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Monday, June 17
The Indiana Daily Student

sports women's soccer

IU defeats Illinois 5-3, advances


IU women’s soccer Coach Amy Berbary said IU didn’t play flawlessly Wednesday.
But they got the job done.

IU (14-5-1)  defeated Illinois 5-3  in the opening round of the Big Ten Tournament in Champaign, Ill., to claim its first Big Ten Tournament win in 17 years.

The win secures a Friday matchup at 2:30 p.m. in Champaign, Ill., against Nebraska in the second round of the Big Ten Tournament.

The Hoosiers were outshot 22-11 in Wednesday’s game, and Berbary said the team made a number of mistakes but managed to capitalize on its opportunities when it needed to the most.

“It wasn’t perfect,” Berbary said. “But I said to them after the game, ‘Welcome to postseason play.’ That is what it takes to grind it out. It’s not perfect.”

Senior midfielder Lisa Nouanesengsy created a spark early, finding space from 18 yards out and scoring to the inside of the right post for the game’s first goal.

Senior forward Rebecca Candler said getting on the board early was crucial.

“We’ve been stressing that the entire season,” she said. “The first 15 minutes are huge for us because that’s kind of how we finish the game. Lisa coming out with a huge goal pushed us through.”

The Hoosiers added two more goals before halftime including a 20-yard goal to the upper right hand corner from junior defender Tori Keller to go up 3-0.

“We said at halftime that three is not going to be good enough,” Berbary said. “That sure was the case today.”

Illinois came out of the halftime break with a changed system that gave the Hoosiers a new-look offense to defend.

Illini forward Vanessa DiBernardo scored six minutes into the second half to cut the lead to 3-1.

Minutes after that goal, Nouanesengsy went down with an injury that left her needing to be carried off the field.

Nouanesengsy is the Hoosiers leading scorer and a team captain. After her injury, her teammates came together to talk about what they would do moving forward.

“We huddled, and we just said we play our game still,” sophomore forward Kayleigh Steigerwalt said. “Nothing changes. We go out, and we get a win. We have a ton of great players on this team that have stepped up.”

Junior midfielder Abby Smith responded with a cross to junior forward Monica Melink, who headed the ball home for a goal to put IU up 4-1 in the 62nd minute.

Just more than 10 minutes later, senior defender Lara Ross sent a ball toward the goal from just inside midfield that bounced over the Illini goalie’s head to put the Hoosiers up 5-1.

“They did a really good job in responding,” Berbary said. “I think we did a good job with the adjustments we made.”

The Illini went on to add two more goals late in the second half, but the Hoosiers’ two second half goals were enough to propel them to the 5-3 win.

Steigerwalt said she is excited to move forward in the tournament, especially after being picked to finish 12th in the Big Ten at the beginning of the year.

“Our team slogan is ‘rise above’ because we were ranked 12th,” Steigerwalt said. “But our goal this year is to shock the nation. So far, I think we are doing a pretty good job.”

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