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Saturday, June 15
The Indiana Daily Student

sports women's soccer

Women's soccer to play Nebraska in Big Ten Tournament Semifinals

Indiana Illinois Big Ten Soccer

IU lost to Nebraska 3-1 in the regular season finale in Lincoln, Neb., while playing in weather IU Coach Amy Berbary described as a “hurricane.”

The Hoosiers struggled to move the ball throughout the second half, going against the gusting wind and rain. To add to the offensive struggles, IU allowed a goal off a Nebraska goal kick late in the second half to wrap up the 3-1 loss.

The loss spoiled IU’s chance at improving to a No. 3 seed in the Big Ten Tournament and snapped a three-game conference winning streak.

On Friday, the Hoosiers (14-5-1) will have a chance at redemption at 2:30 p.m. in Champaign, Ill., in a rematch against the Cornhuskers (16-3-1) in the second round of the Big Ten Tournament.

“They’re fresh in our minds,” Berbary said. “It was adverse conditions that we played in at Nebraska, so we’ll just sit down, we’ll go through the film and try to figure out what adjustments we have to make.”

Top-seeded Nebraska is coming off of a 4-1 first round win against Minnesota on Wednesday.

After allowing a Minnesota goal in the opening minute, the Cornhuskers rallied to score four unanswered goals to advance 4-1.

The Hoosiers entered the game having defeated Illinois 5-3 on Wednesday.

“That has given us some huge confidence,” sophomore forward Kayleigh Steigerwalt said. “Nebraska is a great team but I think we can play with them if we play our game.”

It was the first time that any of the Hoosier players had been in a postseason matchup.

“We’re feeling great,” senior forward Rebecca Candler said. “It is the first time for our entire team in postseason play. We just have to grind it out.”

During the win against Illinois, IU was able to create scoring chances from getting crosses into the box from the outside.

The Hoosiers will be looking to create similar chances Friday by setting one another up for easy scoring chances in the box.

“I think that defines our team, to be honest,” Steigerwalt said. “Obviously we all want to score but we all want to make the assist, too. We all want to help each other. I think that’s why we do so well, because we’re not individuals.”

The biggest question mark going into the game will be the health and availability of senior midfielder Lisa Nouanesengsy.

She left the game Wednesday in the second half with an injury that left her unable to walk off the field on her own.

Nouanesengsy is the Hoosiers’ leading scorer with 11 goals this season. If she cannot play, the IU offense will need to be able to find different players to create offense as they were able to do against Illinois, scoring two goals after she left the game.

“Lisa’s a great player but we have a lot of people that could pick up the slack,” Candler said.

A win on Friday would give the Hoosiers a spot in the Big Ten Championship game on Sunday against the winner of the matchup between Penn State and Iowa.

Berbary said they are still trying to remain focused on the next game ahead and not get caught up in the excitement surrounding the tournament.

“We are still under the mentality of ‘hashtag one game,’” Berbary said. “We’re already above everyone’s expectations, even our own. So now we just look forward and take it one game at a time.”

Follow reporter Sam Beishuizen on Twitter @Sam_Beishuizen.

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