Following a season-opening 1-0 loss to Northwestern last weekend, IU women’s soccer won its first match of the season, beating Rutgers 1-0 in overtime on Thursday afternoon at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington.
The two sides played a very even contest for 90 minutes, with neither team scoring a goal in regulation. Four minutes into overtime, senior forward Melanie Forbes scored the game's first goal off of a corner kick by freshman forward Anna Bennett, giving the Hoosiers the victory.
“It was just kind of a 50-50 between me and the push player, and I just got there first,” Forbes said. “Just a great feeling.”
IU was bolstered by its strong defense all afternoon, holding a Rutgers offense that scored three goals in its last game against Penn State to just three shots on goal.
“Our team did an unbelievable job,” head coach Erwin van Bennekom said. “The shots that they had were more out of our build up mistakes, but the way we defended and the way we pressed and also dropped deep in our defensive shape was as we planned for, and the team executed to perfection.”
Rutgers entered the game 1-0, coming off a decisive 3-2 win over reigning Big Ten champion Penn State on Feb. 19. The Hoosiers knew they would be in for a challenge, and they were ready for the occasion. The win was IU’s first over Rutgers in program history.
“I think this was a great game we were really up for. The energy was great going into the game,” Forbes said. “I’m just glad we got through it and got the win.”
Now 1-1 on the season, IU’s next match will be at home against Iowa, a team the Hoosiers lost to 2-0 last season. Iowa is 0-2 this season, with losses to Wisconsin and Illinois.
Van Bennekom said while the team is excited for Thursday’s victory, it is already shifting focus to Sunday’s match.
“That’s a big one for us at home — they beat us last year 2-0 here, which I felt was a little unfortunate result,” van Bennekom said. “We’re looking forward to that game, hopefully build on this and just get a little bit better, and just keep growing, and hopefully get another result.”