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Wednesday, Nov. 29
The Indiana Daily Student

sports women's soccer

Women's soccer tries to end Xavier win streak


IU women’s soccer is on a seven-game point streak for the first time since 2007 — the last time IU qualified for the NCAA tournament.

Xavier Coach Woody Sherwood was an assistant coach of that 2007 Hoosier team, but returns to Bloomington tonight on the away team’s sideline.

His Musketeer team will threaten for IU’s point streak at 7 p.m.

Sophomore forward Kayleigh Steigerwalt, who is coming off a game-winning goal with time winding down on Sunday, said she expects a competitive game.

“They are going to be great,” Steigerwalt said. “It is going to be a really good game. Hopefully, if we just play our game right and play the way we play, it should be good.”

IU enters the game 6-0-1, but Xavier has been off to an undefeated start of its own. The Musketeers enter tonight with a 5-0-1 record, their best six-match start since 1990.

IU Coach Amy Berbary has her team focused on playing their own game and not focusing on the Musketeers’ hot start.

“They are a good, organized group,” Berbary said. “They just beat Cincinnati 3-0 last week, so we just have to make sure we do what we do to the best of our ability.”

Junior forward Abby Smith said she knows Xavier will be looking to keep its streak alive, but is confident in her Hoosier squad.

“Obviously they are going to want to keep their streak going and be ready to play us,” Smith said. “But as long as we play our game, we should be able to come out with the win.”

Defense has been the story of the Musketeers’ last six games. They have shut out five of their first six opponents this year, including the last four.

Offensively, Xavier is led by a pair of freshmen. Tori Doss and Maggie Hare are both tied for the team lead with three goals apiece.

Smith said she believes the Hoosier offense will need to come out strong at the start of the game to avoid falling behind early.

“We just need to focus and play our game,” Smith said. “We need to have a good start to that game and attack from the beginning.”

The Hoosiers are coming off one of their closest games of the season, needing a goal from Steigerwalt in the last five minutes of regulation to avoid overtime against Central Michigan last Sunday.

Berbary credits her team’s mentality for being able to come back in the last game.

“If this was last year’s mentality, I’m not sure we would have walked out with a win,” Berbary said after the game. “It’s a new team. We are in a different place than we were last year.”

Tonight’s game will be the last game until Big Ten season starts Saturday against Minnesota.

Steigerwalt said she thinks a win would prepare the Hoosiers for conference play.

“We want to just come in and win,” Steigerwalt said. “We want to have a clean sheet. A win will get us set for the Big Ten.”

Follow reporter Sam Beishuizen on Twitter @Sam_Beishuizen.

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