change this weekend.

“When we started the season we said we wanted to be special,” Berbary said. “This would just be one more chapter in the book if we get it done.”

Follow reporter Sam Beishuizen on Twitter @Sam_Beishuizen.

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