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Monday, June 17
The Indiana Daily Student

sports women's soccer

Women's soccer sets season scoring records

spWomensSoccer

Entering the 2013 IU women’s soccer season, there were some questions surrounding the Hoosier offense.

They would be without 2013 graduate Orianica Velasquez, last season’s leading scorer and Brazilian national team member. She finished fourth in team history in goals (26), fourth in points (64) and has the record for shot attempts (261).

When the coaching staff came in, it was not quite sure who would replace her scoring.
“In the spring, it was just kind of scoring by committee,” assistant coach Benji Walton said. “As a coach, there were some times where you can be a little nervous when you don’t know for sure where the scoring would be.”

The Hoosier offense responded to any doubt in record-setting fashion.

IU set single season school records in goals (42) and assists (44) during its 2013 campaign. The Hoosiers have an opportunity to increase those records against DePaul at 7 p.m. Saturday at Jerry Yeagley Field in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.

“I always knew any team I coached was probably going to score way more goals just because of my personality,” IU Coach Amy Berbary said. “I used to always tell my old boss, ‘Well who cares how many goals we get scored on as long as we have one more at the end.’ This season we’ve seen that.”

Berbary and Walton both said IU’s ability to score goals from anywhere on the field has been key to the program’s success. Scanning through box scores, the diversity of the scoring becomes apparent.

In a Sept. 8 win against Eastern Kentucky, senior forward and leading scorer Lisa Nouanesengsy recorded a hat trick, carrying the Hoosiers to a 5-0 win.

A week later against Eastern Michigan, Nouanesengsy’s name was nowhere to be found. Junior midfielder Abby Smith scored once and sophomore forward Kayleigh Steigerwalt netted a game winning goal with only five minutes remaining.

“Lisa’s always going to be on everybody’s scouting report,” Berbary said. “If we can just have one or two more players step up in the game, we’re going to be better off.”

IU has had 12 different girls score this season to accumulate the record setting 42 goals. The Hoosiers have only been shut out twice all season.

“You don’t have to depend on one person,” senior forward Rebecca Candler said. “There are so many people who can pick it up.”

Walton, who works primarily with the offense, holds pre-practice shooting sessions to prepare all the players for scoring opportunities which Berbary said has developed better goal scorers.

“He has an offensive mind that continuously runs,” Berbary said. “Having kids come out early to do some extra finishing, having them hit an extra 50 shots every day has helped us so much. It helped the kids gain confidence in themselves.”

That confidence across the lineup to score has been evident in the results. Along with the goals and assists records, IU has matched a single-season high in wins with 14.

“That’s definitely a strength of our team,” Candler said. “It’s something that we’ve lacked the past three years. We have had so many people step up and make a difference, and it has shown.”

IU’s offense will be tested Saturday against a DePaul team that has only allowed 14 goals all season.

Walton said he does not know who is going to step up as a scorer, but somebody is going to have to if IU wants to move on to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

“There’s no way of knowing who’s going to come up. My experience with postseason soccer is that somebody has to step up each game,” Walton said. “We know we’re capable. It’s just a matter of who’s turn it is and hopefully we can execute.”

Follow reporter Sam Beishuizen on Twitter @Sam_Beishuizen.

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