IU Coach Amy Berbary called it a broken record.
Falling behind early in the game and an inability to capitalize on scoring chances have been reoccurring problems for the IU women’s soccer team this season.
On Saturday at Bill Armstrong Stadium, Iowa was able to expose those tendencies en route to handing the Hoosiers (10-3-1, 3-3) their first home loss of the season, 2-1.
“We knew this was going to be a tough, hard, physical game,” Berbary said. “One of our keys to the game was to match their physicality early, and we didn’t. We went 30 minutes being uncomfortable and not playing Indiana soccer.”
IU fell behind early when Iowa’s Cloe Lacasse got behind the Hoosier defense to score on a cross in the box.
It was the fourth time in the last five games that the Hoosiers let in a goal within the first 11 minutes.
“I felt like in the locker room before the game we were pumped and ready to go,” junior midfielder Abby Smith said. “I guess it was just one mental slip.”
The Hoosiers closed the first half with a stretch, during which they controlled the ball in the scoring third of the field for over three minutes.
The Hoosiers were getting crosses in the box, but the Hawkeye defense managed to clear away every threat.
“We just couldn’t find the right touch or the right shot to get it in,” senior midfielder Lisa Nouanesengsy said. “We could have done a lot better than we did in the last three minutes.”
Coming out of the locker room in the second half, Iowa struck again.
After earning a penalty in the box, forward Melanie Pickert scored on a penalty kick to bring the lead to 2-0.
Smith said that after the penalty kick, the Hoosiers continued to attack and change the momentum of the game.
“It is hard going down two goals, but some people say that’s the most dangerous score in the game,” she said. “One goal puts us back in and makes us want to get another one.”
In the 75th minute, the Hoosiers would find that goal Smith said they needed.
Smith found Nouanesengsy at the top of the box, and Nouanesengsy sent the ball in to cut Iowa’s lead to one.
“When I got that goal, it was just huge momentum,” Nouanesengy said. “From their second goal to my goal was huge. I just wish I would have scored earlier.”
The Hoosiers were not able to find the back of the net again.
For now, Berbary said all they can do is move forward.
“We push through,” Berbary said. “We need to push forward to this week and try to get a couple this weekend.”
Follow reporter Sam Beishuizen on Twitter @sam_beishuizen.