The Hoosiers showed greater momentum during the game, but were unable to score and tied the Cougars, 0-0, after two 10-minute overtime periods.
“A tie always feels like a loss,” sophomore forward Kayla Smith said. “But in the long run, it’s good we came out with a tie.”
The Hoosiers went up against an SIUE team also defeated in its first season game Friday, when the Cougars fell to No. 12 West Virginia, 2-0.
Though IU played aggressively against SIUE, making crisp passes and precise runs that tested the back line of the Cougars, the Hoosiers never put the ball in the net.
“At least we didn’t lose,” IU Coach Amy Berbary said. “I thought we pushed forward, at least as much as we could. It looked like a Sunday game in October, and I’m not quite sure why. I know Friday took a lot out of us, but we just could not get in rhythm today.”
Smith had opportunities to put the Hoosiers on the board, including a one-on-one with SIUE’s goalkeeper Jennifer Pelley. Smith held the ball too long, which allowed Pelley to block her shot.
“I just needed to keep my composure,” Smith said. “And my last touch got away from me on the breakaway.”
While Smith was unable to score Sunday, the forward’s constant effort gave the Hoosiers a spark throughout the game.
“Her work rate and her technical ability is something you really can’t teach,” Berbary said. “She’s got a hard-nosed mentality that just makes us go.”
IU sophomore defender Annelie Leitner was also a standout performer and kept SIUE’s most dangerous weapon, forward Emily Grahl, from scoring.
“She’s one that can walk away and say she’s better from Friday to Sunday,” Berbary said. “She looked at video, she’s very smart tactically and she made a big difference for us back there for sure.”
Leitner staunchly held her ground against Grahl’s footwork throughout the game.
“I just tried to keep my feet and not let her turn or go to goal.” Leitner said. “I got three backs with me, so as a back line we have to be the wall. We have to stay composed as one so we try to be the best back there.”
The Hoosiers will play Missouri in the Boilermaker Challenge Cup in West Lafayette on Friday.