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Wednesday, June 19
The Indiana Daily Student

sports women's soccer

Hoosiers to play in NCAA Tournament


On Monday, the IU women’s soccer team found out they would be playing DePaul at 7 p.m. Saturday at Jerry Yeagley Field in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.

It will be IU’s (14-6-1) first appearance in the NCAA Tournament since 2007. It will be the first time any of the players have gone to the big dance.

Shortly after learning the team was in, IU Coach Amy Berbary gathered her players in a huddle to talk about the week ahead, and the team got back to work.

Berbary is now the fourth first-year head coach in Big Ten women’s soccer history to lead a team to the NCAA Tournament. The previous three coaches had all inherited a team that had gone to the Elite Eight the previous year.

DePaul (13-5-2) enters the game coming off of a 2-0 loss to Marquette in the Big East Tournament Finals.

A trademark of DePaul this season has been its defense. The Blue Demons, anchored by Big East Goalkeeper of the Year Alejandria Godinez, have only allowed 14 goals this season.

DePaul has only had three games where it has given up multiple goals this year, but junior midfielder Abby Smith is confident that the Hoosier offense will be able to create scoring opportunities.

In IU’s most recent game against Nebraska, the Hoosiers struggled to create offense in the second half.

“We just couldn’t connect on passes from the defense to the midfield to the forwards,” senior forward Rebecca Candler said. “I think there are just a couple of things there that we are working on, fine tuning to get that final piece and get back in there.”

The bigger concern for IU right now is the defensive side of the pitch. IU’s defense has struggled in its most recent games, allowing nine goals in the last three games.

“We have to be better defensively,” Berbary said. “We’re having trouble at the midfield. We’ve given them the ball. We just need to take care of the ball a little better and stay more compact.”

The defense face Blue Demon offense that has struggled at times this season. The offense is led by Else Wyatt, who has accounted for seven of the team’s 25 goals this

IU ended 27th in RPI rankings.

Smith said the recent success other IU teams have had has proven it is possible for a team such as hers to make a postseason run despite not being

“I think that’s something to think about with our men’s (soccer) team and even our baseball team,” Smith said. “I don’t think anyone thought (IU baseball) would make it to the World Series and they just shocked everyone. I definitely think that’s going to be in the backs of our minds. We know anyone can beat anyone on any given day. We just need to come out strong every game.”

Follow reporter Sam Beishuizen on Twitter @Sam_Beishuizen.

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