IU women’s soccer clinched a bid to the Big Ten tournament for the first time in three years Wednesday with a win over Michigan state.
Scoreless for nearly 75 minutes, the Hoosiers mustered a goal on a rocket shot off the leg of freshman midfielder Avery Lockwood to grab the late lead while the defense pitched another shutout.
The Hoosiers needed a win or draw in order to remain either seventh or eighth in the Big Ten standings. A loss, in any case, would have opened the door to various tiebreaker scenarios that could have left the Hoosiers out of the tournament.
The Hoosiers’ chances in the first half came from junior midfielder Melanie Forbes and senior midfielder Chandra Davidson in the 24th and 31st minutes, respectively.
In all, the Hoosiers managed six shots to the Spartans’ four through the first 45 minutes of a makeup from Sept. 27.
IU generated a few more chances than MSU in the second half but none better than the one by Lockwood in the 74th minute.
IU senior defender Meghan Scott sent a corner kick into the box that was headed out to Lockwood’s general vicinity. Lockwood then struck the ball in mid air and sent it past MSU’s diving goalkeeper for what would become the game-winning goal.
The goal was Lockwood’s team-leading fifth of the season and her second game winner of the year.
IU’s shutout against Michigan State was its sixth in conference play, which set a new program record.
Now that the Hoosiers are back in the tournament, they will have to wait until Sunday to finally play a game. The Hoosiers earned the seventh seed and will face off against No.16 Rutgers — the No. 2 seed — in Piscataway, New Jersey.