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Women’s soccer dominates in season-opener



WSoccer8-19-18 (4 of 1)

Senior Annelie Leitner celebrates after scoring a goal against Miami at Bill Armstrong Stadium on Aug. 19. Leitner was named Big Ten Player of the Week Tuesday.  Claire Livingston Buy Photos

The IU women’s soccer team came out hungry Sunday afternoon. 

The team was scheduled for their season opener against Wake Forest Friday evening, but after sitting through a few weather delays, the match was ultimately canceled. 

“I was proud of the kids after the disappointment of not being able to play on Friday and getting up for this game and starting quickly,” IU Coach Amy Berbary said.

Instead of going toe-to-toe with the Demon Deacons in their first game of the year, the Hoosiers settled for a date with the Miami RedHawks. 

Early in Sunday’s match, the Hoosiers and the RedHawks traded chances up front before IU senior Annelie Leitner scored from a few yards out in the 20th minute. With the Hoosiers already dominating on possession, the goal led to more offense for IU.

Three minutes later, Miami turned the ball over in the IU attacking third and the Hoosiers took advantage of the opportunity. Senior Abby Allen, who recorded an assist on the first goal, sent a rocket into the back of the net to give IU an early 2-0 lead.

“Maya (Piper) made a great tackle and all I had to do was finish it after she won the ball,” Allen said.

With time winding down in the first half, the Hoosiers were awarded a corner. Looking to add onto their lead, they went aggressive and kicked the ball toward the net. 

After being kicked around up front, the ball fell to sophomore Grace Geise who launched it in off the crossbar from 19 yards out, marking the first collegiate goal of her career.

Heading to the locker room with a 3-0 lead at halftime, Allen said the Hoosiers were ecstatic with their production on offense.

“We were a little disappointed to not be able to play on Friday, so we just transferred a lot of that energy and came out really hard today,” Allen said. “We worked really hard on being patient with the ball and looking to find simple passes.”

IU continued to work well with their passing as they gave themselves a handful of chances to score throughout the game, but Geise’s blast was the last goal of the day for the Hoosiers. 

Defensively, IU was stellar going into tackles in addition to breaking up passes and shots from Miami. 

Sophomore Goalkeeper Bethany Kopel made four saves and was sharp when the ball was sent her way. The RedHawks only shot the ball seven times, but Kopel knew where to be each time, preserving the 3-0 shutout win. 

Now 1-0 on the young season, IU begins a four-game road trip as their non-conference schedule moves along. The Hoosiers will match up with South Carolina, Pepperdine, Loyola Marymount and Georgia, where Coach Berbary played her collegiate soccer. 

“For me to be able to go back to where I played, it’s going to be a huge emotional swing, but we’ve got to make sure we’re ready for it,” Berbary said.

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