It was almost déjà vu for the IU women’s soccer team.
On Friday against Wisconsin, senior Mykayla Brown scored a goal in the 14th minute only to see the Badgers score two unanswered in the second half to win 2-1.
On Sunday against Minnesota, Brown scored early again — this time in the 5th minute — before Minnesota charged back for the 2-1 lead.
The Golden Gophers were in control and looked as if they were going to further bury IU’s Big Ten Tournament hopes.
Then, with eight minutes left, Coach Amy Berbary subbed back into the game senior Maya Piper and juniors Meghan Scott and Chandra Davidson.
“We were trying to get them a little bit of rest to get them some firepower for the last 10 minutes,” Berbary said.
Just two minutes later, Scott fired a shot outside the box from the left side. It was heading toward the right post, and Davidson made a run in front of the keeper to attempt a backward header. Although Davidson didn’t make contact, her run blurred the vision of the keeper and allowed Scott’s shot to find the back of the net — the Hoosiers tied up the game 2-2.
“Meghan doesn’t score that goal if the vision of the goalkeeper isn’t taken away,” Berbary said.
There was hope again inside Bill Armstrong Stadium. It took just 1:39 seconds for the Hoosier faithful to uproar again.
After a turnover by the Gopher defense, Brown found herself one on one with the Minnesota keeper and buried it in the lower left corner to take the 3-2 lead, which was the difference maker in the match.
“Actually, I was very nervous,” Brown said. “One on ones with the keeper are always very nerve-racking because it’s like you kind of have to finish. But, I’m glad I did and got the win for us.”
Berbary, the other hand, said she wasn’t nervous in that moment. She said she sees her senior striker do that in practice all the time.
In the last four minutes, IU had no trouble holding Minnesota off. As the clock ticked down to zero, the crowd screamed “Three, two, one,” then waved its IU towels to symbolize the rally the Hoosiers put forth in the final six minutes.
After the game, the Hoosiers walked over to the Little 500 gravel track and applauded to the fans in attendance, with the act being reciprocated back to them.
“I have to thank them, honestly,” Brown said of the crowd. “They’ve helped us whether we win or lose.”
It was a crowd filled with many family members and friends of the seniors who were honored before the game.
The seniors celebrated were Brown, Piper, Claudia Day, Abby Allen, Caroline Dreher, Annelie Leitner, Alex Reibel and Justine Lynn.
“We’ve said from the start of the season that they have been driving the bus for us,” Berbary said of her seniors. “We would not be where we are with this team at this point without the leadership of all of those seniors. Today, they stepped up and got it done.”
The Hoosiers had suffered four-straight losses before Sunday’s victory. Berbary said she remembers that earlier this week, Day told the team that they need to expect to win.
The team took that to heart and took care of business against Minnesota to improve to 7-5-2. IU is now right behind Michigan and Illinois for the final two spots of the Big Ten Tournament, which is the top-8 teams in the standings.
With four games left, the Hoosiers will look to carry this momentum.
“I think it’s huge,” Berbary said. “There’s crazy results in this conference and I think we needed to get out of a little bit of a rut. I think we did that today.”