IU women’s soccer suffered a 1-0 loss to Purdue in overtime on Saturday night, but Coach Amy Berbary still has faith in her squad despite its current three-game losing streak.
“I believe in this team, and they believe in each other,” Berbary said. “We’ve just got to try to dig ourselves out of this. I think we’re going to be able to do that, it’s just a matter of working hard and getting over this loss.”
The rivalry matchup dictated most of the pregame talk, but the rest of the attention was on IU’s leading point-scorer, senior Abby Allen. As the Hoosiers trailed Iowa in the second half last Sunday, Allen got twisted up with the Hawkeye goalie before drawing a red card.
The senior forward left the field, and IU played with 10 players for the remainder of the game. NCAA rules required her to sit out the entirety of the team’s next game, meaning Allen was not able to suit up against Purdue.
Without arguably their most important offensive starter, IU knew they’d have to outshoot Purdue if they wanted to stand a chance. By the end of the night the Hoosiers saw a 16-13 shot advantage in their favor, but none of their five shots on goal could make it past Purdue’s Katie Luce.
IU was able to stay in the game because of its sturdy defense and a few heroic saves from sophomore goalkeeper Bethany Kopel. The Boilermakers' first seven shots on net were collected by Kopel. However, their eighth and final scoring chance was different from the rest.
Purdue sent a ball into the box from the left side of the pitch five minutes into the second frame of overtime, but the ball scraped a hand of a Hoosier, giving the Boilermakers a penalty shot in the 105th minute.
Purdue sophomore Sarah Clark took the shot and went for the lower left corner. Kopel could not come up with the save, so the Boilermakers scored the golden goal to win back the Golden Boot trophy.
“The game tonight was an absolute overall battle, and we knew that coming in,” Berbary said. “I thought we owned the beginning of the game, and I thought we put together a fantastic second half. I think we played well enough to win today, but it just didn’t fall for us.”
Berbary said she wasn’t mad at the handball call that ultimately ended the game. Instead, the sixth-year coach said she would rather spend time overcoming these last few games, so they can fight for some postseason action while they’re still in contention.
“We have to make sure that everyone is invested in this," Berbary said. “Every day is important, and every player is important on this team. This is a special group, but we have six games guaranteed, and we’ve talked about all year where we want to end up.”
At 6-4-2 overall and 2-3-0 in Big Ten play, IU still has a season to play for despite their current three-game losing streak. The team will face Wisconsin and Minnesota in Bloomington next weekend.