The women’s soccer team responded to their first defeat of the season in a big way.
A week after drawing with Georgia and falling at the hands of Clemson, IU came away this weekend with wins against Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount.
“I’m incredibly proud of the group,” IU Coach Amy Berbary said. “To sort ourselves out in three days before traveling almost 2,000 miles across the country – coming out of California with two wins is impressive.”
On Friday afternoon, the Hoosiers squared off against the Pepperdine Waves.
Senior Mykayla Brown headed a ball in 25 minutes into play for her first goal of the year. The Waves responded two minutes later with a goal off a corner, tying it at 1-1.
Neither team scored again for almost 40 minutes, but then Annelie Leitner came in. The senior from Austria kicked in a free kick off assists from junior Allison Jorden and graduate student Claudia Day.
The goal gave the Hoosiers the 2-1 lead, and it would eventually prove to be the game-winning goal.
“I think it’s part of being a senior and needing to step up sometimes,” Leitner said when asked about her contributions on offense. "It starts at the backline, up to the middle and to the forwards. I think it’s a team effort and shows how good our offense is this year."
The Hoosiers got a day of rest after their 2-1 win over Pepperdine, but they stepped back onto the pitch Sunday for a duel with Loyola Marymount. The Lions were 2-2-1 heading into the match.
Both teams went back and forth with six shots each in the first half, but the game was scoreless at halftime. In the 70th minute, junior Chandra Davidson headed in a ball over the Loyola goalie for the score, giving IU the 1-0 lead.
Leitner blasted in her second goal of the weekend twelve minutes later, giving the Hoosiers some insurance down the stretch. The Lions answered quickly with a goal off a corner, but IU held on for another 2-1 win.
“We talk about sharing the wealth and not letting Abby Allen score all the goals, the kids took that to heart and did a good job with that,” Berbary said. “I’m incredibly proud of the group but I think we still have a long way to go with our defensive shape.”
The team has two home matches next weekend against Kentucky and Kansas State, their final games before Big Ten Conference play opens up.
By then, the Hoosiers hope to have a better idea of what their team is made of.
“We set up a pretty tough non-conference schedule so we could see a number of athletes in a number of different systems of play,” Berbary said. “This way, when we get to the second part of our season, there are no surprises.”